Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Ryan Kesler
"This is our Game 7 right now, we’re taking this as a Game 7. We have to put our best foot forward tonight because we’re going to get their best."
-Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks on game 6 tonight in Nashvlille. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN has more on the gtame.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Love him. Loathe him. Ryan Kesler is not everyone’s favorite flavor and he knows it. Good with it. Even revels in it.
The feelings spread to the extremes at this point in the season. Teammates want him on their side when it is time for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Opposing players hate the idea of continuously seeing him over entire series. Fans either love or hate what he brings to the ice, depending on their allegiances.
Don’t like him? Bring it on.
“I don’t care,” Kesler said. “I’m off Twitter. I’m off all that stuff.”
Got to win with him, though. That’s how the Ducks view it.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Ryan Kesler’s $6.875 million annual payday expires in 2022, when the Anaheim center will be 37 years old. By then, Kesler’s contract will not be kind to the Ducks because of his age, rambunctious play, and eventual thinning of his game. But for now, the Ducks are getting the most out of Kesler’s performance as No. 2 center behind Ryan Getzlaf.
The 31-year-old Kesler is skating as well as he did in Vancouver, which makes him a handful for opponents because of his abrasive style of play. Kesler had 17 goals and 27 assists for 44 points through 72 games, third most on the team after Getzlaf and Corey Perry. But his value is more about presence than points. Not many players enjoy taking shifts against a healthy Kesler.
many more topics...
from Ryan Kesler at The Players' Tribune,
We lived in an old ranch-style house outside of Detroit. It’s over 100 years old now. In the winter, my dad would make a rink out back. But we didn’t have a pond or anything. Just a big yard. In the beginning, he would just take the garden hose out and spray down the grass. Then he got a little smarter and put some tarp down first.
That was only good for three months a year, tops. The majority of my hockey life revolved around ministicks in the basement, or ball hockey out in the street. My brother is nine years older than me, but for some reason I always kicked his ass whenever we played street hockey. I was dominant. The weird thing was, the domination extended to everything else — Monopoly, Connect 4, Sega.
I was good at everything. Or I thought I was.
It wasn’t until years later, when we were playing board games with my own kids, that my brother looked at me and just shook his head.
“Dude, I was letting you win. Whenever you lost, you’d go crazy. You’d ruin the whole day.”
I’ve always been uber competitive. I didn’t quite realize this until I had my own son, and he started flipping out every time he lost on his iPad games. It runs in the blood.
Brad Marchand doing what he does...
Oh wait, more videos below...
And nothing came of it, both get two for roughing.
A few jabs were thrown before Kesler layed down his gloves.
"This isn't my last contract, I want another one after this. Right now, I’m sitting here saying I wont’be done. My family supports that and they know. When that time comes, then yeah I’ll be ready to retire.
"Right now, I’m fully confident that I can play out this contract and get another one after."
-Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks talking about his six-year contract extension. More from Kesler by Eric Stephens of the OC Register.
added 12:07pm, Anaheim release is below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The man with the perpetual scowl and the personality drawn from cactus and shards of glass seems to have been built for this game.
Ryan Kesler was not just built for a Game 7 with a trip to the Stanley Cup finals hanging in the balance, but the Anaheim Ducks believe he was built specifically to help carry them through a game like Saturday's Western Conference finals finale.
No team -- especially teams like the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, who have delivered six classic punch-counterpunch games -- will advance to the Stanley Cup finals because of one player.
The game is too fast, too complex; the lines separating success and failure too fine for it to be that simple.
But these games are the domain of the stars, the leaders, the players who do not shrink from challenge but grow large in the face of it.
A player like Ryan Kesler, perhaps?
"He is a force to be reckoned with when he's on his game," one team executive familiar with Kesler's evolution said.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
The Ducks are in the Western Conference finals and they’re one step away from playing for the Stanley Cup. They’ve got the formidable Chicago Blackhawks to deal with, needing to get four wins against them with their first chance in Game 1 on Sunday at Honda Center.
Kesler, 30, is the player Ducks general manager Bob Murray wanted badly to play against a team like this. He’s a legitimate difference maker for the postseason, and he’s delivered everything they hoped to gain.
Twenty goals and 27 assists were welcomed and appreciated over the 82-game schedule, but not the primary reason why Murray kept talking to Vancouver about acquiring him. He’s got four goals and five assists in the Ducks’ playoff games, but it’s more than that.
Kesler has been dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 63.7 percent of his draws. He’s an essential part of a penalty-killing unit that’s allowed only four power-play goals. And each of his scores has made a difference.
“There’s been a lot of moments like that,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Those are the things that probably stand out more for me than anybody scoring three goals or getting booed or any of those things.
“So far, what I’ve seen, he’s upped his game.”
from Ryan Kesler at The Players' Tribune,
I wanted a trade out of Vancouver this offseason for several reasons. That’s no disrespect to the fans, my teammates, or Canucks ownership, but I think both sides needed a change. I’ve got three kids at home; I just wanted a more normal life for them away from the rink. Playing in Canada can be a fishbowl not just for players but for families, too. That said, this was really hard. I know you read that all the time, but Vancouver was my home since I was 19. I grew up with Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, and the Sedins. These guys will always be my close friends. One day you wake up and you realize, Wow, I’m really leaving my buddies. It’s weird because I spent all summer preparing for a move, but when I actually got the call from my agent that I was headed to Anaheim, a little bit of anxiety rushed in.
My first thought was: Sunshine. Shorts and flip flops. Nice.
My second thought was: Getzlaf and Perry. Interesting.
Then came a rush of really complicated thoughts: How am I going to tell my 6-year-old daughter that she has to say goodbye to her best friends? What happens with my Canadian bank account? How do those taxes work? Where do I live? How do you even move furniture and stuff?
via the CP at TSN,
Canucks forward Derek Dorsett left the game a few minutes earlier with an upper-body injury after taking a hit from Ryan Kesler and did not return. Replays appeared to show that Kesler, who was dealt from Vancouver to Anaheim in the off-season, made contact with Dorsett's head on the play.
"I haven't seen it yet. All I know is I was going for the puck and I felt him hit," said Kesler. "I hope he's all right, it's unfortunate, it's a fast game out there. I was just going for the puck, trying to make a hockey play."
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province who refers to Kesler as "The Tool"...
... the tool got one over on the Canucks Tuesday and did it on a couple of fronts.
With a clear headshot, complete with an elbow follow-through, Kesler knocked Derek Dorsett out of the game. The Canucks lost their scrappy, energizing bulldog who on many nights has been their only physical, impact player.
more on Kesler...
Watch the hit below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Kesler looks around him and sees a team that’s going to contend for years to come.
"The most exciting part about it is just how young the team is, we've got a lot of cap room to use, I like the way our team is set up," he said. "We've got guys with experience who settle down the younger guys. I just like the makeup of our team."
The 30-year-old Michigan native has another year left on his deal after this season, and in a perfect world his stay in Anaheim with his wife and three young kids will last much longer than that. An extension would probably appeal to him when the time is right.
"The way the team is made up, how young and how good a contender this team is, yeah, I love it here," Kesler said. "That would be the perfect situation, yes."
more on Kesler as the Ducks prepare to play the Kings tonight.
Darryl Sutter mentioned post-practice today that some of the Kings are now ill but no excuses.
I’ve gotten to know him pretty well. He lives pretty much in the town right next to me, and we’ve been skating together this summer. I started to get to know him heading into the Olympics, and then I got to know him pretty well there. He’s a good guy and he’s going to be a great teammate. He competes like crazy. The fans are going to love him and his work ethic. Talking to him, he’s really looking forward to a fresh start in Anaheim. It’s going to be great.
-Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks on new teammate Ryan Kesler. More from Fowler in a Q & A by Kyle Shoraha of the Ducks' website.
The video is just over two minutes in length...
You are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Joe Thornton situation (seems like the theory is, "Take the 'C' away, see if he waives the no-trade," as ESPN's Craig Custance reported), you are probably familiar with the dynamics of the Ryan Kesler trade (he says he's going to where deserves to be, and in Vancouver, it's, "Everybody thought he was a dick"), so:
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch pulled double-time in covering the Sens' picks, Jason Spezza's situation (what's so bad about a guy turning down a trade to a team that's on his no-trade list? Emo GM Bryan Murray will tell you) and positing a Sunday rumor column, and he addresses a situation we haven't necessarily talked about as of yet:
There has been a lot of controversy in Chicago over whether the Hawks have been trying to deal forward Patrick Sharp or not. While it was heavily denied by Sharp’s agent Rick Curran that his client was on the move, Sharp’s name has been popping up all over the place in trade talks. Several teams say he’s available, so it will be interesting to see if he’s still there when push comes to shove after this summer. The Hawks are already over the salary cap and will have to cut money somewhere.
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Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, chris+kelly, colorado+avalanche, joe+thornton, matt+niskanen, patrick+sharp, paul+stastny, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+kesler, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, vancouver+canucks
Update: It's official:
Here's the press release:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson happened to find himself in an opportune situation on Thursday evening, and as such, he received an update on the Vancouver Canucks' attempts to trade Ryan Kesler:
Trevor Linden, the Canucks’ team president, [GM Jim] Benning and new coach Willie Desjardins were in serious conversation at a restaurant in downtown Philly Thursday night and hustled away.
“We’re talking to teams but if we don’t think we’re getting a fair deal we won’t do now…we’ll be happy to have him back. He’s a great player (that may be hyperbole; he’s a very good two-way centre),” said Benning, who knows every team’s prospect lists because he was a scout for the Bruins before he was an assistant GM, a scout like his dad Elmer, 73, who works for Montreal. “We do want NHL caliber players back (to offset his offence).”
For now, Anaheim’s sticking to their guns and keeping the No. 10 (Ottawa’s pick in the Bobby Ryan trade last year), but would trade their 26th. As it gets closer to the draft, maybe that changes. Certainly, Kesler fits better there (two-way player) than Jason Spezza, also on the trade block.
Benning does admit that he might get more for Kesler when the heat’s turned up at the trade deadline, than in the summer when nobody’s playing games.
“When you’re dealing a player of his stature at the trade deadline, that’s when you can really do well…teams feel they may only be one player away from winning. Teams might possibly give you more then, than in the summer when they aren’t playing hockey,” he said.
Matheson continues, and he goes into extensive detail as to what the Canucks might want from the Anaheim Ducks in a Kesler trade.
Mid-afternoon pre-draft round-up: on Kesler Watch, Vanek Watch, Board of Governors stuff and Stastny
Updated 3x at 4:24 PM: Amongst this afternoon's news from the Board of Governors' meetings and the Trade-and-wine-and-dine-a-palooza...
1. It's time for Kesler watch to kick into an even higher gear?
2. Thomas Vanek is in demand:
3. Sportsnet's Mark Spector reminded us that quite a bit of this draft-day-draft-pick-trade talk is...talk...
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Not exactly thrilled with offers the Canucks have seen so far, general manager Jim Benning sent a rather strong message that his team is willing to wait out the draft, and beyond, before trading Kesler.
In fact, Benning suggested it may be more beneficial to sit on him and hold out until this season’s trade deadline.
“When you’re dealing with a player of his stature, at the trade deadline is when you can really do well because (there are) those teams that feel they’re one player away that makes a difference to win,” Benning said.
“You could possibly get more (then) than you can in the middle of summer when they’re not playing hockey.”
So if Kesler wants out so badly, he may have to expand that precious list of teams to which he’s willing to go. With a no-trade clause in his contract, he has some say.
Updated with LeBrun stuff at 6:57 PM:
TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie discussed pre-draft trade and free agent discussions in an edition of Insider Trading that lasts for nearly four minutes. TSN usually posts a summation thereof, but if you don't want to wait until 7:30 or 8...
1. McKenzie says that there are 3 teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, St. Louis +?) and 1 "mystery team" in the Eastern Conference who are talking to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza (who has a no-trade list of 10 teams, incl. Florida, Carolina, Columbus and the Islanders). McKenzie says the Senators want a 1st-round draft pick as part of the compensation package.
2. Dreger says that David Bolland wants "maximum value," and he wants an 8-year deal at $4.9 million to remain with the Leafs. Toronto probably won't give him the term he wants, but Bolland believes he'll be healthy by training camp;
3. Dreger says that the Oilers are looking for a center and a defenseman, and they're willing to trade the 3rd overall pick and/or Sam Gagner in their efforts to improve the team, which may include trading for the Panthers' 1st overall pick;
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, dale+tallon, dan+boyle, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, jason+spezza, joe+thornton, paul+stastny, ryan+kesler, sam+gagner, san+jose+sharks, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vancouver+canucks
Patience is a Virtue: Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley and former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone may have to be patient in free agency according to Dreger. Dreger says their willingness to take one-year contracts will draw attention from more teams. The Lightning used their second compliance buyout on Malone on Tuesday while Heatley will become an unrestricted free-agent on July 1.
Canucks Complex Dealings: The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to trade Ryan Kesler but this is a complicated negotiation. It's believed Kesler has identified just two teams in the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. That puts rookie general manager Jim Benning and the management of the Canucks in a tough spot because they're just negiotioation with the two teams. Maybe it's possible that the Canucks try to pull in their horns in an effort to encourage Kelser to expand his list.
Blackhawks Hope to Keep the Band Together: GM Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks are very eager to make sure the star component remains intact for a lengthy period of time. We're talking about how the new CBA is going to impact the superstar model of player and certainly Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews qualify as such. No longer is it allowed to frontload and go with that 10, 12 or 15-year mega-deal. Now we know it's a maximum of eight years so it's not inconceivable that, as long as the salary cap climbs to around $75 million in 2016 that Kane and Toews could come in around $11-12 million each.
The "Off-Season Watch" continues, and Dreger reports that Daniel Alfredsson's going to be "flexible" with his decision-making timeline. It is possible that, should the Boston Bruins don't re-sign Jarome Iginla, both Iginla and Alfredsson could be Wings next season.
On Wednesday evening, TSN's Darren Dreger spoke with the NHL Live's EJ Hradek and Steve Mears, discussing the Penguins' messy coaching search (see: Willie Desjardins and Bill Peters declined Jim Rutherford's advances), the possible departure of James Neal (for cap space?) and Ryan Kesler's "fit" in Chicago or PIttsburgh (Dreger says that the asking price for Kesler remains "incredibly high"):
Update: Dreger made very similar comments on TSN.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
If it’s true that Ryan Kesler will only agree to play for two teams in the NHL next year – the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins – then new Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning will have his work cut out for him, trying to make that deal work.
Because of his skill, versatility and reasonably cheap salary cap number ($5-million per season for two more years), Kesler would be a good fit on any number of teams willing to gamble on his health.
Chicago has long needed a No. 2 centre to play behind Jonathan Toews and last week, told one of the players who’ve been trying to fill the void, Michal Handzus, he wouldn’t be back. Pittsburgh doesn’t have an obvious need for a centre, not with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Brenden Sutter there, but Malkin can play the wing, as can Kesler.
It would be interesting to see if Kesler could develop chemistry with one or the other, or if the new Penguins coach – whomever that may eventually be – would just keep Crosby and Malkin together, which has worked well in the past.
No, the issue is that both the Blackhawks and Penguins are usually maxed out at the cap, and Chicago needs to be mindful of the raises that both Toews and Patrick Kane are going to get in their next deals.
continued plus more hockey topics...
As stated, Kesler is a tremendous player and could end the Blackhawks’ nonstop carousel at No. 2 center. He would have an instant chemistry with Kane, given their international play together in past Olympics. That’s all good. But there are always prices to pay. It just seems, for the Blackhawks, the move is not worth what the prices could be.
-Tracey Myers of CSNChicago on the report (Garrioch) stating Kesler wants to play for Chicago or Pittsburgh. Read more on this topic.
Paul Grant Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs to watch when it comes to the big-name free-agent centers.
Both clubs, we hear, have talked to the Vancouver Canucks about Ryan Kesler and to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza, although they are hardly alone; several clubs have checked in on both available assets.
It's not surprising that Anaheim has inquired about both, as the Ducks' desire for a high-end, No. 2 center is hardly a state secret, especially when the club tried to hard to get Kesler at the March 5 trade deadline.
What we're hearing out of both Ottawa and Vancouver is that the price is too high for each center, perhaps because we haven’t got to draft week yet in Philadelphia when things are expected to heat up.
Then again, the Canucks view Kesler as quite a bargain at a $5 million cap hit the next two seasons. Spezza has only a year left on his deal but his offensive talent is a major drawing card the Senators are banking on cashing in on a trade.
One club we’re told that is intrigued is the Detroit Red Wings, although at this point it's just that, pure intrigue and other than a very preliminary discussion, there hasn't been much work done on that front.
For starters, I don’t think Detroit can do something of that magnitude as long as Stephen Weis sand his $4.9 million cap hit remains on the books for the next four years. Good luck moving that contract.
more plus additional hockey topics...
The Calgary Sun's Eric Francis had a conversation with new Flames GM Brad Trevliving on Monday afternoon, and Treveling made two particularly telling remarks, first addressing the suggestions that his team is bidding for Jason Spezza's services...
“It’s categorically false,” said the Calgary Flames new GM, making his first public response to a report out of Ottawa saying the Flames offered up Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, “possibly” Dennis Wideman and a second- or third-round draft pick.
“I haven’t made any such offers. That’s 100% fantasy island. I saw it early Sunday online and had to read it a couple times and had to remind myself ‘oh ya I’m the Flames GM. Interesting.’ ”
And then speaking bluntly and honestly about the fact that, yes, general managers actually talk to each other about potential trades on a regular basis:
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The latest scuttlebutt on who's going where and why as another big season of free agency approaches:
It has the potential to be quite the offseason when it comes to high-profile centers changing teams.
We always say top centers don’t grow on trees and are hard to come by, well, there are at least two on the market in Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza and it remains to be seen how it plays out on the Joe Thornton front.
First, in Vancouver, where the Canucks went fairly down the road in trade talks involving Kesler before the March 5 trade deadline, in particular with the Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins, before deciding the offers weren’t good enough and pulling him back.
The question is, what’s the deal with him now given the new management in place in Vancouver?
Sources said new Canucks GM Jim Benning has already taken calls from teams on Kesler, if for no other reason than they’re wondering if he’s still available or not....
Spezza, with a year left on his deal, indicated to Senators management that he would welcome a change if a deal that makes sense comes Ottawa’s way. I suspect talks will heat up on that front closer to the draft later this month.
And, in San Jose, the Sharks have indicated they are entering a rebuilding mode. What does that mean for Joe Thornton, who signed a three-year extension earlier this season? Does he want to be around for a rebuild? Either way, Thornton holds all the cards with a no-movement clause. Same goes for Patrick Marleau, for that matter.
more on Kesler and other topic too...
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register at the Los Angeles Register,
The Ducks need a second-line center who wins faceoffs, kills penalties, makes a difference on the power play, and plays in an anti-social manner.
Ryan Kesler won 52.6 percent of his faceoffs last year, scored nine of his 25 goals on the power play, played 21:48 per game as a center, and continued to win enemies throughout the NHL.
The Ducks have two first-round choices in the upcoming draft, at No. 10 and No. 24, and got 11 playoff goals from rookies or players under 23 years old.
The Vancouver Canucks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and their farm system is ranked 27th in the 30-team NHL by the website Hockey’s Future, for whatever that’s worth.
If there was a HockeyMingle.com website, this would be a 100 percent match.
In fact, the Ducks reportedly offered both first-round picks and two young players to Vancouver for Kesler, at the trade deadline.
from David Ebner of the Globe and Mail,
In the incredible decline of the Vancouver Canucks, the fate of Ryan Kesler’s right knee is suddenly central to the team’s future.
Kesler was injured Wednesday night in Winnipeg and is returning to Vancouver to have his right knee assessed with an MRI.
The Canucks – who have in record time gone from a contender in a slump to a franchise rebuilding – had tried to trade the 29-year-old star forward last week at the NHL trade decline but turned down deals. A Kesler trade was imagined as the pivot point to overhaul the team in one swoop but offers fell short of the Canucks’s desire for a player, prospect and draft pick. Kesler, agitated at Vancouver’s poor prospects, wanted to move to a potential winner – and after last week’s no deal attention turned towards a transaction at the draft.
Now, however, regardless of the severity of the Kesler’s knee injury, the Canucks have been dealt a big blow. If teams weren’t willing to pile the table high with offerings ahead of this year’s playoffs for healthy Kesler, it seems available deals won’t be better in late June at the draft, two months before Kesler’s 30th birthday on Aug. 31.
The hits keep coming for the Canucks, per the Canadian Press...
Vancouver suffered another injury blow when centre Ryan Kesler left the game in the second period after a knee-on-knee collision with Jets centre Jim Slater. Canucks head coach John Tortorella said Kesler will be sent back to Vancouver for tests while his teammates keep travelling to games against Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay.
"He's going to get some imaging and we'll have a better indication of where he's at, but he's out for a while," Tortorella said.
Slater said he didn't intentionally try to hurt Kesler.
"I thought I had him lined up, he kind of bailed there at the last second there," Slater said. "I didn't stick my knee out or anything in his path, wasn't leading with my leg. I thought I actually took the worst of it. Obviously, if he's hurt bad, I feel bad about that. It wasn't any intent. I thought I had him lined up and at the last second he tried to jump out of the way."
And an NHL video provided by the Hockey News's Matt Larkin:
TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger chatted with the NHL Network's Rob Roe on Tuesday evening, and they made some surprising statements.
- According to both McKenzie and Dreger, John Tortorella's snub of Roberto Luongo in the Heritage Classic did in fact prompt Luongo's agent, Pat Brisson, to ask if he could speak to several NHL teams about moving his client;
- The gents also claim that the Canucks want to trade Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler independently of the Luongo situation, with Kesler willing to go to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit Anaheim and possibly other teams (but not the Rangers), and that the Canucks will hold out for the best offer, even if that means trading Kesler at another time;
- The New York Rangers are still considering re-signing Ryan Callahan, signing and trading him or just trading him;
- The Buffalo Sabres are at least considering moving Matt Moulson, perhaps to Los Angeles, but Calgary's Mike Camalleri is also another "goal-scoring winger" on the market, as might be Chris Stewart, but the Sabres in particular cannot carry any more salary in making trades;
- The Sabres may consider moving Christian Ehrhoff or Tyler Myers, and the Red Wings may be interested, specifically in Ehrhoff, but the Wings are in a "transition year," so Ken Holland has to decide whether he's willing to bite on the Sabres' price;
- And regarding Cammalleri, he, Moulson, Ales Hemsky and Thomas Vanek's futures are somewhat intertwined, with Hemsky and Cammalleri serving as the fall-back plans for the teams that don't land Kesler.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun also penned a late-evening blog entry updating the Kesler situation, confirming that the Canucks feel no need to "settle" for anything less than their asking price:
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Tags: ales+hemsky, alex+edler, anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, chris+stewart, christian+ehrhoff, detroit+red+wings, matt+moulson, mike+cammalleri, pat+brisson, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, roberto+luongo, ryan+callahan, ryan+kesler, tyler+myers, vancouver+canucks
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Way back in the day, the Philadelphia Flyers thought enough of Ryan Kesler’s upside that they signed him to an offer sheet – a rare provocative move in the NHL – in the hopes of poaching him from the Vancouver Canucks long before he ever broke through as a front-line NHL player. So Philadelphia’s interest in Kesler is long-standing and the question that the Flyers need to ask internally is, would they give up one of their two talented kids, either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier, as the centrepiece of a possible deal with the Canucks?
Sure, Detroit is interested too, and the Kesler-Michigan connection makes it a plausible scenario, but the Flyers have the better assets to offer. Vancouver would likely insist on Schenn and Philadelphia would likely say no – too much upside there. But for Couturier, maybe that’s the bones of a possible deal.
From Philly’s perspective, Kesler as a No. 2, with Claude Giroux, Schenn and Vinnie Lecavalier as your other options down the middle makes for an impressive group (although Lecavalier has played a lot of wing for the Flyers this season).
The Flyers took a lot of criticism for flipping Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for Schenn and a pick that turned out to be Couturier (they also landed Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds in those deals). Richards has had a tough time of it in L.A. this season; to get Kesler’s experience might help mitigate some of that loss experience, and gird them for a run in this year’s playoffs.
more topics including Ryan Miller, The New York Islander and the Buffalo Sabres...
But there are times that internet chatter drives you to post an article, and in this case, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi's confirmation that the Penguins are hot on Ryan Kesler's trail merits mentioning...
Vancouver center Ryan Kesler is being pursued aggressively by Penguins general manager Ray Shero, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review on Saturday.
A proposed deal would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks — likely a first- and third-round — and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, the sources said.
It is possible the deal could involve another Canucks and Penguins player, but Shero was looking only to acquire Kesler, the sources said.
And while I can't quote all of Rossi's article, noting of Olympic ties between Kesler, U.S. Olympic team coach Dan Bylsma and consultant/Pens GM Ray Shero included, you may take this for what you will...
For those of us who aren't glued to Twitter or the interweb, the Dan Girardi's re-signing with the New York Rangers and the Ott-and-Ryan Miller-for-Jaroslav-Halak-etc. trades were the first of perhaps a dozen or so meaningful moves that will result from literally thousands of trade rumors per actual transaction made...
But the Sportsnets, ESPNs and deadline-drama-loving fans are obviously hoping that Friday's transactions broke a dam's worth of inactivity ahead of what many of you are probably hoping will be a 35-to-45-transaction period of time between now and 3 PM EST next Wednesday, and both TSN's Bob McKenzie (on Twitter) and ESPN's Scott Burnside and Craig Custance suggested that we've not seen the last of Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray's pre-trade deadline moves...
Via numerous reports, Kesler also says his hand feels better and hopes to play tomorrow, but not sure.
added 5:54pm, Kesler talking with the media after pracitce today can be watched below...
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
You could probably kill an hour or two guessing reasons why Kesler would want out.
So, take your pick.
There was former head coach Alain Vigneault calling him out for not using his wingers enough. There was Vigneault suggesting a serious shoulder injury wasn’t all that serious, and wasn’t the reason for his diminished production.
There have been ongoing plans to make him a winger.
Back in October his new head coach said he viewed Kesler’s future as a winger. There was Kesler getting stripped of his “A.” There was the Canucks inability to find him high quality wingers to play with.
There is the possibility he thinks the Vancouver market is overly critical of his play. That’s something he’s suggested more than once, even in Sochi when he was asked about the big deal people were making of all the ice time he was accumulating this season.
“A lot of people in Vancouver make a lot of everything,” he told reporters in Russia.
Remember the shot Ryan Kesler took to his hand in Sochi?
Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla's left ring finger got all funky-looking via a dislocation suffered in a fight with Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler, as noted by Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski...
But Iginla's playing in the 2nd period of the Bruins-Canucks game. I will warn you that clicking the continue reading button will provide a blood-free but no less yucky photo of a finger pointing in a direction it should not:
Flyers continued having scoring issues tonight, losing to Vancouver 3-2.
Goals like this one from Ryan Kesler must add to the frustration the Flyers are feeling right about now.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Everyone keeps waiting for fireworks from John Tortorella. They got them instead from Kesler.
“To be honest, I don’t listen to that shit,” said Kesler, when asked about people who don’t think the Canucks are one of the top teams in the NHL.
“That’s what it is. It’s shit. We believe in ourselves in the dressing room. All those negative comments we’re not even going to …
“To be honest, I shouldn’t have even answered that question. It’s shit.”
Kesler did show up at training camp healthy this year. He says it’s the first time in two years. But he’s also got a a chip stapled to his shoulder he’s not letting go of any time soon.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
And he’s admitted he has thought long and hard about the way he plays the game and reached the conclusion that emotion is something of an enemy. And he’s almost certainly right.
"Obviously I’ve thought about that, and I think everyone in here knows I’m an emotional guy and I feel I play my best when emotions are high and kicking in, but that’s when you get injured. I spent a lot of time this off-season just working and getting my body where it needs to be, so I don’t have to be so emotional out there and just play my game and be successful that way."
Right, so the approach best taken is to try to be more even-keeled, more focused on the goal and perhaps leave a few of those side battles and the private little on-ice feuds with individuals aside. And that seems like a genuinely intelligent, enlightened view, given how hard he plays and the reputation he carries with the officials, which is constantly perpetuated largely by people in the eastern media.
But isn’t the problem here that this reasoned approach is going to work at cross purposes with the alleged strengths of the new coach? Isn’t John Tortorella the firebrand who is supposed to be the in-your-face, demanding guy who is going to get on your case the moment there is a slight lull in your play? Isn’t this going to be the match to the gasoline leading precisely to the emotion which will bring on the injury that will neuter this team’s chances of accomplishing anything?
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
“I’ll relish whatever role they put me in,” said Kesler. “If they want to load up the top six, I’ll definitely play the wing and succeed there. It’s that competitive level in me that you want to be better than the guy across from you. That doesn’t change from position to position. It’s a fun time of year, and I’m really excited about it.”
He should be. The Chicago Blackhawks have to shoulder the Presidents’ Trophy burden, and there’s a big championship buzz around the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Northwest Division champions have their own demons, knowing that five-game exit to the Los Angeles Kings last spring is a scab their detractors pick at because of a narrowing window to win it all.
“We’re healthier, and to be honest, I don’t think we were ready for the grind last year,” Kesler admitted of starting the first-round series without the concussed Daniel Sedin.
“We know what it takes to get to a final and Game 7 of a final. We’re hungry this year, and I can feel the energy in the room. I see how bad guys want it.”
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Vigneault said he has Kesler in the lineup, on the second line, on the team’s first power-play unit, and will need him to pick up the faceoff slack left by Manny Malhotra, who was, well, told to go home.
Is that all? Good luck with managing those minutes.
Kesler said he wouldn’t come back unless he’s 100 per cent. So, he must be ready to reprise his role as the team’s heart and soul. Right?
He doesn’t plan to change the way he plays, either. You know, the often daring-but-reckless, gutsy-but-risky style that, when he’s on, can look like he’s driving a stock car and taking turns just a little too fast.
It’s made him oh-so productive when he’s healthy, but oh-so disappointing when he’s injured. Quite the quandary. But Kesler said he doesn’t see any other way.
“The way I play is the reason I’m successful,” Kesler said. “I’m not one of those guys who is going to get by on their skill alone. I have to be one of the hardest-working guys out there.”
from Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province,
He said that there was no timeline on his return, although he will be travelling with the team for the upcoming road trip, which sees them visit the Edmonton Oilers on Monday and the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
He said that he needed to work on his strength and timing and “feeling comfortable in one-on-one battles.”
“I had to be patient,” he said of returning to practice with the team. “That was my biggest thing. I had to keep telling myself ‘baby steps.’ It’s a process and you can’t get ahead of the process.
“I still have to be patient. There’s still a long way to go.”
Coach Alain Vigneault seemed more positive, saying that he thought Kesler had “an opportunity to come help us after a couple of practices.” He did add that coming on the road trip was part of that process, so it seems unlikely to see him play in Minnesota, let alone Edmonton.
Kesler did seem to have plenty of jump and didn’t appear to be holding back when shooting the puck.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Ryan Kesler's return from offseason shoulder and wrist surgeries has been pushed back several months, according to his agent. The Vancouver Canucks beg to differ on the extent of that timeline provided by Kurt Overhardt, but it's not a stretch for anyone to suggest that the centre won't be back next month as forecasted earlier this fall.
When Kesler was re-evaluated two weeks ago at the Cleveland Clinic to assess progress from a May 8 procedure on his left shoulder and June 27 surgery on his left wrist, it was determined the rehab load placed on one side of his body was taking a toll and that progress has been slow.
"The re-evaluation was positive in that the surgeries were successful," said Overhardt. "However, the compounding nature of both of those surgeries being on the same side of the body, it's been very hard to properly rehab either one of the them — particularly the shoulder — because that's obviously a big deal.
"I don't think it's fair to have any sort of time frame when he's going to be 100 per cent and cleared to play. I don't have a crystal ball and it's certainly months away, it's not weeks away. It's several months away."