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.