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.
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