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You Said You'd Stay...

Jason Chen



It's no secret that the Canucks want to keep Ryan Kesler. But the other 29 teams in the league want him as well. The Selke nominee becomes a restricted free agent on July 1 and Mike Gillis wants to keep Kesler in the fold, preferably for the foreseeable future... but contract talks haven't gone well and have been put off until the end of the season.

Reports indicate that the Canucks have made a pitch for roughly $4 million per season, but Kurt Overhardt, Kesler's agent, and his camp have countered with an offer that is around $5 million. It's not a big discrepancy, but sometimes that $1 million does make a difference - it leaves room for that extra rookie or depth player that is earning close to the league minimum. The Canucks have 13 players signed for next year with roughly $17 million in cap space, meaning that the rest of the roster will make roughly $1.7 million each. The Canucks have the luxury of the Sedins and Luongo signed long-term to affordable contracts, meaning that Gillis is very unlikely to go after the big names in free agency.

For Overhardt, the whole ideal has been frustrating: "It's disappointing because based on the marketplace, it's not a difficult deal to get done for a core player like this."

<img src="http://vancouverite.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/kesler.jpg"class="imageFloatLeftFramed">It's true that Kesler will probably earn more on the open market, UFA or RFA, but that goes for almost any player. The fact that 29 other teams can bid on that player leads to an inevitable inflation of salary. In regards to Kesler's worth, I think $4 million sounds right, but $5 million doesn't sound too far off either. Maybe $4.5 million, Mr. Overhardt? I have every confidence that the Canucks will be able to re-sign Kesler to a long-term deal, because let's give credit where credit is due - Ryan Kesler is a vital cog on the Canucks and everyone knows this. But despite his immeasurable worth, let's not forget that it was less than a year ago when Kesler publicly stated that players should take hometown discounts in order to help their team and it caused a bit of a rift with the NHLPA.

It's not as though the Canucks can't afford giving Kesler $5 million, but both sides have to keep in mind the implications of his new extension on the roster as a whole. The Canucks cannot tie up too much money in any position. Willie Mitchell is a UFA this summer and Mason Raymond's due for a raise. Whatever Kesler signs for will most likely be a factor in those negotiations as well.

Please stay, Kesler.



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4 million a year and that's it! Someone remind Kessler about his comment to the Sedin's in getting a pay cut for the team. Unless he is all smoke and mirrors , he should take the 4million and show the Canuck's he is devoted to the organization. I would go 4 million for 6 year's.

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Kesler will stay, the agent's just meddling. The agent is going to fish for as much money as possible, and of course exaggerate the "negativity" of the negotiations to try and make everyone more urgent to get him signed and thus angle for more money.

That is kind of his job after all.

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Guest Quaker Oats


JP Barry was going on, all last year, about the Sedins asking for $8 million each. They ended up signing for less. I wouldn't look too much into it. The agent is trying to negotiate the highest possible salary for his client. It's all part of being a player agent.

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I've heard a few quotes from Kesler's agent, both in print and on the radio. All signs point to him being a huge di*k.

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He'll stay. Word is he ihimself is yet to be involved in negotiations. He will take Vancouvers offer as he will be getting a minimum $4m a year. He can prove his worth over the next contract and if he progresses he can look for $6m a year when he's shown his improvement. Kesler has a chance to win a Stanley Cup if he takes the $m and allow the Canucks more room to get that one player that can put us over the edge in the coming years.

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Kesler's indispensable. He will be signed long-term and it will be affordable. Gillis is using the July 1 deadline to his advantage again. I remain optimistic.

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I've seen a lot more from Burrows and Raymond than I have from Kesler. Let's see his road record improve before we sign him... I agree with the wait and see approach. As good as the Nucks are right now they do need another piece to be at the level of the Capitals or the Sharks

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Trade him before We get nothing for him. teach the rest of the team that you better sign up or be gone...

Sorry but you're an idiot, there's no way we can walk out of this empty handed. If we sign him then awesome but if he signs with another team, we will still end up getting a 1st, 2nd & 3rd from that team. Please do you research before posting idiotic thoughts...

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