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[Articles] Canucks GM Plays it Coy re: Kesler Trade Rumors - Agent Calls Trade Request "B.S" + *Why Kesler May Want Out*

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Could there be some trade talks regarding Ryan Kesler? Kesler's agent denies TVA Sports' Louis Jean's report that Kesler made such a request, yet Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis seemed to leave the door open about the two-way player being moved.

At the very least, he didn't exactly slam the door shut on the possibility, as the Vancouver Province's Ben Kuzma reports.

"Nothing has changed," Gillis said. "Some report came out of Sochi. I won't comment on it under any circumstances and whether Ryan asked or didn't ask (for a trade). I'm not discussing this. I don't know who Louis Jean is, I never met the guy. He could have called me."

While that seems like an elaborate "no comment," his follow-up is a bit more intriguing.

Gillis: "We've got four games before the deadline. We've got teams calling us about all kinds of different situations and circumstances."

That's certainly not the emphatic statement that Kesler's agent made, one way or another. Could this be Gillis' way of saying that he'll at least listen to offers?

Kesler, of course, would have to waive his no-trade clause for that to happen. It sounds like the likelihood of that happening varies depending upon who you ask.

The Province


Botchford: Kiss Kesler Goodbye

For the third year in a row, the Canucks are getting backed into a corner by a player who wants out.

The Ryan Kesler era is coming to an end in Vancouver.

Whether that happens before the trade deadline next week or the draft in June remains to be seen. But the Canucks have been absorbing offers already and are planning to trade their Selke-winning centre.

A report surfaced Wednesday that Kesler ignited this process by telling management he wants out at the beginning of the season. In the past couple of years, both Cody Hodgson and Roberto Luongo did the same.

Kesler’s agent Kurt Overhardt denied it but general manager Mike Gillis said he would not comment.

“Apparently it came out of Sochi. If he did want out or he didn’t want out, I wouldn’t discuss it publicly anyway,” Gillis said.

“It’s just like any other matter, anything internally, with our players. Whether it’s personal or business, we don’t discuss it outside our offices. “I’m not going to sit here and debate whether (the report) is accurate or not.”

One thing to note is that the trade request did not occur at the start of this season as reported, according to sources.

That leaves everyone with some wordplay options for plausible deniability.

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. Like other players, he may be seeking a quieter U.S. market to ply his trade.

There have been wild rumours locally that have impacted his personal life.

And, of course, there is John Tortorella, who is notoriously tough to play for and didn’t win anyone over when he lost it in the visitor’s corridor, going at Calgary’s Bob Hartley.

Kesler did not play Wednesday in the Canucks’ 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues, out with the hand injury he suffered on Feb. 15 when he was playing for Team USA against Russia.

The Canucks do not believe it’s serious, suggesting he could be back for Tuesday’s game in Phoenix.

Because of the hand injury, Kesler was not available for comment.

There is a line of thinking that the trade-request leak will negatively impact the Canucks efforts to trade Kesler. That could be the case if there is a limited list of teams Kesler is willing to waive his no-trade clause for. Those teams could think they have the Canucks in a position of weakness, which could make a trade more difficult.

Of course, if Kesler is open to a dozen or so cities in the U.S., and there can’t be too many teams who wouldn’t be interested in him, then an open auction could help.

A Kesler trade is not going to be easy for the Canucks to win, even though he’s been the team’s most consistent forward this season.

The Canucks need a certain player in return, especially if they don’t deal one of their other high quality players.The Canucks can’t trade Kesler without getting a centre in return. They just don’t have enough depth at the position. Given where the team is at, the Canucks would want that centre to be a younger player, around 25 years old, and one who could replace Kesler as a high quality second-line centre.


The Province


Gallagher: A Kesler Trade Might Just be the Start for the Canucks

When the Vancouver Canucks trade Ryan Kesler either within the week or at the summer draft, it's almost certainly going to have to be the first of at least two major deals — if there is to be a successful remake of this club.

The team wasn't denying reports Wednesday night that Kesler has asked to be traded, and given all the things that have happened to him in this city over the years, it can't come as much of a surprise that he has requested a change of scenery.

Some would argue that given he's been their best player other than perhaps Roberto Luongo this season, there's no way the Canucks can win a Kesler trade. But there's quite another way of looking at things. Perhaps his body has been through so much, playing as much and as hard as he's played in this town his whole career that there is no way to lose on making such a move unless Samuel Pahlsson is involved. Whatever camp you most subscribe to, there has to be another shoe drop if it's going to work.

There's no way this team can trade Kesler and not get another quality centre back, whether it's in the deal for the Livonia, Mich., star or whether it comes in the drop of a second large shoe before this team plays its first game next season.

After all, which team is going to improve itself by trading for Kesler if that same team gives back another centre in return? Who's interested in doing that unless they're going to give Vancouver a much-lesser player and a couple of draft picks, which isn't likely to interest Vancouver.

And if Vancouver makes the determination they have to get a quality centre back in a Kesler deal, they narrow the field to absurd levels, something general manager Mike Gillis isn't going to do when he says: "We're going to look at everything."

Everything has to include a second major deal.

This year has been such a shocker, such a mess for this team, not making some moves at this point would be both bad management and bad business, given the way interest in this town is beginning to sag.

And if the right moves are made — with another major player on the move as well as Kesler — this team could find itself in much better shape in the very near future with the likes of Bo Horvat, Nicklas Jensen and Hunter Shinkaruk coming, with the goaltending and mix of youth and veterans they still have on the back end.

Look at what happened when the Anaheim Ducks moved Chris Pronger four years back when it looked like they were headed for a long, Calgary Flames-like snooze after their Stanley Cup of 2007. It was a trade many thought they couldn't win. That was then and look where they are now — that happens to be atop the Western Conference with obscene depth in goal, youth at every position, but particularly on the back end and two picks in both the first and second rounds of the draft this June.

If things are done properly — and that's the key — with the disposition of a couple of the key pieces starting with Kesler, this team's image could be remade rather quickly.

To say Kesler has been a solid citizen here as a player is a massive understatement. Even though for the past four years he's broken down somewhere along the trail toward the end of the season, it's because he's played in such a totally invested fashion. And while he broke down in that run to the Cup final getting hurt against San Jose and not being of much use in the final against Boston, he almost won the Nashville series by himself.

There are many factors adding up to the request for this change of scenery and many of them are outlined in this publication. But with the depth they have at the back, you can be pretty sure Kesler won't be the only big name headed out if what appears to be a pending remake of this team is going to be successful.

Vancouver Sun


Canucks GM Mike Gillis Refuses to Address Report Ryan Kesler Asked for Trade

VANCOUVER — A clearly agitated Mike Gillis refused to directly address a report that centre Ryan Kesler has asked the Vancouver Canucks to trade him.

The Canuck general manager would not confirm or deny a report on Twitter from Louis Jean of TVA Sports in Montreal that Kesler wants a trade and made the request at the start of the season.

"If we discussed every internal or personal issue we have as an organization, we wouldn't stay in business very long," Gillis said before Wednesday night's game with the St. Louis Blues. "So I'm not going to comment on it."

Kesler, who suffered a hand injury while playing for the United States at the Winter Olympics, did not dress Wednesday night for the Canucks.

"The reports are what they are," Gillis said. "They came out of Russia somehow, I don't know anything about it."

Gillis also said he has never spoken to Jean, who broke the story of Alain Vigneault's firing as Canucks coach last spring.

"I am not going to talk about anything internal, whether he (Kesler) has asked or not asked to be traded, whether any other player has asked to be traded," Gillis said. "I have never done it and I wouldn't discuss it outside our office with anybody other than our staff under any circumstances, no matter what it is. I'm not discussing it here."

Jean's initial tweet said: "Sources say Ryan Kesler requested a trade some time ago & wants out of Vcr. Told #Canucks don't want to trade him but may not have a choice."

A subsequent tweet said Kesler made the trade request at the start of the season.

The NHL trade deadline is noon PST on March 5.

The Canucks didn't want to talk about Kesler's injury either Wednesday, but some of the Blues did.

Kesler was described only as "day to day" by coach John Tortorella before missing Wednesday night's game.

Tortorella would offer no other information, although pretty much the whole hockey world knows Kesler suffered a left hand injury while blocking a shot for the American team during the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Blues captain David Backes, a teammate of Kesler's in Sochi, said he was impressed that Kesler was able to finish the tournament.

"I watched him and all the rehab he was doing and he was a warrior to keep playing through the injury he had," Backes said before Wednesday night's game. "Hopefully he is healed up and back in the lineup sooner rather than later."

Backes said he was not surprised to learn that Kesler was out of the Vancouver lineup.

"He was battling to stay in the lineup with us over in the Olympics and I am not surprised he is not in," he said. "His (hand) was pretty swollen when you'd see him days after his injury, but he battled through it and things like 13-hour plane rides make things swell up. Hopefully, again, he is back in the lineup for them soon."

Forward T.J. Oshie and defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk, who also played for Team USA, both expressed surprise that Kesler was able to finish the Olympic tournament.

"It was amazing his hand wasn't broken," Shattenkirk said of the shot that Kesler blocked in a Feb. 15 game against Russia.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Kesler did not suffer some kind of fracture. The Canucks sent him for a MRI on Tuesday, but were not disclosing the results on Wednesday.

No one was saying so on Wednesday, but the Canucks likely are not happy that Kesler continued to play while hurt in Sochi.

Tortorella said the team must soldier on without Kesler, who leads the offensively-challenged Canucks with 20 goals this season.

"There is no sense in being frustrated," Tortorella said. "If Kes could play, he'd play. He's played really hard for us this year. It is what it is and we need to play the game. The most important thing is playing the game and with the bodies that we have we need to do the best we can do."

Kesler does a lot more than just score goals for the Canucks. He plays major power-play and penalty-kill minutes, takes many of the team's key faceoffs and often matches up against the opposition's top centre.

Kesler has averaged 22:12 of ice time this season, more than any other forward in the NHL.

"When you lose a guy like Ryan he impacts the game in so many different ways," said Vancouver winger Chris Higgins. "There's not one guy on this team that can replace him. It takes a team effort to elevate the game a little bit and someone has to step up and play a great game for us."

"He will be a loss for sure," added defenceman Dan Hamhuis. "I don't know how long he is out for, but he brings so much to the table with his goal-scoring, his work ethic, his defensive play. It will be a big hole for us but we've got a lot of guys who are coming back from injuries and we hope to be able to fill that spot."

Tortorella's description of Kesler's injury as day to day really does not mean much. That's the way Tortorella has initially described almost every injury the team has suffered this season.

Tortorella's description of Kesler's injury as day to day really does not mean much. That's the way Tortorella has initially described almost every injury the team has suffered this season.


Agent: Kesler has Not Asked for a Trade From Canucks

The agent for forward Ryan Kesler is denying that his client has requested that the Vancouver Canucks trade him.

Speaking to Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, agent Kurt Overhardt says that a report from TVA Sports saying that Kesler had asked for a trade is "a bunch of b.s.".

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Kesler, 29, is nursing a hand injury and did not dress on Thursday night for Vancouver's post-Olympic opener against the St. Louis Blues. Rumours in recent days have suggested that the Canucks have been listening to offers for Kesler and Alex Edler.

Kesler has two more years remaining on a six-year, $30 million contract. He will be paid $5 million in each of the next two seasons and his high cap hit is expected to potentially make him difficult to move before the March 5 deadline.



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In b4 lock

Unlike the other threads that were locked, this one features both Gillis and Kurt Overhardt's reaction, has links to Louis Jean's tweet, several articles, and discusses all sides of the story. It also consolidates all of the information pertaining to this story in one piece.

Therefore, I think this thread should remain open to allow this rumour to be discussed.

However, if the mods feel otherwise then that is their call.

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I love CDC's mentality



Did you read the thread?

Kesler' agent Kurt Overhardt is saying one thing (and he's been known to lie/exaggerate before).

Mike Gillis is saying another thing (and he's been known to lie before).

Meanwhile, Kesler ain't talking (and he's been known to say things that will get him in trouble before).

This is a rumour/story that warrants discussion.

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Kesler at 5 million is better value than the Sedins at 7. Not to mention his game translates much better to the playoffs.

We don't need to trade Kesler. We need to trade a D-man and get Kesler some help. That's all.





That center depth will get us back on top. Take Kesler out and we're a weak team.

Keep building around this core, bring up youth, and make some trades to fill in the holes. Depth is what this team is lacking.

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the trades people want to make are laughable... remember kesler has only ever broken the 26 goal mark in his career once... hes beating up and made of glass and has shown extremely difficulty finding chemistry with a ton of players... hes had USA's top 2 wingers on his wing for 12 olympic games which include cake walk games and he still only has 3 goals and 3 assists in those 12 games played ...... you people really think CBJ would trade a 21 year old johansen who is out performing kesler this year already and on pace for 33 goals for kesler??? and not even that johansen and a 1st for kesler? get your head out of the clouds. kesler didnt score passed 26 until he was 26 ...johansen is doing it at 21.... and guess what he does it with 17 minutes of ice time without star wingers....

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Did you read the thread?

Kesler' agent Kurt Overhardt is saying one thing (and he's been known to exaggerate before).

Mike Gillis is saying another thing (and he's been known to lie before).

Meanwhile, Kesler ain't talking (and he's been known to say things that will get him in trouble before).

Um, Gillis didn't say anything. He gave a lengthy version of 'no comment'.

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