STROMBABBLE: The French Bob McKenzie Speaks


The readers of this blog have spoken, and it’s clear that they miss the days of “STROMBABBLE”; in a vote for what we’ll file all updated Ryan Kesler trade talk under, Thomas Drance’s moniker for what we used the last time a star was rumoured to be on his way out of Vancouver narrowly edged out some other potential candidates. The people want what the people want, and in the interest of fairness and transparency, that’s what they’ll get.

More on the latest in terms of Kesler trade talk just past the jump.

It’s been a week or so since the paradigm – at least from the angle of what was being formally reported by people in the know – shifted towards Kesler’s sustained desire to move on from the only team NHL team he has ever suited up for. 

We still don’t exactly have much clarity on the specifics, but what we do know is that the man affectionately referred to as The French Bob McKenzie, Renaud Lavoie, went on the radio and didn’t mince his words on the matter. His track record with this sort of stuff is nothing short of sterling, so we’ll just have to take it at face value.

As we mentioned last time, it’s tough to gauge Kesler’s value on the trade market in a vacuum because of the other viable options down the middle which’ll be available this summer. One of them, Jason Spezza, had his trade request finally confirmed by the Senators yesterday. 

He shares the same natural position and status of being considered a big name, but that’s basically where the similarities between the two end. Spezza, still a force to be reckoned with on the power play, has had his 5v5 play noticeably slip of late. He needs to be sheltered, and even then, he’s not doing much to move the needle. 

While Kesler is losing something off of his fastball himself, he still strikes me as a far more intriguing option for a team like the Anaheim Ducks; a team that’s been routinely linked as a candidate, and one that has had question marks regarding their territorial play taint the regular season success they’ve enjoyed the past two seasons. The Cogliano-Koivu-Winnik line – which did the dirty work for them rather admirably in ’12-’13 – struggled to repeat their success this past year, and will surely be disbanded with two of the three becoming UFAs. 

There’s a natural opening there, which Kesler likely fits more aptly than Spezza on paper. This, to go along with Anaheim’s reported interest back at the trade deadline, and their healthy list of prospects to play with, are why they’re the team we keep circling back to as a prime landing spot. The price tag and comfort in trading partners may be a whole ‘nother story, though.

I’d imagine that the trade chatter will pick up tenfold immediately following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which could be any day now. The trade itself could follow suit shortly thereafter; in any event, it’ll surely unfold at an accelerated rate compared to the last time we dealt with “Strombabble” around these parts. Particularly if the Canucks legitimately have a desire to explore bettering their team by using a combination of assets to nab someone that rhymes with “Jam Kindheart” on June 27th.

  • RexLibris

    If Kes really wants out and is willing to open up his trade destinations…

    How about:

    2 years of Kesler


    1 year of Spezza
    2 mil retained salary cap
    Pick or Prospect

    Kesler leaving would create a big hole, but, some of it (the offensive side of it) could be filled by Spezza and then JB could keep the roster in a win-now mode and allow for the Sedins and others coming off a down year to prove it was an aberration. If the Canucks continue to struggle then Spezza can be let go as a rental at the trade deadline for more prospects/picks, and if the Canucks bounce back, he probably re-signs with us.

    Of course the defensive side of Kesler would still be missed and I don’t know if Gaunce or Horvat might be ready to try to learn on the job as a checking line center, but, such is the afterlife of losing all that Kesler brings to the table.

    • Any remember when stone cold would go on a what rant. That is what needs to be done with this post. What, what, what, what! What! What!! What!!! What!!! Lol.

      There is no need for us to follow the same path as the flames, and the leafs before them. Not to mention the fact that Kessler is worth more now than spezza at the trade deadline. Trade everyone, collect prospects and picks and let the rebuild begin.

      • Dimitri Filipovic

        You’re not reading it then.

        We’d be getting a pick/prospect immediately to offset the difference in value between the two at the trade deadline as well as the difference in the term remaining in the contract lengths. It would be up to Benning to figure out what the caliber of that prospect/pick should be.

        Not everyone in the Canucks community agrees that last year is the “new” Canucks and some believe it was more of an aberration and that the Canucks are capable of bouncing back. Easier done with Kesler, but, Spezza could fill in more capably then most if we want to give them all a “prove it” year with a new coach.

        As for those who wrote that he doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, this is the Sedin’s team and they will take the brunt of any criticisms/blame. Plus, being a contract year, Spezza might play his heart out and not necessarily disappoint.

        As for those who mentioned salary cap, I did say that 2mil of cap should be retained and thus there would be no difference cap-wise.

        And, for a by-the-way, this is what Canuck ownership and management wants as well (to remain competitive and rebuild on the fly). They are not in a “throw in the towel” mindset yet so your suggestion of trading everyone for picks and prospects is not even close to their desired path right now.

        Finally, their could be better trades that could be formulated, for instance, if we could get a package from Philly in a trade including Couturier that could fill a lot more needs by getting younger with a center with a lot of promise and upside, but I was just throwing out the idea of Spezza because if Ottawa wants to retain a player who can keep them competitive in the trade, and if Kesler were willing to waive to go there, they might give up a good enough prospect to make it worth our while.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    If I was a GM of a contending team, I would much rather have Kesler as a 2nd or 3rd line C to do al the dirty work, freeing up my star offensive players (eg. Sid/Malkin, Getzlaf) to focus more on the offense. And Kesler can also play wing alongside the big boys to create a super line when a big shift is needed. Spezza does not offer the defensive prowess or the high level ability to play the wing.

    Imagine an Anaheim PP with Perry/Getzlaf buzzing around, with Kesler causing his usual havoc in front of the net…why would the Ducks not want this?

    • Mantastic

      you clearly don’t watch much ducks hockey because no one is better at causing havoc in front of the net than Perry.

      and since when was Kesler known for having high level ability to play the wing? he was only OK with the Sedins.

  • Mantastic

    No chance Canucks go for Spezza. Big cap hit and older player. Canucks are rebuilding. No thanks to Spez. I’d prefer Kesler over him especially when you consider Kesler’s contract.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Where is this “Canucks are interested in Spezza*” talk even coming from? It’s widely believed that Spezza wasn’t a fan of the scrutiny he was under from the media in Ottawa. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Canucks were one of the 10 teams on his No Move list.

    • Where is it coming from?! I don’t know, it’s been a decade since they drafted him and a couple of years since his most recent re-signing! Jim Benning probably hates him from his Boston days.
      It’s widely believed that he doesn’t enjoy the scrutiny here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks were one of the 10 teams he wants nothing to do with, and can enforce with his NTC.

  • Trade kesler to the ducks for their two first rounders and palmieri. Then flip the 3 firsts for 1st overall. Buyout booth or trade palmieri Next years lineup as follows


    • Andy

      People will call this idea crazy, or that “no way Anaheim, and then Florida, does that.”

      But you know what? It’s a logical move for all three teams.

      Anaheim does need a second line centre that can shut down the other team’s top line. That’s clear and has been discussed many times on THIS site. What are they going to do with two draft picks in a weaker draft that will take time to develop? Plus is Kyle Palmieri really that valuable to Anaheim with their winger situation so solid? I think they easily move on from him in exchange for Kes.

      Then, in possession of #6, #10 and #24 how does Florida say no to that? If they don’t think there is a franchise defenceman (and opinion seems to be split on this, to be fair) why not build up your depth, because the last thing your team is really looking for is a top centre. A Virtanen plus two other young bucks might make more sense for the Panthers.

      Of course, Florida might not value draft picks the way Vancouver does these days. Maybe there is room to maneuver. But the point is: your proposal isn’t crazy. And makes sense from all three team’s point of view.

      • Andy


        I mean, I’d love to offer #6, #10 & #36, but at that point, it’s a tiny difference.

        A fansite proposed #6, #66, Tanev & Jensen for #1 & #143.

        I think any of these 3 options are viable and should be strongly considered.

        Guess the only question is if Anaheim would really offer up TWO first rounders & Palmieri. I’ve got a bad feeling they’d try and play hardball and only part with #24.

        • Andy

          “Guess the only question is if Anaheim would really offer up TWO first rounders & Palmieri. I’ve got a bad feeling they’d try and play hardball and only part with #24.”

          As they should.

          There is no urgency in Anaheim to help out delusional Canuck fans…

          • Andy

            That said, do you feel that Kesler is worth #10 & a winger like Palmieri?

            (It’s worth noting that I feel that GMJB’s priority list should look like this)

            1: Get good return in a Kesler trade.
            2: Try and move/adjust middling assets (i.e: Garrison/Hansen)
            3. Investigate a way to move up the draft to get Reinhart.

            Of those three,
            1 is time-sensitive AND urgent.
            2 is urgent, but not time sensitive.
            3 is neither, but it’d be awesome if we could pull it off.

          • Andy

            Realistically, I think the Canucks could get #24, Palmieri (or another middle of the roster NHL forward) and a good-but-not-great prospect.

            When it comes down to a true centrepiece (#10, Couturier, Schenn, Johannsen etc), I just don’t see the benefit from the other team’s POV.

            Priority #1 is probably getting the best return possible in a Kesler trade.

            Whether or not the return is “good” will be up for debate…

          • Andy

            It’s not ideal for us, but trades can’t always be onesided.

            You’re right that it doesn’t make sense to those other teams – why give up such young, talented (& partly proven) players for an older version?

            Even a team in their prime (LAK, CHI) are utilizing and keeping their young promising centers (Shaw, Teravinen, Toffoli), so teams on the bubble will be hard pressed to give up their hard development work.

            If anything, I’m okay with stockpiling more picks to either move up (Reinhart/Horvat for 1c/2c anyone?) or draft & develop players better under GMJB.

            “Whether or not the return is “good” will be up for debate…”

            The value of a trade is always tough when comparing then/now vs later – one side always has hindsight.

  • Mantastic

    where do people get Kesler’s value from?!

    during the trade deadline, the BEST offer they got was just Sutter! and now people are throwing around Johanson+, Couturier+, sutter+matta+pouliout, 2 1st rds (1 of them is top 10) + great prospect, Stepan+, etc. why would anyone do that trade? Johanson, Couturier and Stephan are all young legit top 6 centers!

    Kesler is 30, broken down and has a NTC, tell me how that is valuable? at best his future is a middle 6 C or top 6 winger

    and i don’t get how canuck fans don’t know how to spell kesler!! it’s keSler not keSSler.

    • Andy

      Which is why I don’t think Kesler gets traded, no matter how much he’d like to be traded.

      He’s more valuable for two years at his current cap hit than what the Canucks will get back for him.

      I think the whole Kesler talk is just a bunch of Canucks fans showing off their awesome skills in NHL whatever-is-out-now-video-game skills. The NTC really kills any chance of a decent return. Kesler is shooting himself in the foot by asking for so few teams.

      Players need to understand that when they give a list of only a few teams that if it’s more valuable to their current team to keep them, they’re probably not going to get traded. You’d think Kesler would have learned from watching Luongo. The exact same thing happened to him. Luckily for Kesler, he only has a couple years to play out.

      • Mantastic

        He’s not valuable to Vancouver if he grows sour from not moving on, plays poorly and then (inevitable) gets injured in December. That is likely. Time to move him for the BEST possible return.

      • Andy

        While I tend to agree with you on the trade proposals made by delusional Canuck fans (nothing new about that), what is the endgame of keeping Kesler?

        To battle for a wildcard spot for the next 1.5 years and trade Kesler at the 2016 trade deadline for a middling asset or two?

        The Canucks position on the win curve matters here.

        Even though I suspect the Canucks will battle for a playoff spot, it’s not hard to envision a scenario where another team or two in the conference with better young talent takes a step forward like Anaheim and Colorado did this past season.

        The journey back up the top of the mountain may very well be even more daunting…

        And Luongo DID get his trade. Eventually.

        Did it serve the Canucks well by delaying the inevitable?

        Hopefully this new management team learns from the old one.

        Accept that Kesler is, in all likelihood, as valuable as he is ever going to be and trade him for the best package available before his asset value continues to diminish on a non-contender…

  • Mantastic

    Chatter is it’s Philly, Rangers, Pens, Anaheim, Bolts and Wings. Which of those teams would step up for Kesler? Pens and Ducks. Kesler is hamstringing the Canucks by not broadening that list.

  • Mantastic


    At the trade deadline, the reports of both Anaheim’s and Pittsburgh’s offers were much higher than just Sutter. I can’t remember what Anaheim’s final offer was (it was reported recently somewhere), but Pittsburgh was offering a 1st rounder, young prospect (like Pouliot, but not Pouliot, IIRC), and Sutter. Anaheim’s was even a bit stronger, depending on how you see the players. The report was that Bob Murray was shocked that Gillis didn’t go for it.

    I’m not sure that the Canucks will get that much now, since now it’s only 2 seasons instead of 2 seasons plus 1 extra playoffs. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s two pieces.

  • Andy

    Not sure why folks are so lathery over the number 1 pick in a watered-down draft.

    Look at this list:

    There are too many B grade players on the list to pay what some are suggesting for this year’s number 1.

    If the Canucks can pry the ducks’ two first rounders and a decent young player away in a kesler deal, keep them.

    Especially if you have confidence in Benning.

    • Mantastic

      I agree, IF you are able to get the 2 1st from Anaheim, you have to keep them. the canuck prospect line is just so terribad. If I was Florida i would trade the 1st overall easily for 3 1sts.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Pittsburgh’s package was what it was at the deadline because 1) Shero thought he had us over a barrel and 2) Shero saw having Kesler as a luxury. At the time Pittsburgh getting pounded by the Rangers seemed pretty far fetched, he didn’t think he really needed Kesler he just wanted him.

    I think the playoffs have shown teams like Anaheim and Pittsburgh that if they want to compete with the LA’s and Bostons of the league they need a guy like Kesler. I think we’ll get better offers for him this summer than we did at the deadline.

    I fully understand the “why would Anaheim give us their great prospects just to help us out?” argument but as much as they have great prospect depth, they’re in win now mode for sure. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are 29, they’re only going to start producing less as we go along.

    Having said that, I don’t think Kes goes to Anaheim. You just don’t see guys like him getting traded within the division, Benning’s an old-school hockey guy I just don’t see him going for it.

  • Dimitri Filipovic


    I had not posted here much before, if ever? But, to come on here with a completely reasonable statement which was by no means meant as a “Canucks must do this” proposal, but only a “well maybe this could help both teams, what do you think?”, kind of thing. Then I get such a high trash count and to me that speaks volumes about the negativity of the Canucks community that comes to these parts.

    A GM’s job is to explore all avenues and to do what’s best for the team. So, if you all want to play armchair GM then you need to learn to be more open minded, at the least?

    To the authors of the articles, I still enjoy reading here, but, you might want to do something to add some sunshine to the comments section lest you just reinforce the notion of the Canucks as being frown-nation.

    Cheers! 😉

    For reference, I find the posters to be much more positive/open-minded/thought provoking at PassItToBulis and NucksMisconduct, so, it’s not impossible!

    • Andy

      It was a idiotic proposal, you post that on any Canuck forum and it will get down voted.

      It made no sense for the Canucks or the sens. From the Canucks pov we don’t need a soft centre that has only won a Spengler cup during his career. If we didn’t have hank there might be a need, but it would not be that great. The Youth movement is coming, I would like to think that we could be the next Montreal canadiens, but I don’t think lack can produce like Carey price did. If we still had Schneider I would be all over the re tool. But we don’t.

      Go team rebuild

      • Dimitri Filipovic


        No problem. I’ll still come to read, just probably not to post. Even in Chris’ latest response to me he’s acting like I was proposing a straight up 1 for 1 swap, which I never was.

        I was hoping people would give more educated/intelligent responses. For instance, maybe someone could have said: Ottawa has financial problems so I think we’d have to swallow the cap difference but take another pick/prospect instead.

        Or maybe list some picks that could go along with our youth movement to make it worth our while.

        Or say: That’s completely impossible because Kes will only wave to go to a team who might contend and with the way Ottawa pinches the purse strings he won’t go there, period.

        I mean, I know the proposal was out there, but it was still workable from a Canucks perspective if Kes would waive just to get out as it would have provided a stop-gap to keep the second line offensively capable while still bringing some new youth into the re-set.

        The response I got however, was less then inspiring. And the one counter proposal, trade everyone for prospects and picks, was less likely of happening then the remotely likely trade that I threw out there in the first place.

        If you want to say “rebuild” Chris, let Benning and Linden say it first. You are jumping the gun in your mindset and not talking in the now. Even if they do ever say it, keep it in the same context. Other teams have rebounded without hitting rock bottom like with the Edmonton and Calgary rebuilds.

        I was more then a bit disappointed in the response but I will still come to read. I’ll just think twice before posting again.

        btw Dimitri. If the site is full of negative Nancy’s on the forums here, maybe you should get rid of the trash it/props thumbs so that people will read comments with fresh eyes and give leveled responses? My 0.02

        • Dimitri Filipovic

          If you want to trade kes for spezza a lesser younger player and cap retention let benning or linden say it first. Linden has already stated that the Canucks need to get younger. In my last post regarding your shenanigans I mentioned that I would like to think the Canucks could pull off what Montreal did a few years ago when they had a bad season got a high draft pick and came back the next season and went all the way to eastern conference final. The one striking difference is the net. Lack is not price.

          Ask yourself one last thing Eric, do the Canucks stand a chance against l.a., Anaheim, Chicago in the playoffs over the next 2-3 years? I don’t think so. They might as we’ll rebuild and come back younger and stronger a season or two down the road.

          Watch the video, leave the authors alone. you posted your thoughts on the internet and some people thought it was dumb. Get over it.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    If Schneider, an outstanding goalie coming into his prime was worth a #9 pick how on earth is Kesler — a strong two-way center with an injury history and aging quickly — worth the king’s ransom so many of you are suggesting? Yes, the deal from Pittsburgh was more than “Sutter only” but not a whole not more. I still have no idea what possesses some of you to think that a guy on his way out with control over who we can deal with will somehow net us 2 first rounders or a high end prospect and a top ten pick. If Anaheim is really that desperate for a solid two-way or a shutdown center, they should throw all those assets at Colorado for O’Reilly or some other younger player than Kesler. Just because we want to get the world for him doesn’t mean some other team suddenly becomes insane (or has secretly hired Gillis who makes the call immediately).

    If we get just the #10 for Kesler or 2 prospects back I’d be overjoyed. And the Spezza idea makes absolutely no sense to me.