The RKives: the list of trade destinations is down to what?

“What’s a good area to buy real estate in, you figure?”

Knowing full well that circulating rumours regarding Ryan Kesler’s future would be something that dominated the discussion on this platform until the situation was finally resolved, we set up a poll for our readers to vote on what they’d like all related content to be filed under. 

Showing a good sense of humour, “Strombabble” was the early runaway leader, so we rolled with it. Then “Ryannuendo” leapfrogged it, so we adjusted. Well, now a third option – “The RKives” – have taken a stranglehold of the vote, and we’re reaching the point where this is getting silly.

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Which is the picture perfect segue to the latest in Ryan Kesler trade rumours, which have been fluid to say the least. By the time the day transitions tonight this particular line of thinking could become outdated, but for now, there’s a working assumption that Kesler’s list of teams he’d accept a trade to has been whittled all the way down to just two. Oy vey.

This is all of course stemming from a report by Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, in which he super casually dropped the following bombshell:

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“In the case of Kesler, he requested a trade last fall and only wants to go to either the Chicago Blackhawks or Pittsburgh Penguins.”

As for how much stock you should actually be putting into that — you’ll have to judge for yourself. A skeptic would point to the fact that Garrioch recently brought up a rather unbelievable (and unrelated) rumour in one of his columns, potentially working as something of a mouthpiece here.

With that being said, Elliotte Friedman’s ’30 Thoughts’ from yesterday backed the aforementioned report up to an extent, only adding that he believes Anaheim is also part of the list. Now Darren Dreger has chimed in as well, combining Garrioch’s and Friedman’s sentiments into one. Feel caught up? Good. That’ll last you 24 hours, here, if you’re lucky.

Despite how much it would surely sting many a Canucks fan to see Kesler hoist a Stanley Cup while donning a Blackhawks jersey, there’s no doubt that there’s a fit both in terms of need (Michal Handzus was somehow their 2C for large chunks of last year, and in a perfect world Andrew Shaw is more of a #3) and what they could provide in return (there’s no high draft pick there, but Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen are both electric young talents). Though as far as I know, they seem reluctant to part with either of those pieces.

As for the Ducks, they are supposedly weary of including that coveted 10th overall pick in a package for Kesler, which would likely be a potential deal-breaker. If that’s actually the hold-up, then the idea that the Canucks are really asking for a “king’s ransom” seems somewhat laughable. 

That’s the landscape for now, though of course it goes without saying that a lot will change between now and the time the 1st round of the draft has been completed on Friday night. He has every right to control where he ultimately winds up playing next year, but that sound you’re hearing is Canucks fans gritting their teeth as every last shred of favour Kesler had won over during his 10 years here evaporates. Becoming a member of the Blackhawks would be a pretty fitting way to complete the heel turn, now that you think of it.

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    If the reports are true and Kesler has truly tied the Canucks hands to this extent, all I can say is: eff that guy. He requested this trade (allegedly) and he’s screwing over the team on the way out? If there’s only a couple teams on his list how can the Canucks possibly get close to fair value for him?

    That being said, if any of this turns out to be untrue (didn’t request trade, didn’t provide tiny list) than I take this back. But the optics are pretty bad at the moment.

  • Mantastic

    Ignore Garrioch. He’s pumping Spezza’s tires, because Ottawa wants their #10 back, with interest. Any time Dreger isn’t shilling for the cousin, he’s pretty reliable; and when he, Elliotte, and capo del dutti capi Bob McKenzie all say Anaheim is on the list, then they’re on the list.

    My guess is a deal w/ ANA includes a player, a pick, and a prospect. (Going way out on a limb there.) The pick will be defined by the prospect. If it’s a Rackel, then the lower pick; if a lesser prospect, then the #10. I’m still hoping for Perreault-Vatanen-#10, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable ask; but we’ll see what happens in the real world.

      • Mantastic

        Whether that’s unreasonable or not is debateable, but if it is unreasonable as you suggest, there’s no way Kesler should be moved. He’s much more valuable to the Canucks than less than a prospect and a 10th overall pick.

        • Mantastic

          I still think we are overvaluing Kesler. I would trade him for the #10 and a prospect in a heartbeat. What exactly are we keeping him for if we do keep him this year? Are we seriously thinking we are going to be back to being elite this quickly? I think it makes much more sense to get the maximum value for Kesler when we can — it’s a win-win for both player and the team potentially. Another hard year on Kesler’s body and we still don’t know that he’s going to maintain his offensive capabilities (he’ll probably be an elite defensive center for a few years yet). There’s no way we get more than this for him next year. If we are in rebuild (and I think regardless of the comments from the new brain trust we’d be idiots not to be) then take the gift of a player with an NTC wanting out and get what you can out of it.

          • Mantastic

            I guess that depends on your evaluation of the Canucks. I think the core still has a few years left in them. When I look at the roster, I don’t see a bad team. I see some holes, particularly on forward, but I don’t think it’s a bad team. Add to that that you don’t know what the Canucks will do this off season, and how much better (because I think we can all agree that compared to Tortorella’s Canucks, Willie’s Canucks will likely be better) the Canucks will play under Willie, at the very least I would advocate holding onto Kesler until the trade deadline.

            I do see your point though, I just disagree with yo

          • Mantastic

            I don’t mean to be overly pessimistic about the Canucks — I think they will return to competitiveness and I am hopeful that the majority of the core will have bounce back seasons after such an abysmal set of confluences last year. But while I can see the logic of transitioning from this core to the next with the Sedins on board, it’s hard for me to see how Kesler’s value will continue to grow. If the rumors floating out there about the offers are true (and I always think the things that are rumored are highly suspect) then I’m already surprised at what’s on offer. Did the Blackhawks really offer Teravainen and Shaw for Kesler? And the Canucks countered with Teravainen and Saad? I’d take Teravainen straight up for Kesler or him and a pick.

            I also think if we were to apply the logic that it’s not worth gutting your system (#6 plus Horvat/Shinkaruk and Tanev) for one player that’s not a franchise lock to this situation, it makes very little sense for Anaheim, Chicago, Pittsburgh or whoever to gut their own systems for Kesler who is good but not great (at least I wouldn’t say anymore).

          • acg5151

            Yeah, I don’t think it makes sense for them to gut their teams either, which is why I tend to think a move won’t happen. The only reason I think it could happen is if someone made a stupid move, and I would prefer that person were the GM of another team, and not Benning.

            I’m pretty sure Aquillini wants to make the playoffs, regardless. He is not thinking long term, he wants the playoff revenue. Kesler is definitely better for that than a prospect and a pick.

          • Mantastic

            Kesler isn’t going to bring any value to the canucks if he sticks around next year. where as trading him for anything at this moment will help speed up the rebuild. he is a rapidly decaying asset, the pipeline is very dry and trading kesler now, will help.

          • Mantastic

            I’m not sure why delusional Canuck fans are expecting an old core to get (significantly) better.

            For how many years have ownership, management and the fans been making the same foolish bet?

            As usual, you are correct.

            The Canucks are not going to get a blue chip asset (#10, Pouliot or Tervainen) in return and keeping a diminishing asset in Kesler reeks of going down the Flames path of hanging on too long to past glory.

            Trading Kesler for the best package available, even though the package will be underwhelming, is about as good as this situation is going to get…

          • Mantastic

            I really don’t get the king’s ransom mentality. Here’s a guy who wants to go and play on a contender (a team with a real shot to win not just be competitive), who’s willing to waive his NTC (but apparently we should hate him because he doesn’t want to take a trade to Florida or Buffalo or some other crappy destination), and who is clearly on the decline. In order to make this work we must therefore hold out for multiple high calibre assets?

            I would honestly be overjoyed at getting any of the big name prospects whose names are being bandied about, let alone the #10. Again, I love Kesler. But I love the idea of actually investing in the rebuild more. What better way to retool on the fly (if that’s even an option) than flipping a declining player for a promising prospect.

            If I was Chicago or Anaheim there’s no way I’m trading Teravainen or Etem for Kesler straight up.

          • Mantastic

            Agreed I have no issue with Kesler.

            Many of these Canucks took less money for the ability to choose where they live and work.

            If Chicago or Anaheim was straight up offering #10 or Tervainen I’d take it.

            Of course, they don’t care about speeding up our rebuild…

  • acg5151

    Didn’t Anaheim offer both picks at the deadline. Now everyone’s saying kes won’t bring back the picks. This is after the ducks (hopefully) realized they’re missing the piece that’ll put them over the top. So wouldn’t this increase keslers value to them?

  • acg5151

    If Kes’ list is only three teams, allegedly, suggests that maybe he doesn’t really want out. “I’d like to stay here, but if I had to be dealt, here is where I want to go.”

    The thought of Kes in anybody’s gear other than Canucks makes me very sad.

  • Mantastic

    Bob McKenzie noted the frontrunners are ANA and CHI. I wish someone asked Bob if the list was still 6 teams. I would imagine it’s still 6 teams otherwise Kes is really hurting his chances of getting out of town.

  • Mantastic

    Ryan Kesler was so bad last year especially in the 2nd half of the season.

    What Center has 2 or 3 assists in 2014 ?

    His old style is a hard way to play for a 30 yr old he is always injured.

    If you can get him back to his old ways and he does not get injured he maybe good for 2yrs. I think he is a better fit for Chicago if he can stay healthy they could win the cup next yr.

  • islander

    Gillis is gone but they will suffer from his foolishness for years to come. Why do I get the feeling this Kesler saga is going to go on and on for another year? If Chicago even offers Shaw and their first pick, take it and move on.

  • islander

    My reading of the tea leaves is that there is going to be a howling horde of disappointed Canucks fans by draft end.

    Quite positive at this point there will be no Kesler trade that adds an additional first round pick. I think we’re in for a bit of a process to get a decent deal done.

    I am quite positive we won’t move up to select either of the two Sams. Florida seems set on nothing short of a King’s Ransom and I don’t see Edmonton dealing with us.

    I also have a bad feeling we will pass on both Nylander and Ehlers at number six and reach for Virtanen although I would LOVE for Linden and Benning to prove me wrong.

    That’s my dreary prediction for tomorrow so hopefully any surprises will be positive ones.