Offseason Transactions Deep Dive: The Ryan Kesler Trade

If it feels like it has been quite some time since the frenzy of moves the Vancouver Canucks made in that hectic stretch bridging the end of June and beginning of July, it’s because it has been. With the summer now officially having been put in the rearview mirror as training camps are set to begin across the league, we’re running a 5-part series reviewing what the Canucks did this summer, and what it means for them moving forward. 

This deep dive was executed by the excellent MoneyPuck_ on Twitter, who has contributed content for us in the past.

The new regime went into the offseason with a seemingly unrealistic set of objectives: get younger and improve the prospect pool, but having to do so while still keeping a close eye on improving depth at forward and getting back to being a playoff team. While it remains to be seen whether their efforts will have ultimately been fruitful in this regard, the Ryan Kesler trade was the biggest move towards addressing these areas of concern. 

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Ryan Kesler

Ryan Kesler was most certainly the centerpiece of the trade, but it bears repeating that he’s no longer the 73 point Selke winner he was in 2010-11 (and quite frankly hasn’t been in some time). A look at where Ryan Kesler ranks versus other centers in a number of key categories over the past three seasons highlights this:

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Despite receiving ice time consistent with that of a first-line center – and generating first-line shot totals in that time – his production has been more along the likes of what you’d expect from a second or third line center since 2012. Furthermore, he has greatly benefited from having the luxury of playing next to the Sedins, who remain amongst the league’s elite possession players, in recent years. Without them, it’d be fair to say he takes something of a tumble:

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While many fans may think the 43-point season Kesler is coming off of was an anomaly, but when looking at his statistics there doesn’t exactly appear to be any smoking gun which would indicate he’ll rebound significantly in Anaheim:

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There was a time where Kesler was one of the league’s top centers, but based on his recent play, the name recognition that bought him appears to be exceeding the value he actually presents to the team he’s playing for.
When considering what the Canucks received in return for Kesler, it’s important to keep his decline in mind, as well as the lack of leverage the Canuck’s had in negotiations because of the limited number of trade partners that Kesler would consider waiving his no-trade clause to move to.

Nick Bonino

Nick Bonino had his breakout season at the age of 26 last year. He’ll likely replace Kesler as the Canucks second line center next season, so it’s worth taking a look at how the two players stack up to each other in some key areas:

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While there’s no doubt that Bonino benefited greatly from white-hot shooting percentages in ’13-’14, he also outscored Kesler both at even strength and on the power play despite receiving significantly less minutes in each situation. They had comparable roles on the power plays for their respective teams, as Bonino was the Duck’s third forward behind Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, while Ryan Kesler earned the most ice time on the first power play unit with the Sedins.

Like the Canucks, the Ducks power play likewise significantly underperformed last year – the Ducks ranked 22nd, while Canucks ranked 26th – so the time Bonino spent with Perry and Getzlaf on the power play isn’t as big an advantage as you may think over Kesler’s time on the Vancouver power play with the twins. 

It’s also worth noting that Bruce Boudreau chose to give Bonino significantly more power play time than the team’s (seemingly) higher pedigree prospects like Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakob Silfverberg, Emerson Etem and Rikard Rakell, all of whom Canucks fans surely wanted to see included as part of this trade.
Let’s look at the impact each player had on their teammates:

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As was discussed above, Kesler proved this year that when not playing with the Sedin’s he’s closer to an average possession player than anything else. Part of this could be have to do with the players he was playing with in those situations – he was most commonly paired with Chris Higgins or Mike Santorelli, who aren’t exactly world beaters – but that said a 50% CF is really not what you would expect from a top of the line center, which is what he has been billed as.

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Unlike Kesler, Bonino played with a ton of different players last year, most commonly Kyle Palmieri and Matt Beleskey. Palmieri and Beleskey were absolute anchors for Bonino from a possession standpoint, as his WOWYs show; he went from a 46% possession rate with them to a 50+% rate without. Bonino’s possession numbers when apart from Palmieri and Belesky were actually better than Kesler’s possession rates when he was without the Sedins, for whatever that’s worth.

One more interesting piece to note: Kesler played 3.2x more minutes with Daniel Sedin or Henrik Sedin last season than Bonino played with Perry or Getzlaf.
When considering the likely regression in Bonino’s on-ice shooting percentages and potentially reduced power play time in Vancouver once relegated to the second power play unit here, it’s probably unlikely he’ll exceed the 49 points he scored last year. That said, it’s unlikely that Kesler will either.

Luca Sbisa

In the best case scenario at 24, there’s still the potential for him to develop into the top-four defensemen that he was expected to become when he was drafted 19th overall. In the worst case scenario, he’s a bottom pair, or 7th defensemen who will challenge Ryan Stanton and Frank Corrado for ice time. If the worst case scenario plays out, he’ll definitely be overpaid at his $2.175M salary. However, he’ll also be an RFA next summer, so it’s not overly concerning if he doesn’t crack the top 4 this year.

There were those who criticized the inclusion of Sbisa in the trade on the grounds that the Canucks could pick up a defensemen of similar level of talent via free agency for a comparable cost, but here’s a list of the UFA defensemen signed this summer in the $1 million to $3 million AAV contracts, as compared to Sbisa:

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Sbisa held his own statistically versus this group, and at the age of 24 still has significantly more upside.
This is a low risk, potentially high reward addition, but the real value here was in the added defensive depth that allowed Benning to move Jason Garrison in a move that eventually resulted in the Canucks being able to add Linden Vey from the Kings and open up significant cap space (which we’ll get to later on in this series).

24th Overall Pick (Jared McCann)

I’ll discuss Jared McCann in depth when in my review of the draft, but it’s safe to say this is a pick that has grown on me a lot since the draft. McCann wasn’t the player I wanted the Canucks to pick, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t a good, solid, safe bet with a low risk of becoming a bust. 

85th Overall Pick (Traded for Derek Dorsett)

One of the biggest surprises before the draft was that the salary cap would be $2M lower than expected as a result of the decline of the Canadian dollar over the past year. The New York Rangers were one of a number of teams that were forced to dish off useful players in order to sign their key players and remain under the cap, and the Canucks were more than willing to help by taking Derek Dorsett off their hands. 

According to research done by Scott Cullen from TSN, historically 85th overall draft picks generally have only a 21% chance of playing 100 games in the NHL, so with that in mind it makes a lot of sense that the Canucks were willing to flip the pick for someone like Derek Dorsett.

Dorsett is one of those players that the old school guys love. He’s hard to play against, has guts, and he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty. Stats guys typically aren’t fans of these types of players, but as we learn to interpret data better, the value in Dorsett shows in the numbers as well.

One of the most interesting parts about watching Alain Vigneault coach in the playoffs this year was watching his deployment of the Dorsett – Dominic Moore – Brian Boyle line, because this paralleled so closely the way he used the Raffi Torres – Jannick Hansen – Maxim Lapierre line during the Canucks 2010-2011 playoff run. The table below shows the players from those two playoffs with the lowest percentage of offensive zone starts in the 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 playoffs:

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Like the Lapierre line in 2010-2011, the Dorsett line was relied on shouldering the defensive zone start burden for its team. These lines typically get outshot more than the rest of the team because of the higher number of starts they take in the defensive zone (CF%Rel), but you can see in the case of Dorsett that he actually had a positive impact on possession as compared to his teammates despite the tougher zone starts (CF%Rel 0.7%).

Dorsett is known as a guy that takes a lot of penalties, but he’s also got a knack for drawing them from the opposition as well. This postseason he tied Dustin Brown for most penalties drawn, while staying in the top ten in penalty differential (penalties drawn less taken).

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With the value of power plays as high as it is in the playoffs, having a player like Dorsett who antagonizes the other team into taking bad penalties is a pretty valuable asset from a 4th liner.
Overall, he figures to be a solid addition to the Canucks bottom six, and the type of player that has proved to serve a useful role in the playoffs (should they make it back there).

Conclusion

The Canucks were painted into a corner with the Kesler situation. Despite Kesler’s deteriorating play, he was still a fan favourite, meaning that they’d be hardpressed to come out looking good in whatever trade they made involving him, regardless. Only further complicating the matter was the sparse list of teams he’d accept a trade to. 

Yet somehow, in his first big move in charge, Jim Benning managed to get a younger center who will slot directly into the lineup, a young third pairing defensemen that still theoretically retains some upside, a quality prospect at center, and a gritty bottom six utility winger in return. 

While I realize, I’m in the minority on this one, I think this trade was a decisive win for the new administration all things considered.

  • Danny Lawson

    In agreement – I still like the trade a lot. The `is he a better person than Kesler’ quote from a prior article still sticks in my craw. Who knows if Kes is a knob or not. If he was/is, the Canucks did even better on the deal.

    • Orpo

      The CF% increases weren’t as pronounced as the improvement Bonino saw without Palmieri and Belesky, but yeah that did happen.

      Boudreau really switched things up a fair amount, so somewhat hard to interpret how all the moving pieces interact.

  • andyg

    I think the question with Kesler is how much injuries were a factor: do they mean he’s absolutely in decline, and won’t ever recover? Or, does he still have a season or two left where he can be a dominant second line centre. The Ducks are gambling it’s the latter.

    But, when you look at the trade like MoneyPuck_ has, yeah, the jury’s still out.

  • Orpo

    Great article! It is hard to say who wins and loses in trades like this, and in this case it seems likely that both teams came out ahead of where they were. Can Kesler help Anaheim extend their post-season and can Vancouver use the pieces to gracefully refresh? Obviously these questions will be answered as the next few seasons unfold but it seems likely that things will pan out this way…

  • asdf

    While I agree with most of your analysis, I’m not sure it provides sufficient basis to call it a “decisive win” for Benning. My conclusion still has not changed since this trade went down – given the situation they were cornered into, it was not a bad deal.

    • argoleas

      Yeah, I guess for me its comes down to what the expectations were for the deal. Given Kesler’s play is declining and it sounded like a pretty toxic, one-team auction, my expectations for what Benning could get in return were a lot lower than most people. Benning actually got more than I thought he would, which is why I think its a win, but maybe I worded it a bit more boldly than I needed to.

  • argoleas

    I’m in the apparent minority that believes this trade is a win for both teams, and Kesler will be a key ingredient in the Ducks’ playoff run, whereas Canucks got good retool pieces plus potentially very good upside with the draft of McCann. Although I don’t see that Kesler’s intangibles have been replaced by any single player, I do see the potential for it being done by committee.

  • argoleas

    One can infer that Benning took the best deal he could considering Kesler’s age, durability and NTC.

    But one can also infer that Kesler’s value was higher at the 2014 trade deadline when teams would have had Kesler for three playoff runs instead of two…

      • argoleas

        Maybe he would have surprised me…

        And to think just one year ago, a Kesler comparable (Erikkson) was used as the centrepiece to acquire avfranchise-resetting piece in Seguin.

        Oh well.

        There may be another such piece available if Kurt Overhardt has his way…

        • asdf

          Perhaps he would have pulled off a surprise but most of his track record showed an ability to get decent value for the low end deals (picks for Higgins or Lapierre) versus centerpiece deals (Ballard, Booth).

          I find it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to make a blunder as colossal as Seguin in the near future. Well, given Boston’s past experience with Thornton I’m sure they’ll do it again in a few years. But who am I to criticize them, what with the Cup out of all those debacles?

    • argoleas

      According to rumors (take it for what it’s worth), the best offer at the trade deadline was the following

      From Pittsburgh:
      1) Brandon Sutter
      2) a prospect (Simon Despres or Brian Drumouin but not Derrek Pouliot)
      3) a first rounder (22nd overall, versus Ducks’ 24th)

      I don’t see how that is much better than what we eventually got

      • argoleas

        I can’t imagine Anaheim wouldn’t, at minimum, have offered the exact same package they eventually gave up at the 2014 deadline…

        All else being equal, asset value diminishes as a player gets closer to free agency.

        Just consider what NYI received for Vanek…

        • asdf

          Anaheim lost to the Kings in 7 games. Anaheim are probably thinking they could have beaten the Kings if they had Kesler, and ended up being the Stanley Cup champs.

          The result is a willingness to give up more for Kesler, knowing how close they are to being cup champs

          • asdf

            That’s a convenient theory.

            But one would hope that the management team of a multimillion dollar sports franchise wouldn’t

            A) pay more for impacting 2 playoff runs as opposed to 3

            B) offer significantly more based on a 7 game sample

            We’re dealing with NHL GMs so who the hell knows.

            But, logically, a team should prefer to have a player whom they deem impactful for an extra playoff run…

          • FlamesRule

            your theory is correct if we were in a vaccuum with no new information.

            of course kesler is worth more if he were available for 3 playoffs. but Ana’s view of their team changed after the playoffs

            Before the playoffs, Ana thought they were good enough, and hence, didnt want to give up much

            After the playoffs, found out they weren’t good enough, but “very close”.

            They won’t be “very close” forever, so that increases the urgency to acquire someone like Kesler

            The thing that changed, that makes them want to pay more, is the fact that they weren’t good enough, versus their view that they were prior to the playoff.

    • asdf

      Agreed, except I think salary cap was an issue for some teams at the deadline.

      Also, unbeknownst to everyone at this point was how Kesler would go on to say “just kidding I only want to be traded to two teams, no wait one team” at the draft.

    • asdf

      Infer what you will; all we know of what was offered for Kesler at the 2014 deadline is Brandon Sutter, Despres/Dumoulin, and the #22 pick.

      Depres and Dumoulin each project to have a ceiling of second pairing, which matches up pretty well with what the Canucks got in Sbisa. I’m not sure there’s a significant difference between #22 and #24, but your mileage may vary. While I believe that Bonino still has undeveloped upside, other scouting reports basically put him & Sutter at a similar scale, with Bonino coming out ahead offensively, and Sutter coming ahead defensively.

      In other words, as a rookie GM making his fist trade, and with no leverage due to Kesler’s (earned and rightfully used) NTC, Benning got pretty much what the market said Gillis could have at the trade deadline last year.

      • asdf

        Well if we’re going off of rumours, Benning had one team with which he could negotiate and Gillis had a few.

        At minimum, if we take that Pittsburgh rumour as true, Gillis should have been able to pit that offer against what Anaheim was offering.

        I guess I’d like to know what the Anaheim offer was at the 2014 trade deadline before accepting that 3 Kesler playoffs is the equivalent value of 2…

        • asdf

          Oh, I agree with you that 3 Kesler playoffs should be worth more than two. And here’s the kicker: so does Mike Gillis, and that’s a part of why he’s currently unemployed.

          The market, however, said Kesler was worth a 3-4 dman prospect, a young 2/3C man, and a late-round 1 pick. That’s what Pittsburgh offered; that’s what Benning got months later from a different team.

          • Mantastic

            But we don’t know that the Pittsburgh package was the best one offered to Vancouver.

            For all we know, Gillis was unwilling to move Kesler within the division.

            Also, Pittsburgh’s defenseman was an actual top 4 prospect.

            Sbisa was a pure salary dump…

          • Mantastic

            I don’t know that Sbisa was a salary dump but he certainly isn’t a prospect in the class as Pouliot.

            I wonder what compelled Anaheim to give Sbisa that contract based on his performance to that point. Those in his current salary range include names like Tanev and Gudbrandson. Has he really stalled in his career? I don’t see much in his stats to show real upward trajectory but neither is he crashing from a previous height.

          • Mantastic

            Well I say salary dump based on the Ducks using him as their #7 defenseman (#8 when Robidas was healthy).

            Which isn’t to say he can’t be better than that in Vancouver.

            But the Ducks had little use for him at that salary.

            I guess it’s debatable, but I’d have preferred the Kesler trade to have been Sbisa-free to maintain flexibility for a wet dream like Kane or Johanssen…

          • Mantastic

            Sbisa was given that salary, based him coming out of ELC and that he was playing top 4 minutes. it’s a pretty standard bridge deal for young d-men playing top 4 minutes. like any bridge deal he had to prove that he was consistent enough to warrant anything else

    • asdf

      Teams were (reportedly) reluctant to give up roster players at the deadline before a playoff run, which wasn’t going to work with the Aquilinis demanding we remain competitive. Gillis also likely knew he’d get fired if he didn’t make the playoffs and keeping Kesler was his best bet.

      • asdf

        Well Pittsburgh (reportedly) was willing to give up Sutter.

        The Ducks were using Sbisa as a utility defenseman so I doubt they would care about him.

        If they valued Kesler above Bonino, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to make that upgrade for an extra playoff run…

  • asdf

    Dorsett stuff is interesting. Didn’t know he had that penalty value.

    On Bonino and possession numbers, Kesler was facing top lines (and played more minutes), whereas Bonino faced some of the weakest competition on the Ducks. Obviously played with weaker teammates too, but it seems like important context. He does have a 53% GF% compared to a 47 CF% over his career, but I’m not sure how much that means over 2000 mins.

    With McCann and 3 years of Bonino at a much better cap hit, we might win the trade, but it’s hard to argue we’ve got better.

  • asdf

    No one has mentioned that Kesler turned into a cancer for the team and the city. He wanted out; Benning could have pulled a Gillis and kept him around grumpy forever. But he pulled a decisive trigger. Maybe not like-for-like return in goals etc, but ridding oneself of a problem is an asset in itself.

    • asdf

      Are you sure about this?

      There were rumblings that they didn’t want to give up Ottawa’s 1st rounder…but that was never going to happen for Kesler anyway…

  • asdf

    Fun – but i have a request.

    Can you guys create/buy some HTML tables for the data? The images you are pasting out of Excel or wherever are pretty crummy and can be hard to read.

    I was going to bitch about the way some of the information is organized and go on about trying to standardize the presentation, but I’ll leave that for now.

  • asdf

    I accept that Benning got the best deal he could manage given that he was only negotiating with one team. I do still wonder how Kesler and his agent would have reacted to a more hardball response to hardball tactics.

    Let’s say Benning replied that Kesler would not be traded until he increased his list to at least 5 teams. In the meantime, he will be suspended. He won’t play and he won’t be allowed to practice with the team. Kesler doesn’t want to sit a year out any more than the Canucks want him to.

    Obviously this handcuffs the Canucks a bit going forward (though not cap-wise, as Kesler’s $5M salary was traded for $5.7M between Bonino/Sbisa/Dorsett). Kesler’s value is unlikely to go down as a result of this hardball tactic. The only real problem is that draft picks are more liquid commodities than prospects, so there is pressure to get a deal done before the draft.

  • asdf

    Well if you believe the reports around the deadline, Ducks never offered any of the their 2 first rounders at the deadline. Offered a 2nd rounder and a young player.

    MG’s hand was tied bc of salary cap issues on other teams who had told him that they’d consider a trade when cap goes up this season. Except when season ended, Kesler wanted out and shrunk his list to 1 team.

    Basically new CBA screwed Canucks more than any other team in the NHL imo.

    • asdf

      Do you have a link to the part about the Ducks unwilling to offer either of their 1st rounders?

      Because that’s the first I’ve heard about it…

      Also, were the Ducks one of the teams where the cap precluded a trade deadline move?

      I disagree with the new CBA screwing Vancouver more than other (big market) teams.

      Some of the problems (such as dedicating $12 million to Edler, Burrows & Higgins before solving the goalie question) were self-inflicted by the cap wizards…

  • asdf

    To me the real story lies in the web of trades Benning did.

    Not only Kessler for Binino, Sbisa and McCann, but convincing Garrison to wave his NTC to free up money and grab Dorrsett. Combine that with adding depth at goal and a top line forward that should improve the power play. He legitimately created a four line team, improved the top line and created cap space.

    That’s pretty impressive considering Gillis was like managing a fantasy hockey team.

    • asdf

      How does swapping out Kesler, Booth & Santorelli for Bonino, Vrbata, Vey & Dorsett constitute creating a “four line team”?

      Dorsett will help the 4th line.

      But it’s not clear that the top 9 has improved…

    • andyg

      Canucks were a four line team last year too, the only problem was that it was for the most part like playing four fourth lines.

      I think this article enormously overrates Dorsett; that was was I think the weakest of these moves–grabbing Vey was the best. The Kesler trade’s a wash at this point until we know what each side really has. He’s not as bad as some of the haters would have it but I do think he’s overvalued given his injury-prone style and what others have pointed out in terms of his relatively selfish play and declining stats. Bonino and Sbisa have yet to really show that they can be more than depth players and let’s face it we already had an abundance of them. There is absolutely no evidence that the moves that Benning has made would make us even close to the powerhouses in California which can mostly roll four solid lines — right now any of their fourth lines would trump our third and in some cases our second.

      I think we are on a far better footing than last year but I also don’t want to kid myself about where we are right now.

      • andyg

        While I pretty much agree with all of this, how are the Canucks on far better footing than last year when last year there was an argument that they were 3rd in the division and 5th in the conference?

        Realistically, at this point they’re no better than a wildcard team and that will depend on how a few of the other teams with better young talent perform…

        • andyg

          I know we’ve disagreed about this before but I think we’re actually in agreement that the Canucks are in trouble this year. And perhaps for some time to come — I don’t disagree that it’s highly unlikely that we’ll actually be competitive in the waning Sedin years no matter what the spin from on high. And while I know this is not your take, my view is still that I’d rather have better prospects and no lunatic coach than what we had last year — an aging core with no real plan to replace them than to make them play in ways that don’t fit their style.

          Does that make them particularly good this year or next? I’m hoping for the best but not really expecting it. My hope is that Benning will be able to focus on actually rebuilding and not really chasing the pipe dream of winning much with the Sedins in town and throwing good money after bad. Using the Aquilinis money to rent Miller and Vrbata is a good use of it. Trading the few prospects we have in the vain hope that we can be contenders now is not.

          • Mantastic

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite glad Gillis & Torts are gone.

            But irrespective of having managers with better media personalities, the NHL roster continues to get worse each and every year since 2011.

            And I’m not sure how much of last year’s “underperformance” can be attributed to Torts.

            Just as I’m not sure how much of 2013’s “underperformance” can be attributed to AV…

            Last year I felt the most realistic outcome was a first round loss to either LA or SJ…which, shockingly, was optimistic on my side.

            This year I’d peg the Canucks as maybe the 8th best team in the West behind LA, SJ, ANA, CHI, STL, DAL & MIN.

            But just like last year, a lot will depend on how teams with better young talent (COL, EDM) perform…

  • Mantastic

    Excellent article, but I think you actually undersold the victory. Let us look at it in terms of percentages. It is fair I think to say that Kesler is even now, slightly better than any other player in the trade, so let’s set his value at 100. Bonino is performing at about 75% of Kesler, although I think overtime that may improve. One weakness in the article,is the question of whether they make line mates better, I mean they are centers. Clearly Kesler, who is one of the most self-centered players I have seen, does not make his linemates better. Not sure yet about Bonino, so lets be charitable and call it a wash.
    So far K 100, B 75. Now add Sbisa, who is a serviceable no. 6 and may get better, let us say his stock value is 25% of Kesler, any pro should be worth at least 20-25%. So now we are even. Now we add the other immediate deliverable, Dorsett, who is a decent 4th liner, probably worth about 35% of any good second liner like Kesler. Now the trade is 135 newbys, 100 Kesler. So they win without McCann and if he eventually makes the team, they will probably double the value of Kesler. Also if the rumours of Kesler as a problem child in the dressing room (we saw some pouting over the last couple of years) then the psychological improvement is probably worth another 20%.
    I think Anaheim and most of the Eastern hockey media got suckered by the old adage that the best player moving wins the trade, that is not true in the salary cap world.

  • andyg

    This year is more about the vets than the new additions. This to me is a last kick at the can to show that they can still deliver. If not then there will be a full on rebuild.

    Next year there will be the true youth movement.

    I think this year could go either way. The twins might still have it.

  • andyg

    Stats are wonderful but…
    Remember the old maxim “garbage in, garbage out”. Kesler underperformed in 11-12 and 12-13 because he was recovering from shoulder and wrist injuries. So what may appear to be a trend could very well be explained by circumstances.
    Having said that, he was supposed to be fit and healthy for 13-14 but had a mediocre year. So did the whole team; different circumstances. Kesler may very well have a rebound year like we expect the Sedins, Burrows etc to have.
    Kesler is the sort of player who played so very hard that his body was bound to break down over time and shorten his effective career. I don’t ever expect to see the 2011 version of Kesler again.
    Stats are a great tool for forcasting future trends. But forcasts are by nature wrong. Just ask the weather man.

  • Mantastic

    Did Kesler have a “trade request” clause in his contract that allowed him to demand a trade if the Canucks don’t make the playoffs or not win a cup? If not, how does the Kesler camp insist that Benning respect their NTC and a 2 team list if they are the ones demanding out??? Hard to imagine that an NHL team who offers a NTC doesn’t have at least a way to void the NTC if it is the player demanding the trade while no breach of contract was made by the team…. oh it was Gillis.