Feb 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (17) carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins made pitch for Ryan Kesler before Olympics

The Ryan Kesler trade demand may or may not be true, but it does appear that the Vancouver Canucks have been taking calls on the center. Several teams have kicked tires, and it seems that the Pittsburgh Penguins actually made a substantial offer prior to the Winter Olympics roster freeze.

With the Penguins struggling to consistently score through their depth players—guys not named Crosby, Neal, Malkin or Jokinen—going after Kesler would help fill that void. When Pittsburgh was making back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup Final, it was using three top-end centers and rolling over the opposition on a nightly basis.

Jordan Staal turned down a sizable contract offer to stay in Pittsburgh, so he was dealt at the draft. Fans and pundits are starting to clamor for that three-stud-center system again though, as the Penguins have struggled to do much damage in the postseason without that depth.

As Rob Rossi mentions in his Tweet, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero was dangling young defensemen as part of the deal before the scary Kris Letang stroke situation. With his status unknown for the time being, the savvy GM might not be willing to move a defender.

Tags: NHL Trade Rumors Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Kesler

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