Ryan Kesler, the two time U.S. Olympian and previous winner of the Selke Trophy, has informed Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning that he still wants to be traded.
It had been rumored that Kesler demanded a trade from former general manager Mike Gillis, but the Canucks were unable to make any deal despite the Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins both interested in obtaining him.
However with the off-season here, there will likely be more time for the Canucks staff to reevaluate the situation and find way to trade Kesler. Kesler being under contract for two more years and having fairly productive campaigns in the recent years has garnered a lot of interest in the player.
Will moving Kesler be the first major decision that Benning does as GM? Trading Kesler will need to be done carefully, as Vancouver is in need of all the strength in their lineup that they can get. Gaining a strong player or excellent draft picks will be the key to this deal.
Vancouver saw a disastrous season during the 2013-14 campaign. Their goaltending was left terribly, no playoff appearances were made and head coach John Tortorella was fired.
Kesler, along with other elite players throughout the league, are bringing top talent to the minds of potential teams. Others on the rumored list to be leaving their current team are Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks and Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators.
If the move is going to happen, expect it to occur during the summer prior to the 2014 NHL Draft.