Update: It didn’t take long for a rebuttal regarding a report that Ryan Kesler wants to part ways with the Vancouver Canucks. Both Vancouver’s News 1130 Sports and the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater report that Kesler’s agent Kurt Overhardt flatly denied such a notion.
TVA Sports’ Louis Jean reports that Kesler asked for a trade early in the 2013-14 season and still wants out. As you can see above, Kesler’s representatives already denied Jean’s report.
Jean believes that the Canucks might struggle to trade Kesler before the traded deadline and may instead need to wait until the 2014 NHL Draft in part because they’re seeking roster players instead of draft picks.
Even with the challenges of a complex deal in mind, Jean notes that the two-way forward’s potential availability would generate serious attention from around the NHL.
T.J. Oshie backed that much up to the Vancouver Province’s Ben Kuzma:
Kuzma points out two signs that Vancouver’s relationship might have become a bit strained with the 29-year-old forward. Kesler was stripped of his alternate captain’s “A” and moved to wing from his natural center position.
If you’re already imagining Kesler in other jerseys, Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy believes that a trade to the New York Rangers (and a reunion with Alain Vigneault) seems unlikely.
Kesler won’t suit up for Vancouver on Wednesday, but it wouldn’t be wise to read too much into that, as he’s currently day-to-day with a hand injury. The Canucks face Oshie’s St. Louis Blues tonight.