One can only speculate how many teams can afford to land Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks, but there’s also the matter of him waiving his no-trade clause. He wouldn’t do so to join the Columbus Blue Jackets even if they can make a deal with the Canucks, according to the Vancouver Province.
Update: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports that Kesler provided the Canucks with a short list of teams he’d be interested in joining:
The Province notes that Kesler, 29, spent the 2002-03 season at Ohio State University (where he admitted he “wasn’t much of a student”). Apparently that single year of college hockey wasn’t enough to move the needle for the two-way forward.
It might not help that Kesler had a “legendary rift” with Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger during his brief time with the Buckeyes:
Read what you want into Kesler’s legendary rift with Blue Jackets centre R.J. Umberger that goes back to being college linemates for the Buckeyes. There’s the story about Umberger supposedly being jealous about Kesler’s first pro contract and using it as leverage to do his deal.
There was some alleged public dissing of Kesler on the Columbus airwaves and the two even fought at centre ice in Vancouver on Jan. 18, 2009. That was a long time ago, but you have to think bitterness lingers.
It’s not the greatest video, but here’s footage of that squabble:
Whether it’s that bitterness with Umberger or merely the fact that the Blue Jackets’ playoff position in the East isn’t any better than Vancouver’s out West, it sounds like Columbus can cross Kesler off its wish list.
Tonight, there’s a big Metropolitan Division showdown at Consol as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers. You can catch the game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:
Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’
‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds
Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week
Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley seems pretty chill about healthy-scratching Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Lance Bouma. That goes for Monahan and Gaudreau in particular, noting that they’re “great kids.”
Besides … it’s not like they robbed a bank. (NHL.com)
Uh oh, did Nazem Kadri make the throat-slashing gesture to Mark Giordano? See for yourself in the video above. (Puck Daddy)
What should the New York Islanders do with unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo, who’s enjoying a productive contract year? (The Hockey News)
What a playoff berth would mean to the Florida Panthers. (Sportsnet)
Checking in with various teams as the trade deadline looms. (NHL Numbers)
On the Canucks using those Pavel Bure-era jerseys. (Greatest Hockey Legends)
The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.
Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.
(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)
Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.
Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.
As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.
The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.
You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.
Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.
Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.