The National Hockey League’s trade deadline day began with the anticipation that the Vancouver Canucks would make a blockbuster deal involving Ryan Kesler, but a deal never transpired.
Kesler remains with the Canucks for now, although general manager Mike Gillis didn’t get into specifics when asked during a conference call about the future of the second-line center when summer rolls around.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were believed to be pushing hard to make a deal with the Canucks for Kesler, with center Brandon Sutter as the biggest piece reportedly coming to Vancouver. Didn’t happen, however. Adding to the intrigue of whether a deal could be completed or not was a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Vancouver’s ownership may not allow for a Kesler trade.
“We entertained multiple offers in multiple situations today and none of them fit with our expectations or our long-term vision,” Gillis said in a conference call Wednesday.
On the subject of ownership’s role in the deadline, he added to reporters: “Ownership is involved in all kinds of decisions that we make and when you’re in situations like this at trade deadline and draft, they’re going to be involved as you … evaluate situations.”
The Penguins weren’t the only team apparently interested in Kesler. The Anaheim Ducks also appeared in play, making two first-round and two second-round picks available, according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.
The fact Ducks GM Bob Murray didn’t have any takers left him confused when it was all over.