The hockey world waits. What will happen with Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler in the days and hours leading up to the NHL Draft? Will he be moved? Will he stay in Vancouver?
It was a topic of conversation Monday, even as the Canucks introduced Willie Desjardins as the club’s 18th head coach in franchise history. At 29 years of age, Kesler has a no-trade clause in his six-year, $30 million contract with an annual cap hit of $5 million.
Based on the numerous reports, there are between two to six teams that he’s reportedly willing to waive that no-trade clause to go to. As of Monday, it appeared there were three teams – Anaheim, Chicago and Pittsburgh – he’d be willing to get dealt to.
The first round of the draft goes Friday. The Canucks appear to be in no hurry to resolve this situation before the draft.
“We’ll work with Ryan. As I’ve said before, Ryan’s a tremendous player, he’s got the assets that we want to have on this team,” said Vancouver’s president of hockey operations Trevor Linden.
“There’s absolutely no timetable there.”
Kesler’s name has been linked to trade speculation since February. While he denied reports back then that he requested a trade out of Vancouver, however in June, it was reported that even with a change in management, Kesler still wants to move on from the Canucks.