News broke after the Olympic Break that Ryan “Livonia Native” Kesler had requested a trade from the Vancouver Canucks at the beginning of the season. Since then, the Detroit Red Wings have become interested in acquiring the twenty-nine year-old centerman.
Ryan Kesler grew up in Livonia, Michigan and it would be a return to the state he abandoned to play for their biggest rivals in the NCAA, Ohio State, and unlike Danny DeKeyser, the Detroit Red Wings were not his favorite team growing up.
Kelser would not be a rental, which would fit into Ken Holland’s plan and has two years left on his contract after this season is over at five million per season. He is a Selke Trophy winner, which fits into Detroit’s system and a second line center.
The Red Wings have centers out the wazoo this season and Stephen Weiss was brought in specifically to take over the second line center position, but Darren Helm, Johan Franzen, and Riley Sheahan have been solid in that role for Detroit, as well. Stephen Weiss has had a rough season, but he will be in Detroit longer term and once healthy, he will be a key part of the Red Wings success moving forward and in the playoffs.
Over at Mlive, Ansar Khan pick up these quotes from Ken Holland regarding possible trades.
Holland said Wednesday that he is not going to spend valuable assets (top prospect, first-round draft pick) on a rental player. He also said he is not going to be a seller.
“At the same time we’re always looking to upgrade. If there’s a hockey trade out there – I call a hockey trade a trade that affects your team going into next season – I’m obviously open to it.”
The Vancouver Canucks are not out of the playoff race yet and will not be looking to sell a player for future gain, they want players who can step in right away. To acquire Ryan Kesler, the Red Wings would have to part with one or two NHL-ready prospects, a first-round pick, and possibly a veteran to offset Kesler’s five million dollar salary.
That is too much to give up to bring in a player who has had a long history of injuries, spends more time sliding on the ice than a curling stone, and receives perfect diving scores from the Russian judges.
Acquiring a player of Kesler’s ability would be a boost to the team, but it could create more issues than it solves if the Red Wings give up too much.
I do not expect to see Ryan Kesler in a Red Wings’ sweater any time soon and neither should anyone else.
[UPDATE] Ryan Kesler was not traded and remains with the Vancouver Canucks.