VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Vancouver Canucks have traded forward Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks.
In return, the Canucks are receiving forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa, and a 24th overall pick.
“I think the Canucks finally found a resolution to a situation that began a few months ago,” says News1130 Sports Director Ann Schmaltz. “You’ll remember that word leaked out of Sochi that Ryan had approached Canucks management, wanting to be moved from Vancouver. It couldn’t get done at the trade deadline in March.”
“I think this is a situation where they’re freeing up some cap space. Ryan Kesler was holding the cards to his no-trade clause. He had some say in which teams he wanted. He wants to go to a winning organization; he’s really wanting to win a cup,” she adds.
“I think [Nick] Bonino is going to try to land a top-six position with the Canucks,” says Ann. “Interestingly, Sbisa, he’s a left-handed shot… I have been hearing that the Aquilini family is not done today, they really want to go hard after that first overall draft pick. So, I’m thinking if the Canucks are bringing a left-handed shot to Vancouver, could they be parting ways with a leftie later this afternoon in a package for that first overall pick?”
Ann notes Kesler’s departure will mean a lot of adjusting for the team. “You’ll have to keep in mind that Ryan Kesler… has spent nine seasons wearing a Vancouver jersey. He led the team in goal-scoring last year: 25 goals.”
“There are a lot of holes to fill because we have all seen over the last few seasons the lack of scoring that this team has been able to generate. The management group has to fill those needs. Ryan Kesler, he was kind of a polarized player — very popular among some fans and not so popular among others. But you cannot take away from the fact that he showed up every day, played very, very hard, was a true competitor… and he was a leader in that room. So, he is going to be missed initially, once this season gets going on.”
Kesler was drafted 23rd overall by Vancouver in 2003. He played nine full seasons with the Canucks since joining the team for his first full season in 2005. He won the Selke Award for best defensive forward after the 2011 season.
He had two years left on his contract at $5 million per season.
Canucks move Garrison
The Canucks have also traded defenceman Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 50th overall pick in the draft this weekend. Along with Garrison, the Lightning will receive the rights to forward Jeff Costello and Vancouver’s seventh round pick in the 2015 draft.
Garrison, who hails from White Rock, came to Vancouver as a free agent on July 1, 2012. In the two seasons he wore the Canucks jersey he contributed with 49 regular season points.
Garrison was set to make $4.6 million over the next four seasons.