Penguins: Kesler a Perfect fit?

nhl ryan kesler trade rumors

There may not be a better upgrade the Penguins could acquire. Gritty and offensively skilled, Ryan Kesler brings a style of game the Penguins have missed since the departure of Jordan Staal. The rumor of a Kesler trade popped up shortly after the Olympic break when it was reported that Ryan asked to be moved some time ago. Not long after that story surfaced another came about of how. Penguins GM, Ray Shero had at least one conversation with Canucks GM Mike Gillis.

Since then we have heard a few different offers that may, or may not, have been sent Vancouver’s way.

Brandon Sutter and Derek Pouliot and a 2014 3rd round pick were first rumored.

Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin and two 2014 picks believed to be 1st and 3rd rounds was another.

It is believed that Sutter is the main piece coming from Pittsburgh, but is also rumored that the Canucks want both Pouliot and a 2014 1st round pick. Personally, I see it hard to believe that Shero would be willing to give up both of those pieces for just Kesler. Now if Vancouver added an additional player and or pick to the mix a trade may not be far off.

Something the Penguins would Love to get back to is the 3 center model which was successful in 2009 when the Penguins won their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.

When Jordan Staal was moved two summers ago for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and a 1st round pick. It was never expected that Sutter carry the same load of work that Staal did while wearing Black and Gold. If a trade does occur where the Penguins acquire Ryan Kesler and Sutter moves on. It will not be because Sutter did not play well, on the contrary, it will be because he is a quintessential 3rd line center who, on most any other team, would be a luxury to have. Very strong defensively with a slight scoring touch. Unfortunately the Penguins, in the five years that Staal was wearing their sweater, got accustomed to what Jordan brought on a nightly basis. Kesler will fill that role once again.

Since the rumors surfaced Ryan Kesler has spoken out against such talk stating that he e “never asked for a trade”. Unfortunately many sources close to the Canucks and Kesler have confirmed there was a point where he did ask to be moved and it is believed he wants to move specifically to an Eastern American team. Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia being the most possible destinations with Chicago testing the waters as well.

Of course this could be all for not as it is unsure if Ryan would be willing to, once again, take on the role of a 3rd line center. At the age of 29 he only recently got bumped up to 2nd line duties on the Canucks and has found success playing top six minutes. Would he be willing to move to wing to play along side Crosby, or would he agree to play 3rd fiddle to Sid and Geno as long as he got his fair share of minutes on the ice?

Something else to think about is Keslers cap hit and length of his contract. Currently the 29 year old center makes $5 million a year and is not due to be an Unrestricted Free Agent until the summer of 2016. That would give the Penguins at least two full seasons with Ryan or three post-seasons.

If you are worried about the limited cap space the Penguins have, Kesler’s $5million could easily fit if Kris Letang would be put on LTIR.

This is one of the most exciting times of any NHL season, and when the Penguins are rumored to get a quality player like Ryan Kesler, it gets even more exciting. While I really hope a deal is made with Vancouver I would also like to see Shero work some other magic and get Crosby a quality winger. What say you Penguins fans?

- Robert Slavinsky


Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.

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