Find out why the Canucks didn’t move Ryan Kesler at the trade deadline, plus fallout from the Vanek and St.Louis-for-Callahan deals.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Vancouver Canucks decision to retain Ryan Kesler had a domino effect upon yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. The Anaheim Ducks were reportedly interested but didn’t find out the Kesler option was gone until 15-20 minutes before the deadline. The Ducks’ considered Matt Moulson a “Plan B”. Once they learned Kesler wouldn’t be moved, Moulson was dealt to the Wild…The San Jose Sharks had interest in Ryan Callahan before the Rangers shipped him to Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher claims Kesler’s no-trade clause limited the options for Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Kesler was willing to waive his clause for six teams but three weren’t interested or were out of it. The Canucks weren’t interested in the offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins and had none in Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn. Ed Willes reports of whispers Canucks ownership vetoed moving Kesler, which Gillis denied. It’s believed the Penguins offer never moved from Brandon Sutter and draft picks for Kesler.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports Gillis wasn’t willing to accept what he consider inferior offers for Kesler.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports Penguins GM Ray Shero acknowledged inquiring about Kesler but claimed a deal wasn’t there. The Penguins were unwilling to part with promising prospect Derrick Pouliot.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lance Pugmire reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray was confused by the unwillingness of teams with which he wanted to deal. The Canucks didnt’ want to move Kesler to a Western Conference rival, believing they can get better offers for him at the NHL draft in June. It’s believed Murray also pursued David Legwand, who was dealt by the Nashville Predators to the Detroit Red Wings.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus reports Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman denied he was involved in the bidding for Kesler.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if the Penguins and Ducks revisit their interest in Kesler leading up to the NHL draft weekend in June. The Canucks could get better offer for him then, when the salary cap rises and teams are more willing to make moves.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports NY Islanders’ GM Garth Snow blames a lack of interest in Thomas Vanek for the poor return he ultimately accepted from the Montreal Canadiens. “This was the best deal that was tabled,” Snow said. “Getting a conditional second-round pick and Sebastian Collberg, a prospect who has top-six potential, was a pretty good return on a day like this.” Staple also reports the Islanders real focus is on the off-season. Snow could use his extra draft picks to acquire a goalie. Staples speculates Snow could target Carolina’s Cam Ward or Toronto’s James Reimer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: When I saw the LA Kings had acquired Marian Gaborik early yesterday afternoon, I knew Snow was screwed. No matter how he tries to explain this, he bungled this situation. Snow gambled and lost with Vanek twice this season. Once by giving up Matt Moulson and a first and second round pick to get him in hopes he could help them make the playoffs. The other by waiting until the last minute in hopes he could get a strong return.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: David Shoalts reports Martin St. Louis apparently made several trade requests of Lightning GM Steve Yzerman over the past four years. Yzerman dealt St. Louis to the NY Rangers because he didn’t want to risk having an unhappy player wouldn’t be a good situation over the long term for the Lightning.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports Ryan Callahan’s insistence for a no-trade clause was the final straw for GM Glen Sather, fueling his decision to move him to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis. Sather admitted he was working on another deal for Callahan which would’ve benefited the Rangers “more in the future” with another club, which ESPN claims was the San Jose Sharks, but he saw no guarantees in this summer’s draft class.
MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak notes reports claiming the Sharks had interest in Ryan Callahan and considered a deal with Winnipeg which would’ve brought back winger Devin Setoguchi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the St. Louis story goes along we’re learning that there may have been a lot more going on behind the scenes with him than just being passed over for Team Canada. If the Sharks are interested in Callahan they could have a shot at signing him this summer as a UFA. Ditto Setoguchi.