The latest on Ryan Kesler, Nail Yakupov, Marc Staal and J.S. Giguere.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Dave Ebner wonders what effect Ryan Kesler’s recent knee injury could have upon his trade value in the off-season. Noting teams weren’t willing to make big offers for a healthy Kesler before the trade deadline, he doubts those offers will improve this summer if he’s recovering from an injured knee. Ebner also noted Kesler has been plagued in recent years by hip and shoulder injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a fair point. The Canucks reportedly sought a good young center, a first round pick and a top prospect for Kesler. The best reported offer came from the Penguins (Brandon Sutter, a draft pick and their choice of one of the Penguins young defense prospects other than Derrick Pouliot). If that’s still on the table come June the Canucks should seize it, as it could be the best they get.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent claim Nail Yakupov is unlikely to be with the Oilers next season, adding the word is out Yakupov is available and the Oilers tried several times this season to move him. Given Yakupov’s poor performance this season, Dreger claims the winger’s market value won’t be that high. Staples suggests it doesn’t make sense to trade Yakupov if the Oilers can’t get much in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yakupov has struggled this season under coach Dallas Eakins. He’s still a very talented young player with plenty of upside but at this point he’s not showing any sign of one day becoming an elite player. I concur with Staples that it is pointless to move Yakupov if the Oilers can’t get a decent return. Give him another season under Eakins’ coaching to see if he matures and improves.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently called upon Rangers management not to allow Marc Staal’s contract negotiations to drag on through next season. Brooks writes the Rangers must determine if Staal wants to remain long-term in New York, noting the pull to join brothers Eric and Jordan in Carolina. If Marc intends to test next summer’s free agent market (where he’ll likely sign with the Hurricanes), he believes the Rangers should arrange a trade to Carolina this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jordan’s unwillingness to re-sign with the Penguins resulted in his trade to Carolina at the 2012 NHL draft. It’ll be interesting to see if Marc follows his brother’s path to Carolina or decides to stick long-term with the Rangers.
DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports Colorado Avalanche goalie J.S. Giguere is hinting at retirement following this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains the Avs’ recent acquisition and re-signing of Reto Berra.