Even though Ryan Kesler‘s name has been flying around rumor mills lately, he will not be the next New York Ranger like some have speculated. While he would be a great fit in New York, there are several factors that will prohibit a deal from getting done.
The first factor is that Kesler and Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault do not work well together. Vancouver Province writer Tony Gallagher stated how Kesler would rather do anything other than play for Vigneault again. Combine this with the no-trade clause in Kesler’s contract and there is no way that this deal gets done. But even if that were not the case, there is still an issue on the Rangers’ end of the deal.
The next factor is the cost of acquisition for Kesler. The Rangers lack prospect depth which hurts two-fold. First is that there are not many prospects to choose from when it comes to making a deal, as they can aid in the value of a lesser asset such as a roster player or draft pick. In addition, it makes dealing draft picks hurt that much more for the Rangers. Teams resupply their prospect depth with draft picks, yet the Rangers moved several picks for players such as Rick Nash and Ryane Clowe and have not able to get as many quality prospects as they would like. It would cost the Rangers in the range of Derek Stepan, a first-round pick and a top prospect to acquire Kesler, based on the proposed deal between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks that Sean Gentille reported.
It is unfortunate for the Rangers who need to find a suitable replacement for Brad Richards should they decide to buy him out. Acquiring Kesler could solve several issues that the Rangers currently have. Aside from undersized winger Ryan Callahan and the fourth line consisting of scrappy forwards such as Brian Boyle, Derek Dorsett and Dan Carcillo, the Rangers lack a physical presence.
Kesler is a great all-around player. He has a significant impact on both the power play and the penalty kill as he is equally adept at making great passes or intercepting them. He blocks shots, puts his body on the line and can put the puck in the net. He is third on Vancouver in scoring this season and first in goals with 21 total so far. Kesler is also second on the team in hits with 102 and has a 52.2 faceoff percentage. He is the type of first line center that the Rangers could use. Being stuck behind Henrik Sedin for the entirety of his career, Kesler has not had the opportunity to be a team’s first line center.
There are several other teams interested in Kesler, naturally. Aside from Pittsburgh, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals are also rumored to be interested. Kesler should generate a lot of interest around the league, and if he is dealt at the deadline, the Canucks will be the real winners with the huge return they get for him.