With the inevitable NHL trade deadline now just roughly 24 hours away, countless teams are scrambling to make any last minute changes. One of those teams is the Vancouver Canucks. The team has apparently shown interest in moving sniper Ryan Kesler. Numerous reports have suggested that there are a few different clubs interested in receiving his services, and among those teams sits the Philadelphia Flyers. The exchange that the Canucks are hoping to receive isn’t varying between teams. Unfortunately, it’s a cost that could be too high for a team like the orange and black.
For starters, Philly isn’t in any dire need of offensive help. They have plenty of young scoring talent as it is. The shift away from the defensive focus is already a bad sign in terms of the decision making that Paul Holmgren will perform.
Vancouver has reportedly asked for a center — an established center if any — a (top) prospect and a first-round pick. The only center Philly possesses who is expendable is Sean Couturier, but he is not even close to the seasoned or skilled center that Vancouver would want. This would leave Brayden Schenn as a decent replacement. Taking up the center position shouldn’t be too difficult of a job for a young and quick learning kid like Schenn. However, that means that Philly would probably also have to move top prospect, Scott Laughton. Laughton is a kid who has an immense amount of ability and has nothing but all the potential in the world to be a star.
Kesler is a great asset to any offense, but it really comes down to two things with the Flyers. Philadelphia has to think of what’s best for them down the road. Do they really want to trade a 22-year-old who’s only going to develop into a much better player and a kid who could be a start in the league? We’ve already seen this with James van Riemsdyk. Philly has a habit of letting young players go too early and then they blossom with other clubs. Kesler isn’t an ancient relic, but he’s no spring chicken either. Philly also has to pick up the remaining $10 million left on Kesler’s contract. The second thing they have to ask themselves is: “Do we really need Kesler?” The answer is no.
As nice as it would be to see Kesler in Philadelphia — and it would be very nice — it’s just not worth it.