Edmonton - June 27, 2014 - The Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks have reportedly reached a deal to send Ryan Kesler to California. The deal is Ryan Kesler + 3rd round pick for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, 24th overall pick and a 3rd round pick.
This is an interesting move by GM Benning who chose to send Kesler within the Division, albeit he was most certainly handcuffed by Kesler’s NTC. The deal gives the Ducks a high quality 2C to play behind Getzlaf. Kesler, despite a decline in production, is still on a cap friendly $5M deal and is a solid 2C. He brings offense and shut down ability, which will allow the Ducks to play Getzlaf or Kesler against opposing team’s top lines. The deal for the Ducks is almost a lateral move cap wise, and keeps them with plenty of cap space to add in free agency. The Ducks will be very good next season, and should challenge for the Stanley Cup. Especially if they get solid goaltending from within or through free agency.
The Canucks bring back another first round pick in tonight’s draft, 24th overall, Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa. Sbisa has been a disappointing prospect to date, but has the potential still to become a decent NHL defender. In 30 games last season Sbisa had 6 points, and while playing sheltered minutes and zone starts, was unable to post a positive CF% (48.7%).
Bonino meanwhile had a very good season in 2013-14, scoring 22 goals and 49 points in 77 games, and was part of the penalty kill rotation for the Ducks. Bonino is at least a 3rd line guy, but could play in the top 6 effectively. Foot speed is an issue for Bonino, but he has found a way to be productive in spite of this.
The Canucks are still sniffing around the 1st overall pick, and with the 24th pick added to their arsenal, may now have the pieces in place to move up and grab that pick from Florida. The Canucks would love to grab a centre from the top of the draft, a guy who could potentially be an immediate replacement for the departing Kesler.
Rumors are swirling that Jason Garrison is also in play, and could be part of a deal today if he is willing to waive his NTC. Garrison had a very disappointing season in 2013-14 and carries a cap-hit of $4.6M. These rumors can now be confirmed, the Vancouver Canucks twitter feed just tweeted out the following:
”#Canucks acquire 50th overall pick from Tampa Bay for Jason Garrison, the rights to Jeff Costello and Van's 7th round pick in 2015.”
The move comes as a bit of a surprise, but does open up some cap space for Vancouver and could be yet another indication that the team appears to be moving forward in rebuild mode. This could also be a move to open up cap room so as to make some big additions through free agency. Ryan Miller’s name has been floating around the Canucks and this move could give them the cap space to bring him in.
The Canucks appear willing to go young, and moving Kesler and now Garrison were likely the first dominoes in what will be a very exciting weekend!
Information within used from extraskater.com