The Vancouver Canucks dealing Ryan Kelser to the Anaheim Ducks creates a conundrum for the Ottawa Senators. The trade takes one team out of the bidding for Senators centre Jason Spezza, but it also might increase the urgency for other Western Conference teams *cough* St. Louis *cough* to make sure they at least stay close in the arms race. The problem is, St. Louis is also embroiled in the Paul Stastny sweepstakes, and they would likely rather go in that direction as a UFA as opposed to giving up assets to get an older and more damaged player.
The return on Kesler is about what would have been expected, which means nowhere near actual value. Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino and the 24th overall pick is decent return, but Bryan Murray can’t expect much more than that for his captain. The no-trade clause Kesler wielded played a factor
The Spezza situation might not get done before the draft, unless Murray drops his asking price, because teams are already allowed to speak to UFA’s ahead of the July 1st actual opening of free agency, but agreements can be made beforehand.
Its not looking like the Spezza saga will not be solved any time soon, which Murray foreshadowed at his Thursday press availability.
The Kesler deal also had Vancouver dealing within their own division which is something Murray seems to have ruled out but probably shouldn’t. IF Toronto or Montreal comes in with the best deal, take it.