Much to the chagrin of the Vancouver Canucks, the agent for Ryan Kesler has refuted a report that his client would take a "hometown discount" to remain in Vancouver.
In an interview with Vancouver radio station CKNW, Kesler's agent, Kurt Overheardt, stated that his client had been mis-quoted and that the 24-year old Kesler would be seeking fair market value when he becomes a restricted free agent following next season.
"I think that was completely taken out of context," Overheardt said of a quote that was attributed to Kesler following the signing of Canucks' forward Alex Burrows earlier in the month.
"Ryan's a young guy and he's worked very hard to be where he is right now," stated Overheardt. "He's got a lot more potential, he's got a lot more to fulfill and a lot more responsibilities, so don't expect anything less from me than market value."
The Canucks would love to be able to get Kesler's name on a long term extension as the Livonia, Michigan native is enjoying a breakout season for Vancouver. He has equaled his career high in goals with 21 and has nearly doubled his career high in assists with 30 in 71 games. He is also sporting a +10 rating and is a valuable member of the Canucks penalty killing unit.
Kesler is currently in the second year of a three-year deal that sees him earn $1.75 million this season. Burrows, who is also in the midst of a career year, signed a four year deal worth $2 million per season just two weeks ago.
Overheardt admitted that his client would love to remain in Vancouver after being given the opportunity to succeed with the Canucks.
"He's a team guy, he's a (associate) captain on the team and he's honoured to serve as a captain both on and off the ice. It's a great situation there and I know that he and his family would welcome the opportunity to stay with the Canucks for several years."