With less than one week to go until the March 5 NHL trade deadline, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger has the latest on Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, Buffalo's Tyler Myers, and Ottawa's Chris Phillips and offers some insight on their situations and potential trade status.
We heard Ryan Kesler say on Thursday that there's nothing to the latest rumours that he has asked for a trade. So are we done with it, or is this a case where it's "where there's smoke, there's fire?"
Darren Dreger: There has to have been some level of dialogue between Ryan Kesler and the Vancouver Canucks, or the Canucks telling Kesler that they need to improve, they need to get younger, they need to add a bit more offensive punch. They're going to start sifting some names out there to rival teams and his name is going to be among them.
Because here's what I know. I know that teams were contacted as far back as a month ago to say 'have a look at our roster. If there is a member of this organization that you want to take a run at then we're listening, we're open for business.' And that includes Ryan Kesler.
How realistic is it that he could be dealt by next Wednesday's deadline?
Dreger: It's a complicated deal because Kesler is a valuable asset of the Vancouver Canucks. He's got a contract that makes a lot of sense. Financially, he is sound. He is a bargain, frankly, as long as he plays up to his level of potential. But is it realistic? Yes, because of the interest that will be out there. There will be interest from so many different teams, and we know as I said earlier that the Canucks have reached out.
But the Canucks need premium return to make this deal a reality and six days away from the trade deadline is not a lot of time to close on such a big deal.
What are you hearing about two defencemen at opposite ends of their careers, 35-year-old Chris Phillips and 24-year-old Tyler Myers?
Dreger: In terms of Phillips, there's a negotiation that's ongoing between the Ottawa Senators and Phillips to keep him a lifer in Ottawa. If that doesn't go well, if Phillips doesn't like the offer that has been presented, then Bryan Murray may have to make a very difficult decision. There would be interest in Chris Phillips, a veteran player, very sound defensively, maybe he's a good fit with the Boston Bruins.
In terms of Myers, there is considerable interest according to sources close to the Buffalo Sabres. But GM Tim Murray isn't trying to push this guy out the door. Is he available? Is he interested in moving him? Yes he is. We're looking at Toronto as potentially a fit, as would be the Anaheim Ducks. And the Colorado Avalanche are definitely looking for a defenceman. So there will be options, but come ready to pay a premium.