I'm surprised there hasn't been much discussion on the acquisition of Kesler since his announced interest in the Avs. I was wondering what you think regarding Kesler donning the Avs jersey and whether or not he'd be worthwhile to pursue. Granted he has garnered a reputation for diving aside that has made for some rather hilarious gif's there is certainly something there to be considered with his talents:
Kesler is listed as a listed as a 6'2" 202 lb Center/Right Wing and is 29 years of age. His two-way game has established himself as a solid shutdown player and penalty killer capable of playing against opposing teams' top players. He is proficient at taking faceoff's. During the 2008–09 season, Kesler began adding a more offensive component to his game in developing his speed and wrist shot. His special teams play see's him as an effective shot blocker while using his size and strength to maintain position in front of the goaltender on the powerplay. The expanded offensive role meant he was moved up to the Canucks' second line from third while the addition of Defensive Specialist Manny Malhotra relaxed Kesler's defensive responsibilities.
With an increased points total, he earned league recognition with his first Selke Trophy nomination alongside Pavel Datsyuk and Mike Richards, finishing second runner-up. The following year he and Datsyuk were again nominated as Selke finalists with Kesler finishing 33 votes short of Datsyuk's 688. Finally, one week after the Canucks' Game 7 loss to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final and Vancouver's subsequent destruction, Kesler was awarded the Selke Trophy after receiving 1,179 votes to Jonathan Toew's 476 and Datsyuk's 348.
In the past, he also earned a reputation as an agitator through trash-talking and engaging opponents physically in between play. However Kesler has recognized that his competitiveness has often caused him to "lose his composure". During the 2010 off-season, upper management encouraged him to focus more and decrease his physical and verbal confrontation with opposing players and focus more while maintaining his emotions. The following season saw Kesler garner media attention for changing his play accordingly while enjoying the best season of his career.
He is currently signed with a 6 Year, $5 Million-A-Year salary to 2016 with Vancouver. His no trade clause went into affect in 2012 and he has already refused New York and Columbus. His agent's previous list of teams that Kesler would be willing to waive his clause include the Avalanche as well as the Ducks, Blackhawks, red wings, Penguins and Lightning.
His injury history is noted:
- Torn Labrum during Conference Finals in 2010-11; Played with Cortisone shots during the finals
- Underwent arthroscopic surgery for Torn Labrum in offesason.
- Had Shoulder Surgery in May of 2012 and was out for six months and had an additional wrist surgery.
- Sustained a fractured foot in 2012-13.
As a sidenote, Kesler has also listed our very own Joe Sakic as a favorite player during his childhood.
From all this I certainly think a case can be made for the Avs to make a move for Ryan Kesler however to me it is clear that that is strictly contingent on what happens during the Stastny-O'Reilly negotiations. Could the Avs consider this as an alternative to O'Reilly's two-way play? or perhaps Stastny's? Would they consider it? If so, then the Avs NEED TO GET MOVING on their talks with both players and sooner would be better than later as there are numerous teams looking to all three of these two-way talents. Regardless, I think he could be a valuable asset to the Avalanche if acquired as the result of fallout from O'Reilly/Stastny.
Stastny is 28 years of age and just finished a five year, $33 million deal that carried a $6.6 million cap hit. It is said that he is most likely going to be in the same ballpark with $7.5 million looking steep.
Ryan O'Reilly is 23 years of age and has a $6.5 Million qualifying offer to retain his rights if he is still unsigned into July but that doesn't mean a different contract number can't be worked out before or after that date.