Ryan Kesler: Who needs him? Who wants him? Who’s getting him?

Many names have been bandied about on the trade front over the last week as the NHL trade deadline rapidly approaches. Arguably the biggest product on the market – Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller – was moved last night to the St. Louis Blues. The Miller move may set the wheels in motion; encourage the league’s other top teams to react by making improvements of their own.

There is some Grade-A good stuff rumoured to be FOR SALE this week – the NHL trade deadline goes down this coming Wednesday, March 5, at 3:00 PM Eastern. One name of note that is rumoured to be available is Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler.

Vancouver Canucks soldier and centre Ryan Kesler has reportedly asked to be traded out of Van City. Kesler denied the accusation earlier this week, but then again, what was he supposed to say?

Who needs Ryan Kesler?

In a perfect world, every team needs a player like Kesler, who is known to implement Beast-Mode from time to time. However, some believe the 29-year-old has tacked on a lot of hard miles over the last decade. Sure, 29 is young, relatively speaking, but a player as rugged and reckless as Kesler may not have many more beastly adventures left. That being said, the Chicago Blackhawks really need Ryan Kesler.

The Hawks won the Stanley Cup last spring with last minute addition Michal Handzus slotted in as second line centre. Handzus’s glory days – if he ever truly had any – are long done. The Hawks depth prevailed throughout their 2013 Stanley Cup journey, however, it may be a mistake on the part of general manager Stan Bowman to assume his club can win another championship with the huge drop off that currently exists at centre after Jonathan Toews.

Kesler to the Hawks is interesting because of the hatred that exists between the Canucks and Chicago. But that rivalry has cooled in recent seasons. And Kesler’s most heated rival from the good old days, Andrew Ladd, has long since moved on.

The Hawks top line of Toews, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa is arguably the best in hockey, but in loading up the first unit, head coach Joel Quenneville fails to maximize the skills of the club’s leading scorer, Patrick Kane. Pat Kane, by the way, has experience playing on a line with Kesler. The two Americans represented their country as linemates at the 2014 Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi last month. Kesler to Chicago makes some sense.

Who wants Ryan Kesler?

Probably everyone. But, some teams have actually been rumoured to be interested, while others have not yet been named. The Score recently posted a curated piece listing several potential destinations for Kesler if he does in fact get traded. The article, which you can read here, states that Kesler has been in some way linked to the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings.

Who is getting Ryan Kesler?

Your guess is as good as mine. And truthfully, there is a chance he doesn’t get moved at all. The Canucks are entrenched in a dog-fight to qualify for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, thus, keeping Kesler around is probably the smart move. Not to mention, Kesler has publicly revealed that his heart is with the Canucks.