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Penguins interested in Canucks' Kesler: report

Saturday, 03.01.2014 / 10:17 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2014 Trade Deadline blog

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2014 Trade Deadline blog
Penguins interested in Canucks' Kesler: report

The Pittsburgh Penguins are aggressively pursuing Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Saturday night.

Rob Rossi, citing multiple sources, reported that a proposed trade would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks (likely a first-round and third-round), and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin.

Rossi said general manager Ray Shero has been pursuing Kesler since January and would like to make a deal before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday, though the Penguins would try again during the offseason.

Kesler is a solid two-way center who can win faceoffs consistently and has scored as many as 41 goals in a season. He's 29 years old and has two more years remaining on his contract, with a $5 million salary-cap charge. Kesler leads the Canucks this season with 21 goals.

Shero has a history of making moves before the deadline; he's done so in six of seven previous seasons. In 2013, he acquired forwards Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jussi Jokinen and defenseman Douglas Murray; Jokinen is the only one still with the team.

Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday