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Ducks' Kesler thrilled with move to Anaheim

by Staff

After 10 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, Ryan Kesler felt he needed a change.

With a new front-office regime put in place this summer, Kesler felt it was the right time to ask for a trade; his wish was granted in June when he was sent to the Anaheim Ducks.

"I think changes needed to be made with the new management coming in and the new coaches," Kesler told the Orange County Register on Tuesday. "I felt I was stuck in a rut there. I needed a change.

Ryan Kesler
Center - ANA
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 18 | PTS: 43
SOG: 239 | +/-: -15
"Talking with management, they were going into a rebuild, or that's what they told me. I just thought it was best to move on."

Kesler had a no-trade clause and said his top two choices were the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. Anaheim won out with their package of center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the 24th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.

He's certainly happy with how the offseason has gone for him.

"Right off the bat you can tell this is a first-class organization," he said of the Ducks. "Being in Orange County, it's icing on the cake. The family loves it here. I love it here."

His new team certainly likes what Kesler brings to the lineup. A six-time 20-goal scorer, he also won the Selke Trophy as the League's best defensive forward in in 2011. He has been a finalist two other times.

"He's a big, strong centerman," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the Register. "As much as I loved all of the players on our team last year, Saku [Koivu] wasn't very big, Nick Bonino isn't very big and Mathieu Perreault isn't very big.

"Now we have that big centerman who can play against every other team's top line, and allow Ryan Getzlaf's line not to have to play against them, especially at home."

Getzlaf said he's more than happy to shift some of his responsibilities off on Kesler.

"He'll be great," Getzlaf said. "[Kesler] is a great hockey player who will help our team and help support me on the ice, especially in certain situations.

"He can play when I normally had to do both things. It'll be good for our team."

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