Feb 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (17) takes a shot on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) as Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) defends during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trade Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs Targeting Ryan Kesler?


Well, Eklund is once again talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs. This time, however, he pretty much mentions a full trade. This time, he says that there is a rumor going around suggesting that the Leafs will send James Reimer, Nazem Kadri and a draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Ryan Kesler and a prospect.

First things first, this does seem to a trade that benefits both teams. Toronto gets Kesler, a center who could easily help their second line. The Canucks get a young Kesler replacement in Kadri and they get a goalie in Reimer that has more experience than both Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. As long as that pick heading the Canucks’ way isn’t a first-rounder, the deal looks good.

Now the problems with the deal. The biggest one is that it has widely been reported that Kesler wants to play for an American team after spending his entire career so far in Canada. He also has a no-trade clause in his contract, so if he doesn’t want to come to Toronto, he won’t be coming.

The one thing that Toronto has going for them is that the Leafs general manager Dave Nonis held the same position in Vancouver for the majority of the time they were both in the Canucks organization. Maybe Nonis could convince Kesler to come to Toronto. However, that is very doubtful.

As we get closer and closer to the 2014 NHL Draft, the speculation will surely ramp up.

Tags: James Reimer Nazem Kadri NHL Trade Rumors Ryan Kesler Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Andrew

    Toronto has something else going for them on this potential trade: Kelser’s line mates from the U.S. national team in Kessel and JVR. The two of them could definitely do some recruiting. This deal probably won’t happen, but it’s nice to dream. If this deal were done though, don’t kid yourself, Bozo would be headed to the second line.

    • Tim Bayer

      I just don’t like replacing Kesler with Kadri for the reasons the guys above outlined.

      • Andrew

        You mean replacing Kadri with Kesler? Fair points. I personally don’t think very much of Kadri. He’s offensively gifted, but lacks the hockey-sense and defensive components to ever be a number 1 C and he’s only good enough to be a number 2 on teams in the bottom third of the league in Cs.

        • Tim Bayer

          Sure, he’s not great defensively at this point. I think he’s going to continue to develop though, while Kesler’s on the downside of his career. For a 23 year old, he’s very good offensively.

          • Andrew

            In all fairness, I haven’t seen much of Kessler in recent years, but a top 6 C who can play on both sides of the puck would be refreshing. I really don’t like Kadri as a hockey player and would love to see him sent somewhere as part of a package to acquire a good two-way top 6 C. I actually think Kadri would be much more effective as a winger, but the Leafs are obviously not in the position to play him on the wing given their lack of depth down the middle. Kadri has low hockey IQ and is defensively irresponsible, but playing on the wing would mask these weak points.

  • jntoronto

    This is a stupid trade and god forbid it happens. Kadri can develop into a top offensive player whereas kesler is about to be start his downward spiral in his career. I’m hoping it’s someone’s imagination

  • D.WAdair

    Over rated, a old 30.

  • Crossed

    Can we PLEASE just develop our own guys? The NHL is not a development league, but development is still very real within the NHL.

  • A13276

    Makes no sense. Reimer is mere cannon fodder these days; his value is wildly exaggerated by most Leaf fans so why mention him as a key component. The American Kesler will be going into free agency negotiating mode next season – that would be a major headache for Nonis! Kadri – only 3 players from his draft year scored more than his 20 goals; Duschene, Tavares and O’Reilly. The same writers who criticise Kadri are the same ones critcising the Leafs for not going with youth!

  • Steven Ealy

    Not to mention Kesler is a sleeze.