The Vancouver Canucks have traded disgruntled centre Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks. In return, Vancouver receives fellow American centre Nick Bonino, defenceman Lucas Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in this afternoons NHL draft in Philadelphia. The Canucks also received the Ducks third round pick this weekend. Anaheim gets Vancouver’s third rounder in 2015.
Bonino is coming off a career best season, where he had 22 goals and 27 assists in 77 games, matching the point total of the soon to be 30-year-old Kesler.
Bonino saw time on the Ducks potent power play and had four goals and four assists in 13 playoff games this past spring.
He tweeted after the deal. Now, want to say how excited I am to start fresh in Vancouver, for a great team in a great city. Very much looking forward to it. Can’t wait.
He has three years remaining on his current deal, which has an annual salary cap hit of 1.9 million dollars per season. Kesler has two years remaining on his current contract, which is a five million dollar cap hit per year.
After a decade in Vancouver, Kesler says he can be a good number two centre behind Hart trophy nominee Ryan Getzlaf in Anaheim. He added, “I’m going to Anaheim to win a championship, that’s my sole goal and my teams’ sole goal.”
He also suggested the Canucks are years away from being a contender.
Luca Sbisa is a 24-old-defenceman who only played 30 games because of injury last season. Once healthy, he could not find his way back into Bruce Boudreau’s blue line corps.
He has a year remaining on his contract at 2.175 million dollars.
New Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins is familiar with his work, as the Swiss rearguard played his junior hockey in Lethbridge; when Desjardins coached Medicine Hat of the WHL.
It was the first move of a busy draft day for Vancouver’s new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden and equally fresh general manager Jim Benning.