Hey, remember that time last week when everyone thought it was funny Ryan Kesler turned down a trade to the Rangers because he totally wanted to go to the Flyers or Penguins and partake in one of the greatest rivalries in sports, the Battle of Pennsylvania?
He didn’t. He didn’t want to play for the Orange and Black, according to Elliotte doube-l double-t Friedman’s 30 Thoughts for CBC:
2. Canuck rumour II: That ownership blocked Gillis from trading Ryan Kesler at the deadline. Verdict: Don’t believe it. As mentioned above, Aquilini was well aware of the GM’s plans. It would not be the least bit surprising if an interested team or two told Vancouver it could be involved at the draft, but not now, for cap reasons. Also, when Kesler said no to Columbus, the Rangers and Philadelphia, the Canucks may have pulled back because they didn’t like the situation.
3. It is believed the six teams to which Kesler would accept a deal at the deadline were Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Only two — the Ducks and Penguins — were really in it, though.
Oh. So it turns out the whole thing where the Flyers showed interest was actually just the Canucks using the Flyers to drive up the price on Kessler, who perhaps wouldn’t have accepted a trade to Philadelphia because, well, maybe he’s seen the sort of thing Paul Holmgren does to star players who are under contract.
But that’s OK, because I actually like the Flyers squad as is currently assembled. Good enough to compete in the playoffs… and that’s all you can really ask.
UPDATE: I should probably clarify that last part. I wasn’t poking fun at Type OB Flyers fans. I genuinely like the current squad. There’s no reason to trade, say, Brayden Schenn for someone like Kesler. They look like a very good young team right now. Very impressive. They’re probably not Cup contenders this year anyway, so why disrupt a good thing? It’s been done too many times. Stick with it and they might have something. Really.