Feb 28, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler (17) skates with the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Pens Zeroing in on Canucks' Forward Ryan Kesler?


After allegedly attempting to reel-in Vancouver Canucks’ forward Ryan Kesler before the Olympics began, the Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly remain in the hunt for his services.

According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh is allured with the idea of adding Kesler to their lineup, and Rossi believes the center has the Pens listed as one of the teams he would waive his no-trade clause to go to.

Kesler, 29, is currently signed through the 2015-16 season, and he will carry a cap-hit of $5 million through the duration of those years – according to Cap Geek. Given the Pens’ salary cap situation, if general manager Ray Shero is serious about acquiring Kesler, he’s got some work to do in terms of integrating him into their payroll.

On Thursday, Rossi reported Pittsburgh was apparently willing to part with both center Brandon Sutter and defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot in earlier trade discussions, however, there’s no news towards who they’re potentially offering now. Sutter is a restricted free agent at season’s end, and carries a $2,066,667 cap-hit.

In my opinion, Sutter, even though I like him, would become expendable, because Kesler, if added, will take his center position. And despite Sutter’s tremendous penalty-kill skills, Kesler, who I observed keenly over the Olympics, is just as effective.

Right now, though, this is all just speculation. However, it’s going to be interesting to see if these rumors come to fruition as we get closer to the deadline.

Stay tuned Pens’ fans.

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