Benning to revisit the Ryan Kesler’s status
Last week, when Jim Benning was introduced as the new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, he indicated that he has no problems of asking players to lift their no-trade clause in order to help the team long term. A statement which made it clear that Benning would be talking to Ryan Kesler in the near future. Kesler who was one of the main topic of conversation prior to the trade deadline in March is still with the Canucks, but for how long. The Canucks will not be contenders next year and Benning may be tempted to focus on retooling the team where it needs it by sending Ryan Kesler somewhere else.
In March six teams were in the running which probably ties in with the list of six teams submitted by Ryan kesler to the fired general manager Mike Gillis. At that time the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks were frontrunners to acquire Kesler. One thing to keep in mind is the pool of prospects, Anaheim can dip into to get the coveted rugged winger from the Canucks. In comparison, the Penguins have limited assets and could depart with a Simon Despres, a Brandon Sutter or a James Neal. As for the Ducks, they have Sami Vatanen, Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelley, Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault they can part with.
It is known that Benning will meet Ryan Kesler and his agent next week and find out what his intentions are towards next year. If he wants to pursue his career somewhere else, he will need to make it know soon prior to the NHL entry draft end of June where a deal could happen. The Anaheim Ducks will have two first round draft choices, the tenth acquired from the Ottawa Senators and the 24th which could represent a bargaining chip in a Kesler trade.
McLellan and Trotz take over in Washington
The Washington Capitals have made a major announcement by promoting their Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel Brian MacLellan to Senior Vice President and General Manager. Also the Capitals have named Barry Trotz as the team’s new head coach. MacLellan will replace departed Georges McPhee while Barry Trotz will replace fired head coach Adam Oates. McLellan was with the organization since 2000 where he started as a pro scout for Washington. MacLellan, who won a Stanley Cup as a player with the Calgary Flames in 1989, had a 10-year NHL career in which he skated for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, Flames and Detroit Red Wings.
In Trotz, the Washington Capitals have hired a head coach with tremendous experience spending 15 seasons as the main man with the Nashville Predators. Known to be the longest-tenured coach in the NHL when he took over the Predators original head coach position, Barry Trotz was fired by the predators at season’s end when they decided to go a different path and a new vision.
When interviewed, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis declared via a statement: “We are extremely pleased to name Brian MacLellan the team’s general manager and welcome Barry Trotz to Washington as the Capitals coach. After conducting an extensive search for a general manager, we determined that Brian was the best candidate to help us reach our ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup. We have witnessed his abilities firsthand, and we have tremendous respect for how he manages people and situations. We feel he has relevant, in-depth knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of our franchise and will be forceful in addressing them. Brian always has displayed tremendous professionalism, passion and commitment to the Capitals. He has his own unique approach, and we are confident in his abilities to lead this organization to new heights.”
Trotz, 51 years-old will be the Capitals 17th head coach in their history. With Nashville, Trotz coached 1,196 games – ranking third all-time with the same franchise and won 557 games with the Predators – also ranking third all-time. About his head coach, Ted Leonsis declared this via the same statement: “Barry is a highly respected and accomplished coach who brings us a wealth of experience,” said Leonsis. “He possesses high character and the exact leadership qualities we look for in the head coach. He was the only coach we coveted, and we feel he is an ideal fit to help lead our club.”
Barry Trotz has earned the distinction to rank 15th on the NHL’s coaching victories list and fourth among active coaches behind only Joel Quenneville (Chicago), Ken Hitchcock (St. Louis) and Lindy Ruff (Dallas). Trotz is no stranger to the Washington organization. He has also spent 5 seasons in the Capitals organization coaching their affiliate team in the AHL from 1992 to 1997.
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