The first domino has fallen in the trade activity that annually comes with the NHL’ s draft day, as the Vancouver Canucks have traded forward Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa, and Anaheim’s first and third-round picks.
While the trade of Kesler takes away one potential trade target for the St. Louis Blues, it may increase their chances of being able to obtain Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza, as the Ducks, one of the teams that could have been in the market for him, will now be out of the running for Spezza without a first-rounder to try to entice the Sens with.
Of course, it’s not an absolute certainty that Spezza will get traded tonight, as Senators general manager Bryan Murray said last night that he hadn’t yet received a satisfactory offer for the big center. But with Spezza so desperately wanting to get out of Ottawa, you’d have to think that the Sens will try their best to move him, and tonight will be their last chance to get a first-round pick for this year out of the exchange.
Of course, without Kesler on the market, there’s greater pressure for other teams such as the Dallas Stars to try to go after Spezza, so that could further increase the price to get Spezza. It should be interesting to see how this situation plays out over the next few hours, with less than four hours to go until the draft begins.