Ryan Kesler was on the Team 1040 with Scott Rintoul yesterday and what he said could make the summer a lot less fun (if your definition of fun is drama) for Canucks fans.
Rintoul, being careful not to push too hard with the usually untalkative Kesler, asked how he and his family will make a decision on his future.
“My family loves it here. I already paid for private school for next year so we’re planning on coming back and if I hear differently from management or ownership obviously we’ll have to rethink things. I’m a Canuck and I’m happy to be a Canuck. I’ve been a Canuck from day one and hopefully I can retire a Canuck.”
So what the hell happened to all that trade demand talk we heard about before the deadline? Rintoul – “Has there ever been a conversation about you being anything other than a Vancouver Canuck?”
“Yeah there has been, but I definitely don’t want to leave this city.”
Kesler didn’t deny it, but it looks like he’s had a change of heart.
It appears Canucks fans who were looking forward to their team being the big story at the draft for a second straight year might want to calm themselves. Whenever Mike Gillis is questioned, he says Kesler, with his skill and strength, is exactly the type of player you want to build a team around.
Still, Kesler’s desire to remain in Vancouver may hinge on Gillis’ coaching decision.
Rintoul didn’t shy away from asking about how Kesler feels about John Tortorella, but Kesler went with diplomacy:
“I have a very good working relationship with John. If I have a problem with him or he has a problem with me, we work things out and that’s all you can really ask for a coach to do. There’s no guessing game with Torts, he tells it to you the way it is… I really don’t have a problem with Torts at all.”
Asked if the high minutes he plays affects him, he responded:
“There wasn’t a game where I felt like I didn’t have legs or I couldn’t go. There’s a certain way you need to play when you play that many minutes. Is it tough playing that many minutes every night? Yeah, but I welcome that.”
So is the Kesler story gone? No chance – with the Canucks missing the playoffs, everyone will be on the table this summer. The only question is how many times we’ll hear Darren Dreger mention Kesler’s name before the draft.
At least we know what Kesler wants now.