Latest on Kesler, Vanek and others
March, 5, 2014
By Craig Custance | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Chris SzagolaRyan Kesler remains the top target available ahead of Wednesday's trade deadline.
The suspicion was that this could be an especially active trade deadline. On Tuesday, it delivered, with a huge deal that sent Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. The beauty of that trade? It leaves us with so much to talk about on the final day of the trade deadline.
Here are the latest notes and buzz on the trade front:
• Thomas Vanek of the Islanders remains the biggest rental piece on the market, yet there doesn’t seem to be a huge appetite among the contenders to pay GM Garth Snow's asking price -- at least not when I checked around Tuesday night. When Vanek didn’t play Tuesday night, there were rumors that a deal was close at hand. The Sharks, Kings, Ducks and Red Wings all were cool on Vanek at that time, so if a deal was close, they probably weren’t the destination.
That all can change the moment the asking price comes down, because when general managers say they aren’t thrilled with a player, it’s often a reflection of what it will cost rather than his ability.
“When we say we don’t like someone, we don’t like the situation,” said one GM on Tuesday. “By maxing [Vanek] out of the market, teams might have cooled if you have to give up a first[-round pick] and a prospect to get him and you don’t know if you can sign him.”
• That’s the other factor with Vanek. Teams considering acquiring him aren’t optimistic that doing so would give them any advantage when it comes to re-signing him, especially with the way it's ending with the Islanders.