While the Olympic break officially ended for the Rangers last night, the hot stove continues to burn as Nick Kypreos at Sportsnet reports that the Rangers are one of three teams (Red Wings & Penguins are the others) interested in Ryan Kesler. Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun says to add Columbus to the mix.
Kypreos says Kesler, who has a full no trade clause, will likely be moved by next Wednesday. The Canucks are reportedly looking for a player, prospect and pick in return for their center.
Kesler has two years remaining on his contract that pays him $5 million per yesr and may be dealing with a broken hand suffered during the Olympics.
…word on the street is that the "player" Vancouver would be looking for in return for Kesler, who, when healthy, is an absolute stud, is a young center. Have to wonder if moving Stepan, who has obviously struggled in AV's offensive system, is something Sather would be willing to do to bring in the scoring center. Doubtful since the Rangers just re-signed Stepan, but, when you have the opportunity to obtain a real first line center things change. The Canucks asking for Miller along with Stepan would be a non-starter for me..
…i'd assume Nash would have no problem with the Rangers bringing in a pivot of Kesler's caliber to play on his line.
Meanwhile, Dan Girardi tells Steve Zipay at Newsday that he hopes a new long-term pact can be reached with the Rangers…
"We'll see what happens. We'll be working here in the next few days hopefully and we'll try to bang something out here and in the meantime, I'll go about my job . . . Once you get here — morning skate or in the game — it's the last thing on my mind."
…after watching the defensive clinic the Rangers put on last night, I'm pretty sure we're all hoping Girardi is extended very soon.
Finally, a couple of scouts were in attendance to watch Rangers/Blackhawks last night…
Scouts at NY-Chi game at MSG from Phoenix, Vancouver, Nashville, Carolina, Columbus and Dallas.
— Jeff Z. Klein (@jzedklein) February 27, 2014