Kesler to Hawks would be a dream deal
It’s understandable why any team within a sniff of a Stanley Cup title would be after Ryan Kesler. Though the Vancouver Canucks centre isn’t quite what he once was, he remains a two-way menace who embodies the type of veteran, rugged player you can envision putting a team over the top.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are both believed to have an interest in Kesler, and while the Penguins have the more established history of making waves this time of year, it’s the Blackhawks who should be pushing hardest to land Kesler.
Chicago won the title last June despite icing a lineup that lacked an obvious No. 2 centre—and that was before Dave Bolland was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the draft. Without getting bogged down in labels, Bolland is likely more of an outstanding third-line pivot who can provide stretches of second-line production, as he did with 16 points in 22 games when the Hawks won the Cup in 2010. Slowed by a groin injury last year, Bolland produced just six points in 18 post-season contests—though as the Boston Bruins can tell you, he came through with a pretty clutch tally in the final game.