Penguins identify Canucks’ Kesler as top trade target

The Penguins know which player they want to acquire before the NHL trade deadline Wednesday.

Vancouver center Ryan Kesler is being pursued aggressively by Penguins general manager Ray Shero, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review on Saturday.

A proposed deal would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks — likely a first- and third-round — and the Canucks’ choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, the sources said.

It is possible the deal could involve another Canucks and Penguins player, but Shero was looking only to acquire Kesler, the sources said.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Shero has made at least one move in the month advancing or at the deadline in six of seven previous seasons. Last season he acquired wingers Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Jussi Jokinen and defenseman Douglas Murray before the trade deadline.

Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5686336-74/penguins-kesler-sources#ixzz2uuhsnk1D