Trading Ryan Kesler not unthinkable for Canucks

We’ll know that Daniel and Henrik Sedin are the identical faces of the franchise when the Vancouver Canucks are known universally for their talent, professionalism, humility and candour. Until then, it’s Ryan Kesler’s team.

It’s not like Kesler doesn’t also possess those noble traits, especially since humility made a late charge to the front of the pack on Tuesday when the Canuck centre discussed his National Hockey League season gone wrong.

But just as Kesler is the Canucks’ catalyst — the straw that stirs the non-fat, soy chai latte — so is he the antagonist whose reputation largely colours the team’s reputation, too.

His impact on this organization, on the ice and off, is impossible to overstate. Exhibit A is the decline of the Canucks’ game when Kesler tried to play through injuries the last two playoff series, including the five-and-out loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of this Stanley Cup tournament.

It stands to reason, then, no move would so instantly transform and rebrand the Canucks as trading Kesler.

We’re not advocating dumping the elite two-way centre, who gets to keep the Selke Trophy another couple of months.

But trading their core player is not as unthinkable as it once seemed, given the season Kesler had, a no-trade clause in his contract that kicks in before next season, and the potential benefits to the Canucks of a multi-player windfall and the renewal of their image.

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