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March 6, 2014 | 11:55am ET
Ducks pushed for Kesler
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Anaheim Ducks were extremely interested in acquiring forward Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks, but came up empty right before the trade deadline.

Ducks GM Bob Murray and Canucks GM Mike Gillis were engaged in serious trade discussions involving Kesler, who ultimately was not dealt yesterday.

According to a league source, TFP has learned that the Ducks had presented Vancouver with a package that included young defenseman Sami Vatanen, a first-round draft pick and another player.

Vatanen, 22, has played in 41 games with the Ducks this season, registering six goals and eight assists for 14 points.

He also tallied five assists in six games while playing for Finland at the Winter Olympics.

"We entertained multiple offers in multiple situations and none of them fit with our long-term vision," Gillis told the media after the deadline. "When you're under-performing like we are, you get calls from lots of teams about lots of players."

The Pittsburgh Penguins were also pushing hard to acquire Kesler, and at one point thought they were on the verge of acquiring him. However, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Penguins felt unconvinced Vancouver ownership was willing to part with Kesler a day after trading star goalie Robert Luongo to Florida.

The Ducks were believed to be one of the teams Kesler was willing to waive his no-trade clause to, and talks could be revisited in the off-season, likely closer or around the NHL Draft.

Gillis was also interested in Ducks young forwards Kyle Palmieri and Emerson Etem, though it's unclear if either player was included in Anaheim's packaged offer.


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