Many observers would argue that the Blackhawks are in need of a second-line center and have been for a while.
Well, what about Ryan Kesler? Would he fit the bill?
According to a report, the one-time Blackhawks rival — he's still a Vancouver Canuck — wants to be traded and "only wants to go to either" the Blackhawks or Pittsburgh Penguins.
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It's an interesting bit of information, mostly because any Kesler acquisition would bolster an already All Star-laden Blackhawks roster. He's accounted for 393 points in his career and played alongside Patrick Kane on Team U.S.A. during the Olympics earlier this year.
But there's always that one thing that throws a wrench into every dream acquisition: the salary cap. Though it's expected the salary cap will go up this offseason, it's also expected that the Blackhawks will re-sign Kane and Jonathan Toews to big contracts that will pay them big salaries. That will likely result in some of the same hard choices that general manager Stan Bowman faced following the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory in 2010. It means some big-money stars could be departing, not new ones arriving.
But it sounds like if Kesler has anything to say about it, he might be a Blackhawk next season. Of course, that's really up to Bowman, isn't it?