The Ryan Kesler era in Vancouver has come to an end.
After months of rumors and speculation, the Canucks traded the veteran center to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday afternoon in exchange for forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the No. 24 overall pick in the draft. As part of the deal, the two teams will also exchange third-round picks.
Kesler, who turns 30 in August, will give the Ducks a much-needed upgrade at their second-line center position and improve their depth down the middle behind Ryan Getzlaf. And they were able to do it without giving up any of their top young players, including Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri, Hampus Lindholm or Jakob Silfverberg.
Bonino, 26, is probably the key player going the other way for Vancouver. He is coming off a career year that saw him score 22 goals to go with 27 assists in 77 games for the Ducks. Sbisa was limited to just 30 games for the Ducks and recorded six points.
Given that Kesler had a no-trade clause and a very specific list of teams that he was willing to accept a move to, it didn't really leave Canucks general manager Jim Benning with a ton of leverage, and that showed in the return he was able to get.
Kesler, Vancouver's first-round pick in 2003, scored 182 goals in 655 games with the Canucks while also being one of the NHL's better defensive forwards.