A pretty fascinating report on the situation in Vancouver, which may be more screwed-up than we thought possible. From Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
There is a growing suspicion within the Penguins that [GM Mike] Gillis may not be authorized by Vancouver ownership to move Kesler. That seems to be a new development on Wednesday.
(Update: Craig Custance reports that Canucks ownership is willing to make a deal, but it's not clear who will decide whether the return is worthy enough.)
With yesterday's trade of Roberto Luongo, the Canucks have signaled that it's time to tear this thing down and start over. And with the Canucks' poor, unhappy performance this year (1-8-1 over the last 10), it probably won't be Mike Gillis's to rebuild.
But there's still so much work to be done by this afternoon's deadline. Ryan Kesler is the league's most prized target right now, and defenseman Alexander Edler is also on the block. The Penguins are in on Kesler, along with the Flyers and Ducks, and their current reported offer seems more than fair. But if there's any truth to Rossi's report, it's going to be difficult to get the Canucks to part with their star center if Vancouver's decision-making apparatus is uncertain.
Gillis made it sound like there's actually organizational direction here:
"We've laid out multiple levels of planning for ownership. And those plans don't get shifted unless something really extraordinary happens. We have had an extraordinary season as far as injuries, but that doesn't really change how we feel about where we need to go."
But that doesn't particularly mesh with reports that the Luongo came together in a matter of days, after he demanded out of Vancouver following the Heritage Classic. A rebuild is the right strategy for this team right now, but haphazard and on-the-fly is no way to go about it.
Gillis (and coach John Tortorella) aren't likely to survive the offseason, if they even make it that far. But neutering the GM now, on the day the Canucks' pieces can bring the biggest haul, would be self-defeating and oh so very in character.