VIDEO: Inside Canucks' internal Ryan Kesler trade talks

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The increasing level of access NHL teams are affording fans is great for the league. A lot of teams aren’t even waiting to see if they get on HBO’s 24/7 or NBC’s NHL Revealed to take fans behind the closed doors. A lot of teams are just going ahead and doing it on their own.

The latest example is Canucks TV going behind the scenes of Vancouver’s internal discussions surrounding the trades that ultimately sent away forward Ryan Kesler and defenseman Jason Garrison.

The cameras stay with general manager Jim Benning going over the return the club expects to get from the Anaheim Ducks in a deal for Kesler. Benning shares his thoughts on Nick Bonino and Luca Sbisa, praising both players’ potential.

“[Bonino] scored 22 goals last year, so if he can get 20 for us, he gets us goals next year,” said Benning to a room full of scouts, management and new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden. “In three years’ time, I think [Sbisa] can be a top four guy for us.”

One of the hang-ups of the Kesler negotiations was getting an extra draft pick to sweeten the pot. That pick was the 85th overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Director of player personnel Eric Crawford felt that was an important piece to give the Canucks flexibility and made that point clear to his fellow staffers.

The Canucks did end up getting that 85th pick and used it in the trade to acquire forward Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers.

Benning also discussed the trade that would send Jason Garrison away. He felt hesitant to trade Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning without getting a defenseman first. That must have been Sbisa, as that trade ended up going down as well.

It’s a unique look into the thought process of signing off on a deal and how a team weighs the pros and cons of who they are targeting and what they are giving up. This is the kind of thing that may give fans a better understanding of what kind of work went into getting these major deals done. Whether that’s good or bad, at least there’s some transparency, which is pretty nice to see.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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