Kesler agrees to six-year, $41.25 million contract extension with Ducks
Centre Ryan Kesler got comfortable quickly with the Anaheim Ducks, and the club let him know the feeling is definitely mutual.
The veteran centre agreed to a six-year, US$41.25 million contract extension with the Ducks on Wednesday, cementing a long-term commitment after just one season together.
“I definitely feel a part of the core group now,” Kesler said. “They wanted me, and I wanted to stay.”
Kesler had 20 goals, 27 assists and 75 penalty minutes last year in Anaheim after spending his first nine NHL seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. The hardnosed U.S. Olympian filled a key role as the Ducks’ second-line centre while matching up defensively against many teams’ top scorers.
Kesler also had seven goals and six assists in a standout playoff effort as the three-time Pacific Division champion Ducks fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Final, losing to Chicago in the Western Conference finals.
“That dressing room is so close, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard,” Kesler said. “That group is not satisfied until we win a Stanley Cup. When we do win that Stanley Cup, I don’t think we’ll be satisfied then, either.
“We’re going to want another one. We have the group to do it. We have all the pieces.
“We just need to put them together. We were one game away from going to the final, and that experience will help us next year.”
Kesler has one year left on his current contract. His new deal has an average annual value of $6.875 million and extends through the 2021-22 season, when he will be 37 years old – not that he’s counting.
“This isn’t my last contract,” Kesler said. “I want another one after this. Right now, I’m sitting here saying I won’t be done (in 2022). My family supports that, and they know.”
This April 11 file photo shows Anaheim Ducks’ Ryan Kesler skating to the puck against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz. Kesler has agreed to a six-year, US$41.25 million contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim announced the new deal Wednesday.