Kesler inks Flyers' offer sheet

The Philadelphia Flyers signed free-agent forward Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks to a one-year offer sheet worth $1.9 million US on Tuesday.

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler signed a one-year, $1.9-million US offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

It is the first offer sheet in the NHL since the Carolina Hurricanes tried to lure free-agent forward Sergei Fedorov from the Detroit Red Wings with a six-year, $28-million US offer sheet in 1998.

Detroit chose to keep Fedorov and matched the offer, a wise decision because he helped win Stanley Cups in 1998 and 2002.

Like Fedorov, Kesler is a restricted free agent, meaning the Canucks must match the offer if they hope to keep him.

"The Vancouver Canucks have the option to match the offer or to take a second-round pick from the Flyers in next year's NHL entry draft," Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said in a statement.

"Obviously, being a Group 2 free agent gives Vancouver a week to decide whether or not they want to match our offer."

Kesler was paid $722,000 US by the Canucks last season, when he posted 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 82 games.

Drafted 23rd overall by Vancouver in 2003, Kesler had two goals and five points in 28 games during the 2003-04 NHL campaign.

With files from the Associated Press