After a sensational week, things were eerily quiet Tuesday around the Vancouver Canucks as new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden continued exit interviews with players.

Soon Linden will get back to head coach John Tortorella and his future with the National Hockey League team. Eventually, he’ll have to get to what Tortorella said Monday in his bombshell press conference: that the Canucks and their core players are stale, too old and must change.

Everyone knows this, but Tortorella was the first in the organization to state it so emphatically. The question is the extent of the renovation and, more importantly, which players the Canucks can move to achieve it.

Overshadowed Monday was Ryan Kesler’s latest declaration that he wants to stay in Vancouver, yet he remains the lynchpin to any impactful turnover.

With his 30th birthday in August and two more years under contract at a $5-million-US salary attractive to potential bidders, the centre from Livonia, Mich., is the one piece Linden and his not-yet-hired general manager can trade that would dynamically change the Canucks. If Kesler, who has a no-trade clause, agrees to go. And that’s the rub.

The NHL was still chattering about near-deals the Canucks had with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks at the March 5 trade deadline when Kesler, who had made it clear to former general manager Mike Gillis that he would work with the team on a move, insisted on radio that he hoped to spend his entire career in Vancouver.

“This has been my home since my adulthood,” Kesler reiterated Monday in the press conference that followed the Canucks’ worst season in 15 years. “This is really the only city I know besides Michigan. I love it here and hopefully I can stay.”

He repeated again that he hadn’t asked for a trade, and when pressed on the issue said: “I think what goes on for the organization, I think that’s best to keep that in house.”

But whether Kesler is sincere in now wishing to stay, the Canucks need to make the best deal they can with him, which should bring to Vancouver a younger NHL centre still getting better, a blue-chip prospect and possibly a draft pick.

And if Kesler balks, it could be pointed out that the Canucks are rebuilding and he’d have better chances to win a Stanley Cup elsewhere. Or that his last assist this season was on Jan. 31, and there’s a good chance he’d be wearing his Canuck uniform next season on right wing.