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|Ryan's future with Ducks unclear|
|Written by Andrew Knoll|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012 01:52|
The rumor mill has been very vocal about the fact that the Anaheim Ducks have been shopping Bobby Ryan, which has led to Ryan wanting out of Orange County. With the clock counting down to the beginning of the 2012 NHL season, the Ducks may have to amend their desired return for the young sniper.Bobby Ryan trade rumors seem to have the legs of Haile Gebrselassie, but if the Ducks want their season to start smoothly it’s time to either commit to Ryan or get realistic about their goals in a trade.
In an offseason market that still features at least two prolific scoring wingers—free agent Alex Semin and trade target Rick Nash—there are still dominos to fall in this offseason that could affect Ryan’s potential destination. Nevertheless, the first decision Anaheim has to make is what future Ryan has with the club.
Based on his comments in the New Jersey-based Courier Post, Ryan has soured on the organization, despite a resurgence that saw him score 24 goals and 45 points in 58 games after the Ducks made a coaching change.
"I take things personally," Ryan told the Post’s Randy Miller. "Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately.
"Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way,” Ryan continued. “I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."
General Manager Bob Murray expressed “disappointment” with the comments and Anaheim has spent the past couple of weeks exploring options to keep or move Ryan.
If they opt to trade him, the Ducks have to consider their desired return and potential partners. Ryan is, in many ways, a more attractive commodity than Nash since his cap number ($5.1 million) is more than $2 million lower and he does not have a no-trade clause that could limit competition considerably for Nash.
That would open up the market to not only clubs like the Rangers and Flyers--both of whom are on Nash’s short list and whom Ryan discussed in his interview as prospective destinations—but to aggressive mid-market suitors like the Hurricanes and Senators.
Carolina already made a major acquisition in Jordan Staal but appear more than willing to further dilute its overall organizational depth to add another star. The Hurricanes made overtures toward big-name free agents like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who signed with the Minnesota Wild, and GM Jim Rutherford suggested they would hit the trade market hard as a contingency plan.
The ‘Canes joined Ottawa in making serious inquiries about Nash, although they are unlikely to be on his list of suitable destinations. Sens GM Bryan Murray said they tried to move up multiple times at the draft and the Sens have formidable top-to-bottom depth to make a big move.
While Anaheim was rumored to have its sights on a formidable forward it can use as a cornerstone coming back, that may be a difficult find even if it were desirable. The Ducks have already diversified their holdings on defense, trading Lubomir Visnovsky while adding Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray. Still, they could still use another young defenseman that could be part of the team’s core going forward, someone closer to the age of Luca Sbisa and Cam Fowler.
The Ducks also lack a clear-cut second-line center as Andrew Cogliano played wing predominantly last season and Saku Koivu may very well be in his final year with the club. Koivu’s presence and the likely return of Teemu Selanne mean that the Ducks could stand to fill out their roster to make a short-term push. While their prospect pool has intriguing talent, they could also stand to stock underneath their aging veterans with players approaching their primes.
While it seems difficult to find a deal that would essentially be one-for-one that could replace Ryan, a four-time 30-goal scorer, a package deal makes sense for the Ducks and Ryan’s potential suitors. As the offseason wears on, wide competition between teams with needs, cap space and limited market prospects could net the Ducks a major haul that rounds out their roster nicely and it may come from an unlikely source.
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