The Buffalo Sabres have been interested in Bobby Ryan for some time, with reports claiming a deal that would have sent Ryan Miller to the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan last season. (It was squashed when Milan Lucic squashed Miller, apparently.)
With Ryan back on the trading block, the Sabres are back in the hunt for his services. Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News is the bringer of good and bad news — Ryan would be cool with a deal to the Sabres, according to a source close to him, but that the Philadelphia Flyers are probably still the frontrunner for his services:
Any deal with Buffalo would likely include Derek Roy, whom the Sabres have been shopping for the past two summers. Ryan doesn't have reservations about coming to Buffalo other than its need for a true playmaker. That would make Philly a better fit at this point.
The Flyers unloaded James van Riemsdyk in the trade with Toronto, leaving them in search of a bigger winger. Ryan played his youth hockey in South Jersey, just outside Philly. Ryan has grown comfortable in the West Coast but has made it clear he no longer wants to remain in the organization.
(Keep in mind Ryan can't prevent a trade, but one assumes the Ducks would send him somewhere he wants to play.)
We still can't figure out if the majority of Ryan's outburst about being on the trade market was out of frustration with the Anaheim Ducks or genuine desire to leave the franchise. He's got three years left on a deal at a $5.1 million cap hit.
If he's traded, Ryan's an elite scoring forward, but the Sabres would have some decisions to make on the right side with Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville there. (In Stafford's case, there for the next three seasons.) Forget Ryan at center — even he admits it's not his bag.
If Ryan's willing to move to Buffalo, it may come down to whether the Sabres can outbid the competition. Derek Roy's a nice start — and better than, say, Olli Jokinen, who is on the Ducks' radar. Would they part with RFA Tyler Ennis too?