On Monday, an NHL executive told Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos that Anaheim Ducks star Bobby Ryan is being shopped.
Over the next 48 hours, the entire hockey world turned into the HF Boards' trade proposal threads.
When's the last time we saw 29 teams and their fans push their chips in on a hand like this? The Dany Heatley Derby? Even then, you had fans that didn't want anything to do with that guy because of his history or because he was violating the spirit of his contract with the Ottawa Senators.
Bobby Ryan is without sin. (OK, outside of using Jonathan Blum to sharpen his blades in the playoffs.) He's 24 years old, has 112 goals in 273 career games and can be considered an elite big forward (though not too physical as to be an elite power forward). He has Olympic experience and can play both all three forward spots. (Although as a center, he made a great winger.)
He's got something every GM, coach and fan wants out of a player: an established track record of success and tremendous upside. And an intense love of vampires, outside of the last Twilight movie.
Now, he's on the block, or at least GM Bob Murray is entertaining offers as the Ducks are 6-13-4 and already 12 points out of a playoff spot in the West. The case can be made the his coach, Randy Carlyle, should go first — check out Battle of California's stunning incitement of the coach, in which the Ducks are a minus-24 in the first eight minutes of each period — but he's got that pesky three-year contract and Anaheim's problems might run deeper than that.
So it's not inconceivable that Ryan could be traded; or at least not as inconceivable as The Dread Pirate Roberts following our boat in eel-infested waters. Teams and fans are kicking tires and making their pitches for Bobby Ryan. Coming up, a look around the dance floor.
New York Rangers
Everyone got nutty on Tuesday when Larry Brooks reported Glen Sather had inquired about Ryan. If they're serious, the Rangers are one of the teams with the personnel assets that would offer fair value for Ryan and make an immediate impact on the Ducks. From Brooks:
It is believed the Rangers consider Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Marc Staal (who has begun skating on his own), Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer to be untouchables within the organization regarding this particular equation
That would leave players like Brandon Dubinsky and Michael Del Zotto, to name two. Although one wonders if the Ducks couldn't pry a Michael Sauer in a Ryan deal.
As far as the salary cap goes, trading Dubinsky ($4.2 million) for Ryan ($5.7 million) would help lessen the burden.
This is the team that our radio buddy Jeff Marek believes is the right fit for Ryan, and the Boston faithful have jumped at the chance to make their fantasy pitches. Stanley Cup of Chowder offers up David Krejci, who is struggling and is an RFA after the season. They don't want to include Kessel trade blue chipper Dougie Hamilton in a deal; good luck with that. Benjamin Woodward of Hockey Independent concedes Hamilton would probably have to be part of the deal.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Matt Wagner of The Cannon lists a lot of different pieces for a potential trade, from Fedor Tyutin to Derick Brassard, but doesn't go for the home run: Bobby Ryan for Jeff Carter, straight up. Would the Ducks make the deal?
Hooray for new owners with fresh cash! Tom Gaglardi is willing to add payroll, and Bobby Ryan would be a coup. But Brandon Worley of Defending Big D says 'no thanks':
A trade for a player like Bobby Ryan just isn't right for the Stars. They'd have to lose a top forward in return (like Loui Eriksson) and some high draft picks. While adding a significant piece to this team is incredibly appealing, we have to consider the price to be paid for such a move.
Loui Eriksson? Would that be the asking price for a Bobby Ryan? Yikes.
Los Angeles Kings
Oh, like this would ever happen. Still, Bobby Scribe of Surly and Scribe offers their trade scenarios, while wondering if defenseman Jack Johnson could be the centerpiece:
Andrei Loktionov, Alec Martinez and a 1st or 2nd OR Slava Voynov, a good forward prospect and a 1st or 2nd. This is what we would offer them. They would want more. If it is Jack, then it would be Johnson and a forward prospect. I say Dean should demand a weekly flogging of Brian Hayward…hey, it doesn't hurt to ask.
As long as you're OK with rejection. Jewels From The Crown also offers some Bobby To The Kings scenarios.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Given Brian Burke's affinity for American-born players and Bobby Ryan, this would seem to be the right fit — provided the asking price isn't astronomical.
Doug MacLean of Sportsnet believes it would take "Schenn, Nazem Kadri and a first-round pick for the Leafs to land Ryan." Damien Cox offered this collection of trade bait:
You don't want to overpay, but here's a guy it's easy to get over-excited about. Obviously, a young defenceman would have to be part of a deal, and maybe that's Luke Schenn or Carl Gunnarson or Cody Franson. Nazem Kadri could be in there. Stuart Percy is a young blueliner and Leaf first round playing junior in Mississauga. Nik Kulemin might make sense, but he's having an off-year, too. With the Leafs high in the NHL standings, a 2012 first rounder could come into play.
All of this is to say the Leafs have pieces to trade, and it's not as if Bob Murray and Brian Burke haven't done this dance before a few times.
They have some pieces to play around with, but also have some untouchables (Jordan Eberle, for example, would be in the latter category). OvenChicken8 from Jean Shorts and Bagged Milk goes with a Magnus If I was playing arm-chair GM I would start the offer with Magnus Paajarvi, Ales Hemsky and 2012 1st rounder. Problem: The Ducks are going to want some defense back.
New Jersey Devils
We'll throw in the Devils here because (a) Ryan's from Cherry Hill and (b) the notion that a Zach Parise for Bobby Ryan blockbuster could happen, if the Devils couldn't re-sign Parise. But the Ducks probably want a package back.
Sportsnet believes they could be in play for Ryan: "The Ducks are thin on the back end, so it could mean moving a Jay Bouwmeester or Mark Giordano, but Calgary needs to shake things up." Bouwmeester?
Bobby Ryan in Music City, on a team that needs an offensive dynamo? Jeremy Gover of Section 303 made his pitch: Defenseman Ryan Ellis, center Colin Wilson, defenseman Teemu Laakso and a first round pick for Ryan. Which still doesn't seem like enough for Ryan.
In fact, two other Nashville bloggers joined in on the pitch, and James Nelson's deal might come the closest: Patric Hornqvist, Teemu Laakso, Ryan Ellis or Roman Josi, 1st round pick or Austin Watson for Bobby Ryan and Sheldon Brookbank.
Boomer Gordon on XM floated a Ryan for Shea Weber deal. Now that's sexy.
An interesting option. Bob Murray was in the house for the Sabres and Islanders last night. The Sabres obviously have an owner who has pushed for a bold move or two.
Buffalo, CBJ, and Toronto are the top three teams INTERESTED in Ryan. Right now Leafs have best offer of a combination of Schenn, GRabovski,Bozak, and/or Kadri. It's a very real possibility that Anaheim is using Buffalo to up the deal from Toronto. Also remember the Burke/Anaheim connection; Burke wants the player he drafted. Right now I'd view Toronto as the front runner. Sabres have an offer of Stafford, A young NHL ready player (my guess is Ennis), and a D prospect on the table.
Meanwhile, Bucky Gleason dropped this nugget in a column about the late Jim Kelley (seriously):
It could be, as a source contended before the game, related to a telephone call I hear they had regarding Ryan Miller on Monday about a possible swap for winger and three-time 30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan. It certainly makes sense, huh Jimbo?
As a foundation for a trade? Sure. As a one-for-one swap? No. The Ducks have more problems than what's between the pipes.
So there you go. Will Bobby Ryan be traded? The signs point to yes. But before you go making your pitch, make sure to read Anaheim Calling's myth vs. fact piece on Bobby Ryan. Especially if you want him as your center.