Conflicted Feelings On The Bobby Ryan Trade

When I first heard the Bobby Ryan trade announced, I had a slight grimace on my face as I was trying to tell myself we got a pretty good collection of assets back, while also feeling frustrated and like it was such a typical Bob Murray thing to do to trade our best trade asset, and one of the best assets that's been traded by any team in the last decade, without filling any of our holes, namely our glaring hole on defense when we absolutely could have.

Additionally, as someone who rates our prospect pool extremely highly and feels like we have more NHL-ready prospects in our system than we have roster spots for at the NHL level, and that it would be in our best interest to trade some of our excess in quantity of solid young players for one asset of truly top quality before we have to end up giving some of our solid young players away for nothing because we have too many of them, I didn't understand why Bob Murray had just done the exact opposite. For a team with too much quantity that could use an upgrade in quality, instead of finding a 3-for-1 trade to make (for a defenseman or whatever, just a better piece in order to consolidate some of our wealth into a more manageable number of players given the limited roster spots available), Murray took one of our assets of greatest quality, Bobby Ryan, and traded him in a 1-for-3 deal instead, if you count the 1st round pick coming back in the "3."

That didn't make much sense to me, and still doesn't. We already didn't really have enough roster spots, especially ones in the top nine forwards, to accommodate Etem, Palmieri, Holland, Rakell, and potentially Smith-Pelly, if not others like Karlsson and Kerdiles, and now Murray's added Silfverberg and Noesen to the equation as well, two new young players while freeing up only one roster spot, and since then he's also signed Dustin Penner and Zack Stortini. He also re-signed Matt Beleskey, who I feel has no place in the top nine of our forward group. Where are we ever going to find roster spots and ice time for all our young talented forwards?

That being said, I came around to the deal pretty quickly. Not the quality-for-quantity part, because that's the opposite of what we need, and not the not-getting-a-dman-back-part, because that's still just asinine. WTF Bob Murray!

But, taken on its own terms, and looking at what we got back as opposed to what we didn't and should have, I came around to the return.

Silfverberg, though potentially overrated at this point (I say that because he really hadn't shown much ability to translate his success in the Swedish Elite League over to the NHL in parts of two seasons except for when he heated up a bit at the end of last season), did play amazing in the Swedish Elite League, and is still young at 22 with the potential to, who knows, maybe even be better than Bobby Ryan someday. '

Noesen is, at least according to peoples, also a good prospect, and a former 1st round pick.

And then we got a 1st round pick, too, which will probably be mid-to-late given Ottawa is a good team, but if we're really lucky could actually turn out high as it's not lottery pick. Regardless, 1st round picks are very valuable.

So I'd come around. It seemed like a fair and "decent," if unspectacular, return for Bobby Ryan, just so long as you forget the part where the return made no sense and it seemed like the trade was made by someone with no knowledge of our current roster needs.

And that's how I stayed feeling for a few weeks, pretty satisfied with the return, and looking forward to the season.

But then I remembered Rick Nash. He had asked for a trade from the Blue Jackets. He had a really high cap-hit. There were only a few teams on his list, so the Blue Jackets had very few options, plus they had no leverage because everyone knew they would have to trade him eventually.

And what did they get back?

Artem Anisimov, a young, pretty cheap, big, skilled, two-way 2nd line center with top line potential, and really a hugely underrated player, the exact type who would be perfect slotting in under Ryan Getzlaf as our 2nd line center.

Brandon Dubinsky, a similar player to Anisimov, just older and he also plays wing, and he's not quite as good as Anisimov in my opinion and doesn't have his excellent potential, but he also is the type of player who would be a big upgrade for us as a 2nd line center.

Tim Erixon, a very highly regarded defense prospect, the type who really could help our defense in the future.

And a 1st round pick.

Now I already mentioned, Bobby Ryan is one of the single best assets to have been traded in the last decade when you factor in his production, his fantastic cap hit, his consistency, his age, his style of play which brings both the size teams like in their top forwards and the skill.

So shouldn't we have gotten the Rick Nash type of return? Isn't that the kind of asset we were trading? And unlike the Blue Jackets trading Nash, Ryan didn't have a no-trade clause limiting our options. Ryan hadn't asked for a trade limiting our leverage. Ryan's cap hit was way, way, way better than Nash's.

So why did Rick Nash get a much better return? Shouldn't we have actually gotten a better return than the Blue Jackets did for Nash, given the circumstances?

Was it because Ryan was coming off his worst season? Did that lower his trade value? If that's the case, why didn't Bob Murray wait? Why trade someone at his all-time low value unless teams are willing to give you the normal price? it was only one down season after a million 30-goal ones for a very consistent player, and it happened in a shortened season, plus Ryan has always gotten screwed in terms of powerplay time on our team because of Getzlaf, Perry, and Selanne all being ahead of him making up the #1 unit. If he'd gotten powerplay time all these years, there's no question he would have hit 40 goals at least once.

So why didn't we get the Rick Nash return? That's the question that has been bothering me about the Ryan trade lately. Before I remembered the Nash trade, and after I'd gotten over the fact Murray traded our best chip without addressing our team's biggest need, or any needs, I was satisfied with the return. But ever since I remembered the Nash trade, it nags at me a little bit.

Overall, I'm still not hugely bothered because I'm hopeful Silfverberg can develop into the next Henrik Zetterberg (I can dream) and that Noesen will be good, and that we can get value out of that 1st round pick, maybe even by trading it to actually, you know, fill a roster hole EVER HEARD OF IT BOB, but I do wonder about why the Blue Jackets were able to get a significantly better return for Rick Nash than we got for Bobby Ryan, given the circumstances, and why they got basically two proven top six centers back in the detail, both of the physical and possession and two-way variety that would fit really well on our team, while we got basically no proven NHL players back in the deal besides Silfverberg who has potential and has spent some time in the NHL already, but hasn't exactly proven himself a regular top-six forward the way Dubinsky and Anisimov have.

What does Ducks nation think?

This article is user-generated. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Anaheim Calling. Please do not link this article as representative of Anaheim Calling content or viewpoints . . . unless it's <em>really</em> really good.

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