I know we've all had a pretty crazy summer so far as Ducks fans. Much more exciting than last year, right?
There was the draft day drama, the free agency signings no one saw coming, and of course the petition to get Murray fired. And while all of these things have had lengthy, in-depth discussions from us fans, there was one thing that I thought we kinda skipped over: Ryan is getting traded? I know we have talked about his comments and where he might go, but I thought I give a little deeper look into who the Ducks are talking to and each team's biggest question in regards to acquiring the Ducks favorite trade bait. The list of teams was compiled from the following article from TFP, and compared with various other rumor sites and sources.
Before I start I would like to add the following disclaimer: I still think there is a clear and distinct possibility that Bobby Ryan could spend time in a Ducks uniform next season. So this article's purpose isn't to "kick him on the way out", but rather to speculate on the current situation and some future scenarios. Okay, here we go!
-Philadelphia Flyers: Will they give up Sean Couturier?
I know the Flyers have been pretty clear about this, but I can't see a deal going through unless Philly budges on this issue. We want Coturier, they want Ryan. It seems like a common issue with big market GM's right now: they are completely unwilling to give up any real value in a trade. If Philly wants Ryan they are going to have to give up this guy, and considering Holmgren has been very adamant about not doing just that, my guess is with every passing day the answer is more likely to be NO.
-New York Rangers: Will they get Rick Nash?
It seems New York is more sold on Columbus's disgruntled, scoring winger than ours. That being said they have remained in talks with Anaheim since reports of Bobby hitting the market, and you'd have to assume we are a very close backup plan. Derek Stepan, probably "the guy" in the Ducks trade demands, has been said to be off limits by the Rangers, but perhaps that changes depending on what their rivals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh do during the remaining offseason. There are other names that could be replaced with Nash's on this question as well, namely Shane Doan and Brenden Morrow, and that does not bode well for us. Like Philly, the more time goes by the less likely it seems Mr. Ryan will be headed to New York.
-Pittsburgh Penguins: Do they have the right forwards?
Pittsburgh entered the "Ryan Derby" a tad bit later than most, but have become a recurring name for awhile now. No doubt the interest of rivals Philly and New York have spurred them into action, and the idea of Sidney Crosby and Ryan on the same line is.....well horrifying. But who do they give up? In terms of centers Jordan Staal just left, Brandon Sutter just got there, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren't going anywhere, and after that there isn't much. Tyler Kennedy could be used as part of a bigger deal, but he's much more of an Andrew Cogliano then a Stepan/Couturier. Pittsburgh has a very nice combination of prospects and roster players to offer, problem is they all play Defense. Unless The Ducks change their priorities (and their current roster) its hard to see a trade play out between these two teams.
-Toronto Maple Leafs: Do they have the right ANYTHING?
Ugh, I hate that I have to even talk about trading with this team, but they have been rumored as long as anyone so they really should be included. At center we have Tyler Bozak? Joe Colborne? Nazem Kadri (No!!!!)? And what about depth scoring? Clarke MacArthur I guess? Perhaps if we didn't trade them Joffrey Lupul, I could see him coming back, but now that is so far out of the question it's funny. I really pray this one doesn't happen. Murray would have to be historically stupid to make a trade with a team so devoid of any appealing assets.
-Boston Bruins: Who IS Boston willing to trade?
-So this is a team I thought could have gotten a trade done a few weeks ago, now not so much. David Krejci is a solid, proven 2nd line center that this team desperately needs, and Ryan is the big scoring winger they desperately want. Boston has plenty of guys to fill the void at center, their salaries are almost even, and we wouldn't really be asking for much more than Krejci. It was perfect, but Boston goes and makes Krejci untouchable along with Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, AND Dougie Hamilton. What the heck are they offering then, Tim Thomas? Again, another case of a big market GM not wanting to give up ANYTHING for a superstar quality player. Unless Charielli changes his mind there's no way Ryan gets dealt to Boston for some picks and/or second tier prospects.
-Montreal Canadiens: Is Tomas Plekanec good enough to get Ryan?
-When I first saw Montreal's name pop up in the rumors I thought "no way", they couldn't possible have the assets that the teams above had (Toronto excluded). But after reviewing all the teams listed above they may actually have the best shot. They have a new GM wanting to make a splash, some nice prospects that he has no attachment to, and a nice roster player by the name of Tomas Plekanec who has become a bit of a scapegoat recently. So the only questions become: do the Ducks like Plecanec and who else do we get with him? Unlike Krejci, Plekanec (in my opinion) isn't enough to get this done. It would need to be him, plus a nice prospect or depth winger. I think they have the pieces to get it done, but then there's always the lingering problem that Ryan is not from Montreal (or Canada for that matter) and how the fans will react to that.
-San Jose Sharks: Do you trade with a division rival?
-I'm sure most people fall on two separate sides when reading that question. It's either "hell no" or "if the offer is good enough". Well its something the organization might have to deal with at some point, because San Jose might have one of the better offers. Especially true, if they are considering including Joe Pavelski in a potential deal. I love Pavelski as a player, and would totally embrace him as a Duck if that who was coming back (god knows we aren't getting prospects from the Sharks). But Murray wouldn't be the first GM to refuse to trade a star to a rival team, hell Scott Howson just did it a few days ago with Detroit.
-Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators: Are prospects going to be enough?
-And then there are the "other" teams. I could have included a longer list, but these three seem to be the most relevant ones remaining. The problem with all of them is the lack of any proven NHL talent they are willing to give us. And its true, each of these teams have tremendous prospect pools that rival or even surpass our own. But do you really only want a bunch of guys who have never played a season of professional hockey in return for Bobby Ryan? I don't think its a risk Murray or the organization wants to take, but if its the only one on the table he might have to.
Personal Prediction: Bobby goes to Philadelphia for Jakub Voracek, Matt Read, and a 1st round pick. I know a lot of you read that and are probably groaning, but I can't see Holmgren giving up Couturier and I can't see us keeping Ryan for much longer. Voracek is a solid player who can play the left side and Read adds to our wing depth that we can swing into a separate deal for a different young center. But thats just my 2 cents. (Side note: I would personally prefer a deal with Montreal, but for some reason I can't see that happening)