It’s not very often that an NHL team is seriously considering trading its young, reasonably priced, star caliber player who was worth the 2nd overall pick (after Sidney Crosby) in the 2005 draft less than a quarter into a season. With the Anaheim Ducks disappointing start to the 2011-12 campaign, they have elected to field offers regarding winger Bobby Ryan. The trade rumors reached a fever pitch last night only to calm down this morning, due to a change in the coaching staff. If you are unaware the Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau, less than 66 hours after being let go by the Washington Capitals.
Ducks GM Bob Murray needed to spark his club one way or another and the coaching change may in fact be that change. Anaheim’s decision to even entertain offers for the three time 30-goal scorer who is only in his fourth full season is questionable; however that is the desperation that comes with a miserable 7-13-4 record. Although the Cherry Hill, NJ native is well below his career pace with only 7 goals and 11 points on the season, he is one of the most talented players in the league seeing as he possesses abilities that are extremely difficult to find. Ryan is also making a reasonable $5.1 million over the next four years so salary is not a factor in making him expendable. The hiring of Boudreau does not mean Bobby Ryan is no longer on the trading block, especially if the Ducks continue their free-fall down the Western Conference standings.
There are currently numerous teams interested in the services of Bobby Ryan. The New York Rangers seem to be the front runners and would likely start the young forward on the 1st line with their big free agent signing, Brad Richards if they could reach a deal with the Ducks that would send Ryan to the Big Apple. The Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are also rumored to be interested and have all been in contact with the Ducks regarding Ryan. If a deal for Ryan is in the works, you can expect Anaheim would have a high asking price, possibly a young defenseman such as Luke Schenn of the Leafs and a 1st round draft pick.
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