Bobby Ryan on the trade block? Paging David Poile…

Gut feeling is that Anaheim sniper Bobby Ryan would look pretty darn good  in the new Predators third jersey.

According to the Orange County Register (with a special shout out to Puck Daddy), the Anaheim Mighty Ducks are considering trading their young superstar Ryan because talks between the two parties have broken down recently.

Ryan will be a restricted free agent come July 1, 2010 and, after his Calder nominated performance last season, he’s looking for quite a hefty raise. And who can blame him? All he did was break into the lineup and post 57 points (including 31 – count ‘em THIRTY-ONE – goals) in 64 games. And he put up those numbers in not only the Western Conference, but in the brutal Pacific Division as well.

Let’s think about this for a second… What do the Nashville Predators need more than anything? They need a scoring left winger. They were also ready to pay 22-year old winger Phil Kessel close to $5 million/season in a long term deal. It took Kessel three full seasons to put up a 30-goal campaign (36 in 2008-09). It took Ryan one.

It just so happens Ryan is also 22-year old winger. Kessel wanted out of Boston (as an RFA) because the Bruins weren’t willing to pay him what he was worth. Ducks are in the same boat with Ryan.

And while time isn’t literally an enemy of the Predators like it was during the Kessel saga, Poile would still want to reach a trade-and-sign deal with the Ducks and Ryan’s agent Mark Guy as to ensure Nashville doesn’t give away picks and players for what would end up being a rent-a-player situation. But, unlike Kessel, technically the Preds could trade for Ryan and be working out a deal while he’s playing in a Nashville sweater.

Some say that Ryan has been inconsistent this season and that’s the reason Anaheim’s thinking about shopping him. Well, if 9 points in his last 10 games and 14 in his last 13 is inconsistent, than that’s the kind of inconsistency we want here in Nashville.

With 16 points on the year, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native would come into the Predators lineup and instantly be their top scorer. JP Dumont currently leads the way with 15.

Also keep in mind that his numbers suggest he’s a solid two-way player, which the Predators organization loves. He’s a plus-14 in his career, including a plus-2 on this years horrible Ducks team.

The rumor during the Kesselnegotiations was that the package that would’ve been sent to the Bruins was a couple 1st round picks and blue chip prospect Jon Blum. Not a bad deal considering Anaheim would get a defensive prospect in return and, depending on who they draft, two more chances at drafting a guy like Ryan. And, on the Nashville side, not a bad deal as Cody Franson really seems to be coming along at the NHL level and with 2009 1st round pick Ryan Ellis waiting in the wings, moving Blum isn’t as damaging as it seemed to be during the Kessel negotiations.

And, of course, if the Preds were willing to pay Kessel $5 million/year, they should certainly be willing to pay Ryan the same.

Also, it was reported that the Bruins wanted Colin Wilson in the Kessel deal and, obviously, that was the deal breaker for Poile. As it should have been. Wilson is the future of this organization. But one center can’t do it by himself. So imagine Colin Wilson centering a line with Bobby Ryan…

That’s a beautiful image, isn’t it?

Well it can happen. It can happen if Poile puts together roughly the same package he offered Boston for Kessel.

The Preds need a sniper. Ryan is one. They need a scoring left winger. Ryan is one. They need a younger kid that they can build around. Ryan is just that. They need nightly respect around the league with a big name on their roster. They need an offensive guy who’s not just offensive-minded. They need a player who brings fans out of their seats every time he touches the puck. Ryan is all these things. Nashville would be getting everything they need with this transaction.

(Plus, they’d get yours truly to finally shut up about Maxim Afinogenov. Who doesn’t want that?)

And for those who would argue “don’t mess with success” seeing as how the Predators have won six games in a row and nine of their last 11, don’t let those numbers fool you. Nashville has only scored 53 goals this season, 2nd worst in the NHL. Adding scoring is still a priority.

If the Predators wanted to make a big splash to drive up ticket sales and generate some national media attention, trading for Bobby Ryan well before the trade deadline is the way to do it.

Of course, they’d also bump up pro shop sales as they’ll be busy putting RYAN on the back of all those new thirds.

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UPDATE (11/27/09): Eklund is reporting on hockeybuzz.com that the Preds have some interest in Ilya Kovalchuk. First of all, Eklund’s job is to report on what’s being talked about, not necessarily what’s going to actually happen. A single phone conversation between Poile and Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell that goes like the following would be enough for Eklund to blog that the Preds have interest:

Poile: “Hey Don. What would you want for Kovalchuk?”
Waddell: “Frankly, David? Your entire farm system.”
Poile: “Okay thanks.”

That being said, Kovalchuk is yet another superstar name that has been associated with Nashville when it comes to trade talks. First it was Kessel, then Alexander Frolov, then Ryan and now Kovalchuk. Considering the three that are “available” now, Ryan is still the best choice from a PR standpoint. He’s the youngest of the three and is the most responsible on both sides of the ice. Furthermore, he’s American, which normally wouldn’t make a difference but, if the Predators are looking for the biggest impact in the community, a “home-grown” kid who speaks perfect English and can make numerous public appearances and be perfectly understood is the best choice. Especially if he has the potential to produce similar numbers than the other two options.

Nothing against Kovalchuk. Nothing at all actually. We’d love to see him in a Predators sweater. He’d give hockey in Tennessee instant recognition on a national scale and would help solve the scoring issues. But not only would the casual fan be able to identify with Ryan, but he’d cost about $2-$3 million/year less as well.

But hey… maybe if Kovalchuk comes to Nashville, he’ll bring Afinogenov with him. *wink*

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PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Zampelli

14 Comments

  1. Codey Holland

    November 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Uh, yes please.

  2. Minda

    November 24, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    So imagine Colin Wilson centering a line with Bobby Ryan…

    You should see the massive smile on my face right now just imagining that.

  3. Joseph

    November 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Wow..now that would be the best deal of them all especially because he is young and could be around a while with Suter, Weber, Wilson, etc etc…oh…this would solidify the young side of the Preds roster. All I can say for now is “Mr. Poile, PLEASEEEE get Mr Ryan in Nashville”

  4. John

    November 25, 2009 at 12:51 am

    IF the Ducks continue to struggle MAYBE Bobby Ryan will be next on the trading block. Pftttt!!!

    Guess we’ll have to be happy with the Afinogenov pining. :-)

  5. Philosoraptor

    November 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    The Ducks have no need to trade Ryan. If they decide to do so, be ready to give up Weber or Suter in that deal. Blum and first rounders (the Ducks already have two in the upcoming draft) are not going to get it done. They are not handcuffed like the Bruins were – they can easily just keep Ryan. ;)

  6. D Mari

    November 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I don’t blame Bobby Ryan and feel he is a very talented hockey player who deserves a strong decent contract…I would hate to loose him from the Ducks Roster…but he needs to go where his talent can flourish and the Ducks Team is not letting him….he needs a team who sees his talent!!!

  7. rob

    November 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    the ducks are not trading him, im tired of every teams fans thinking this, all because hes not signed, the ducks are not trading a guy on pace for 40 goals

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  9. D Mari

    November 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Bobby is a smart young man…don’t be to quick to think he won’t go somewhere else…he has a few offers going that the Ducks would have to match to keep him if he were to accept…he is a superstar player and needs a team that will allow him to show his full potential and that team is NOT the Ducks!!! Go for the gusto Bobby!!!!

  10. Philosoraptor

    November 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Mari, you have no idea what you are talking about. Right now, he has a maximum of one offer going – the Ducks’. It’s nine months before he can even start thinking of signing an offer sheet which not many teams are set to sign him to looking at the cap. And certainly not many that “will allow him to show his full potential” more than the Ducks can. Then the Ducks still could match the offer, which is no problem for them given the amount of cap space they have (in contrast to quite some other teams). At this point, it’s nothing but wishful thinking to believe he’ll wind up with any other team than the Ducks.

  11. D Mari

    November 28, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Mr. Philosoraptor…happen to know him personally..and he can look at other offers at this time and make a move…if the ducks happen to match any offer at the end of his contract around Julyish 2010, then he comes back..and cap space on money…well as of right now..it’s not there…with Jiggy going upto 7 million next season and the possibility of Neidermyer playing again..and some other players…what Bobby is worth they could NOT afford!!! I happen to know more then you would expect!!! sorry to disappoint you…

  12. Philosoraptor

    November 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

    You may know him, but you don’t know much about the business involved. There are no other offers right now, every team giving out an offer at this point in time would be facing tampering charges quicker than you can look up the Ducks’ cap space and payroll for next season. Which then would tell you precisely that the Ducks would have absolutely no issues matching about any offer sheet that would be worth matching. Do you think he’s going to ask Ducks management for more than Getzlaf? I really doubt that.

  13. D Mari

    November 28, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Just found out..the whole trade and offer made is only rumors…but also found out they could trade him now…and then the offers would start in 2010 and the Ducks would still have the opportunity to match it!!!as far as Getz and Perrys pay…he could ask for it, doesn’t mean he would get it, but some other team could potentially offer that and if not matched he is GONE!!!

  14. Philosoraptor

    November 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    That’s all I am saying. ;) Of course they could trade him, but it’s not very likely a team will put up a trade offer that’s good enough. From all I’ve heard about and from him, he’s a smart young man. He won’t ask for more than what Getzlaf and Perry are making, that would be pretty disrespectful and that would seem very out-of-character for him to me. I doubt any team will ever get the chance of offering more because I’m optimistic Ryan will sign a deal with the Ducks before that. ;)