|Bobby Ryan called his trade request earlier this summer "kind of stupid." (Getty Images)|
The 2011-12 season wasn't a great one for the Anaheim Ducks.
A horrible start in the first half helped put the team in a hole it was never able to climb out of, even with a two-month-long hot streak in the middle of the season. The slow start eventually led to the team changing direction behind the bench and replacing Randy Carlyle with former Capitals boss Bruce Boudreau.
They also had to deal with a trade request from one of their young stars after the season when former No. 2 overall draft pick Bobby Ryan sounded off after his name kept coming up in trade speculation.
It's a request that Ryan has now called, "kind of stupid."
Shortly before the NHL draft in an interview with Randy Miller of the Courier Post, Ryan sounded off, saying, "I take things personally. Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately. Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way.
"I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."
In an interview with Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register this week Ryan attempted to clear the air on his request and said it was a "slip-up" on his part. He also added: "[A]bout 10 minutes after the interview, I was like, 'Gosh, I shouldn't have done that, seeing that I'm teeing off on the 37th hole of the day after 11 o'clock.' It was kind of stupid. At that point, you can't kick yourself for too long. I knew that if (Ducks general manager Bob Murray) really had a problem with it, he would reach out to me. That never happened."
Fortunately for the Ducks -- and their fans -- Murray didn't give in to the request at the time and held on to his team's young goal-scorer. It's not often that a team is able to come across a player like Ryan, and when you do it's probably not wise to give them up because it's nearly impossible to get equal value coming back the other way. And to replace them.
At 25 Ryan is still in the middle of what should be the prime of his career and is signed long-term at a reasonable cap hit ($5 million per year) for a guy who's scored at least 30 goals in each of the past four seasons.
Since the start of the 2008-09 campaign only nine players in the league have scored more goals than Ryan's 131.