|Ryan is coming off a 'down' season with 31 goals, 26 assists. (Getty Images)|
The rumors of Ryan being available in trade started and reached their apex mid-way through last season when the Ducks were struggling something awful. Seriously, they were neck and neck with the Blue Jackets for the worst record in the league at one point. Eventually coach Randy Carlyle was fired and there seemed to be some peace in Anaheim around the young forward. It ramped back up as the trade deadline approached but obviously he remained a Duck.
Welp, it's beginning again.
Hearing ANA's Bobby Ryan is "available" again after being taken off trade market after Randy Carlyle's Duck departure.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2012
That doesn't mean Bobby Ryan is sure to be moved. It does means ANA's phone will be/has been ringing and they will be keenly listening.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2012
Coming from Bob McKenzie, you know there is definitely something to this. It's more than just somebody spitballing or hopeful fans in, say, Toronto, praying.
What I have never understood from the moment Ryan's name popped up in trade talks is why he is the star player the Ducks would trade. He is still young (25), he has broken the 30-goal mark in each of the past four seasons and is under contract for the next three seasons at a reasonable $5.1 million per. I spoke with Ducks beat writer Eric Stephens in L.A. about this and asked if there was something about Ryan that I didn't know, something that you can't really see from afar. The response was that he's a great guy in the dressing room.
Yet, here we are again, discussing the possibility of Ryan being dealt.
I wouldn't doubt Bob Murray has had to invest in a new phone plan with how much it has been blowing up about Ryan. Sean Gentille at the Sporting News stated that Ryan is a better trade option than Rick Nash and I don't disagree with him. He has the numbers in his favor -- younger, cheaper and has scored more goals in the past few years.
So Leafs fans, go ahead and get your hopes up again, the pipeline to Anaheim might still be open. You know that Brian Burke will surely at least place a call to his former team.