George Foussekis The Hockey Writers
The Solution to the Washington Capitals Second Line Centre Hole: Bobby Ryan
Should the Washington Capitals Trade For Bobby Ryan?
Bobby Ryan is one of the NHL’s most electric players. The 27-year old Cherry Hill, NJ native was drafted second overall in 2005 by the Anaheim Ducks. He spent nearly six seasons in Anaheim and blossomed into a consistent 30-goal scorer while he was there.
On July 5, 2013, Ryan was shipped to the Ottawa Senators in a big package that included Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen, and a 2014 First-Round Pick. In 70 games with the Senators in 2013-14, Ryan managed to tally 23 goals and 48 points. His 48 points were fifth best on the Senators last season.
It is safe to say Bobby Ryan had trouble finding chemistry in Ottawa in 2013-14. He only averaged 16:52 of ice time with the Senators and he had a steady decline in production.
So why should the Washington Capitals go after Bobby Ryan? Why should they go after a player who has been on the decline statistically?
Bobby Ryan can play multiple positions on the ice. He can play centre or right wing. What two positions have haunted the Capitals for the past couple of seasons? Second line centre and first line right-wing. Imagine a first line of Ovechkin-Backstrom-Ryan. Ryan can also play on a team’s top powerplay unit.
Bobby Ryan has an unbelievable amount of skill. He also has a wicked shot and he does not mind getting in the dirty areas around the net.
Check out all of his goals from 2013-14:
I know Capitals head coach Barry Trotz remembers Bobby Ryan from his days in Nashville. Anaheim and Nashville played against each other in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs and Bobby Ryan scored a memorable goal in that series.
Bobby Ryan is in the final year of a five-year, $25.5 million contract. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Will he sign an extension to stay in Ottawa? Will Ryan become the hottest trade target at the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline? Will Ottawa want to risk him not re-signing there and walking as a free agent?
Is Ryan Worth the Gamble?
I am for the Washington Capitals trying to trade for Bobby Ryan’s services. However, it all depends on the cost. What will Ottawa want in return for Bobby Ryan if they elect to trade him?
If I had to play Pretend-GM for the Washington Capitals, my tradable roster players would include: Marcus Johansson, Troy Brouwer, Dmitry Orlov, and Brooks Laich. My mixed package would include a roster player, a top prospect, and a high draft choice. If I were to plan on trading for Bobby Ryan, I would do it with the hopes of having him re-sign with the club long term.
If the Senators asked for Tom Wilson, Andre Burakovsky, or Jakub Vrana in the trade package, I would not pull the trigger. Those players are all important to the Capitals future and I would not want to sacrifice them.
The Capitals have a few roster players that could be moved in a trade package. Since Marcus Johansson’s role on the Capitals is questionable at this point, could he be moved? Troy Brouwer is another guy who might interest a Senators team that is looking for some size up front. With Brooks Laich’s recent injury issues and high contract, I doubt the Senators would take a flyer on him. Dmitry Orlov is a young skilled defensemen who could be of interest to the Senators since they need some help on the blueline.
I feel the Capitals have enough assets that could interest the Senators. The worst thing the Senators could do is to let Bobby Ryan walk as a free agent without getting nothing in return. If Ryan does not want to re-sign in Ottawa, it would be in the Senators best interest to trade him to get something in return for him. The realistic expectations of the Senators is that they will not be a playoff team this season. Trading Bobby Ryan may not be an option for the Senators if they are in playoff contention in March.
If the price is right, the Washington Capitals could make a new home for Bobby Ryan. He could be very successful in the Capitals top six forward group and he could give the Capitals added flexibility in their lineup.
What do you think Capitals fans? Would you trade for Bobby Ryan?
Thanks for tuning in!
This article was originally published at The Hockey Writers
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