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Should the Predators Target Bobby Ryan?


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bret Hartman

Hearken back to an important date…04-04-2011.

The Predators won in overtime on a brilliant feed from Jordin Tootoo to Jerred Smithson to send the series back to Nashville with the Predators holding a 3-2 series lead. Good times had by all and much rejoicing throughout the realms of Smashville.

Another occurence happened that night, one that David Legwand and many of the NHL top goal countdowns will remember for a very long time…Bobby Ryan and his goal at :40 of the third period. It was in other words: sick, and Legwand is still looking for his jock somewhere in the rafters of the Honda Center after being thoroughly undressed not once but twice on the play.

Rather than having to face such a dynamic goal scorer with hands softer than a Goose-down pillow, maybe the Predators should make a play to get Bobby Ryan out of the orange and black and into the gold and blue.

Much like fellow Predatorian James’ observation (which is spot on BTW) to go after Jeff Carter, Bobby Ryan poses many of the same attributes and a reasonable amount in salary and time of contract. Ryan is on pace to net 53 points this year and based on projections could average 32 goals on the season. Both of these would be better than the Predators leaders last season by 3 points and by 8 goals.

Although the Ducks were starting to heat up before the All-Star break, much has been reported about the Ducks GM opening up the floodgates and stating that only Koivu and Selanne were “untouchable” from a trading aspect.

This is where the Predators can take advantage and in the recent developments and comments from Ryan Suter now may be the best time for Poile to reach out and pluck some top talent from a team looking to add prospects and picks before the trade deadline. The downside to all this is that other GM’s know that Poile is looking to add this offensive piece and are going to make him pay for it. But having someone like Poile, who has been nominated for GM of the year since the awards inception, commands the savvy and experience to pull such trades off and still have it benefit the Nashville Predators.

Bobby Ryan’s stats over the past 4 seasons (including the current): 

                            G        A         P       +/-      PPG     GWG

2008-2009     31      26      57     +13     12          3

2009-2010     35      29      64     +9        11          3

2010-2011      34     37      71      +15      5            5

2011-2012      19      12      31      -4         0            2

Even though Ryan’s numbers have dipped this season (this may be more of a reason for the Ducks to unload him) he would still lead the Predators in goals and be tied for third on the team in points.

Another point of interest is his age and the length of his contract. Bobby Ryan is only 24 and his contract is good for another 3 years rather than the extremely long and arduous 10 year contract of Jeff Carter. This smaller time frame would allow Nashville to show the commitment to winning and going further in the playoffs with a hugely talented winger in Bobby Ryan; a commitment that could oil the wheels of negotiation with Nashville’s defensive core Ryan Suter and Shea Weber.

As an offering I would propose the following:

Anders Lindback

Blake Geoffrion

1st Round Pick 2012

Supplemental Pick 2013 (2nd or 3rd rounder)

Even though it would hurt to lose the homegrown talent Geoffrion provides, Anaheim could use his talents on their often-outmatched 3rd or 4th lines and having a goaltender in waiting that can perform admirably in Lindback would solve a ton of woes that the inconsistent Hillen and sometimes awesome-most times under-performing Dan Ellis cannot perform. The first round pick and supplemental pick in the 2013 draft will give the Ducks some building blocks while Nashville continues to find gems in the later rounds as per usual for the organization (i.e. Craig Smith 4th round).

Nashville fans and NHL reporters have been asking the same question for years of why Nashville hasn’t gone after a top six scorer. These comments and critiques could finally be put to rest with the right move of Poile and the Ducks to get Bobby Ryan. Other notable names being batted around include Ray Whitney (rental player) Tuomo Ruutu (a Tootoo with better hands) or Radim Vrbata (might be a bargain for the amount of points..only $3M for 2 more years).

Poile has his work cut out and the Nashville fans and top two defensemen of the Predators are eagerly awaiting the February 27th trade deadline to see if the team and it’s owners/management will make the deal and improve this team for an extended playoff run, a run that could also lean Suter and Weber towards signing long-term with a team serious about attaining the ultimate prize of Lord Stanley.

Who would you offer up in trade for Ryan? Who would you offer up in trade for Whitney? Ruutu? Vrbata? Carter? Comment below and let’s keep the fire of speculation burning.

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Stay HardCore.