What About Bobby Ryan?
By Patrick Hoffman
Once upon a time, current Senators' forward Bobby Ryan was a solid hockey player.
When he was in Anaheim, especially with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, he was an extremely productive player. Just look at his goal totals from 2008 to 2012: 31, 35, 34, and 31.
When he became a Sen, however, things changed. His production has slipped and he has not been anywhere near consistent offensively.
In his last two seasons, Ryan has just 24 goals and 38 assists for 58 points in 124 games. For someone who is still somewhat young and someone who used to put the puck in the net with regularity, these numbers are pathetic.
Ryan used to be a guy that could put up at least 50 points a season. In 11 seasons, he had 50 points or more in six of them and was a player that could be counted on to be one of his team's most consistent forwards.
This was also guy that was the second overall pick in the in the 2005 draft. True hockey fans will note that he was the pick right after Crosby was selected first overall by the Penguins. As such, we know he has a lot of talent and is a guy that can be productive.
Nowadays, he has been involved with trade rumors surrounding his teammate Erik Karlsson. Karlsson is the league's hottest commodity right now as several teams are interested in acquiring the All-Star defenseman.
What seems to be holding everything up is that along with Karlsson, the Sens want to include Ryan in the deal. Not only is Ryan not the same player he was with the Ducks, but he also has four years remaining at $7.5 million per.
For the teams still in the hunt for Karlsson (Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning), the potential addition of Ryan is not an attractive situation. Sure, he used to be a key contributor, but now, he is question mark.
With all of that said, however, I believe that Ryan can still make an impact offensively. When he is healthy, he can still put up points, be a key contributor on the power play, and at 31 years of age, be someone who could play several more years at a high level as long as he can remain healthy.
If it's in Ottawa, he needs to be put with the right players. He could play well alongside the likes of Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Mikkel Boedker, Jean-Gabriel Pageau,or Ryan Dzingel.
With that said, the names above don't exactly scream offensive firepower, especially with Mike Hoffman gone. It is clear that in order for Ryan to be productive, he needs to play with players that can adjust to his style, find him the puck, and let him grind and muck it up in the corners in order to get the puck on his stick.
This is why I truly believe that he needs a fresh start. Things clearly have not been great in Canada's capital and with questionable ownership, awful attendance numbers, and Karlsson more than likely headed out the door, things could get extremely ugly for that franchise.
If Ryan is truly part of a deal along with Karlsson, that should not stop any team for making the trade. Rather, it should be something that is looked at as a solid addition and someone who could help their offense immensely if put with the right players.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.