Sportsnet's Darren Millard reported via Twitter last night that an NHL Executive had told Nick Kypreos that the Anaheim Ducks are shopping Bobby Ryan. With the Ducks in an absolute tailspin, it's appears that they'd look to trade one of their big 3 (4?) forwards in order to shake things up and improve on the team's scoring depth. Ryan, a 24 year old LW who has averaged 33 goals over the last 3 seasons also has scored 8 playoff goals in 17 games since reaching American drinking age. With the Ducks willing to deal, and David Krejci off to a slow start, is there potential for a blockbuster in place?
Starting on the side for making this deal. Ryan is another high level goal scorer and a legitimate top line player. He's also signed to a very affordable deal with a cap hit of $5.1m for this season and the three following it. Adding another high level wing would free the Bruins up to move Tyler Seguin to his natural center position. Also, Krejci seems to be the type of durable player who plays through, but often seems to suffer from the effects of injury in regards to his point totals. He's an RFA after this season, and that cost uncertainty could have the Bruins wondering what his value might be now as a piece that can be added to to bring in a better player, rather than one that will return a package of picks/prospects/etc. as some RFA's seem to. Signing Krejci to an extension has the potential to either block Seguin at center, or commit an inordinate cap hit towards the organization's deepest position if Seguin or Krejci winds up as the 3rd line center. Lest we also forget the extension that Rich Peverley was signed to earlier this season.
In terms of arguments against, trading Krejci has the potential for breaking up the chemistry of a defending Stanley Cup Champion in the midst of a blistering stretch. Also, his cold start represents something of a sell low situation, where Krejci's value probably isn't nearly as high as it has been, and Anaheim would rightly be asking itself about his inconsistent regular season play. There's also the legitimate questions of whether Seguin is ready to take on the role of a top 6 center on a team expected to contend for the Stanley Cup. The Bruins do have 2 other centers in Peverley and Kelly, but that sort of leap of faith doesn't seem to be in Chiarelli's nature. Also, although it appears at first glance that there's an organizational surplus at center, it's very possible that that surplus is by design, as the team has put a premium on centers in the past and still has a playoff series collapse against the Flyers that was caused by the lack of NHL caliber centers on hand.
For me personally, this would be a really tough call. Krejci has long been one of my favorite Bruins of this regime, while Ryan is in the starting 6 of my non-Bruins I've wanted the team to acquire (it just so happens that every player in that list is American-born). That being said, I think the Bruins would be better served saving their trade chips for a true #2 defenseman, one that would slide everyone below Chara down to a lineup spot they are more suited for. If there were a way to acquire Ryan without touching the current top 6 or Dougie Hamilton however, I'd be all for it. That however, is highly unlikely, as Ryan would have many suitors who could provide a top 6 forward +, including the man who originally drafted him in Brian Burke of Toronto.