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After further review, this ‘Ducks shopping Ryan’ story is bizarre

Nov 29, 2011, 5:04 PM EST

Image (1) bobbyryan4-thumb-250x375-20756-thumb-250x375-20757.jpg for post 5943

Let’s answer a few questions regarding the rumors that Anaheim’s shopping Bobby Ryan.

Didn’t Ryan sign a huge extension last year?

Yup. It was a five-year, $25.5-million deal, one of the few long-term commitments Anaheim’s made (only Ryan and defenseman Luca Sbisa are locked in until 2015.)

“They would like me to hold down the fort in case one of those guys [Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf] goes elsewhere,” Ryan said upon signing the deal. “The biggest thing for me was trying to figure out where those guys were going to be moving in three years. After speaking with those guys, they are both committed to this team and organization. I felt a lot better doing a five-year deal.”

Did Ryan rub someone the wrong way?

Last year’s contraction negotiations were acrimonious, but they don’t seem relevant now. Carlyle’s dropped Ryan to the third line, but that sounds like a move to generate scoring depth, not a punishment. Ryan did have an interesting response when Randy Youngman of the OC Register asked about management making a major trade:

“Can you blame (management) entirely if they do? Probably not.”

What’s the brass saying?

Not much. GM Bob Murray and head coach Randy Carlyle aren’t offering anything publicly. Ducks CEO Michael Schulman did speak with Helene Elliott of the LA Times on Monday, giving Murray a vote of confidence.

“We are certainly frustrated with the results to this point but remain optimistic that we can turn this season around,” Schulman said. “Bob has been largely responsible for a great deal of our success since he joined the organization, and we have complete confidence he will lead us out of this difficult time as well.”

Schulman then deferred to Murray regarding any potential coaching change.

Is Anaheim strapped financially?

Yup again. According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Ducks are hamstrung by an internal budget — it’s why they had to wait for Niklas Hagman to clear re-entry waivers (got him at half-price), didn’t put a waiver claim on Blake Comeau and probably won’t fire Carlyle. “[Carlyle] just received an extension through the end of the 2013-14 season,” Friedman writes. “If Murray wanted to make a change, will he be allowed to, considering the budget tightness?”

Conclusions?

Only one: Murray’s in charge of fixing this mess.

But there’s a catch — he’s gotta fix it while wearing handcuffs. He can’t take on extra salary and he probably can’t fire the coach (since Anaheim’s paying him until 2014.) Maybe that’s why he’s making exploratory phone calls about Ryan, though that still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Why sign Ryan to a mega-extension, then flip him a year later? Why give up on a 24-year old with three 30-goal seasons? Why not re-assess things after your UFAs (Jason Blake, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Francois Beauchemin) come off the books this summer?

And most importantly: What does Anaheim want in return?

  1. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    it seems VERY unlikely he is traded… I just don’t see how it would make any sense for the Ducks.

  2. elvispocomo - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    The only way I see it is if they go for a few players in return to replace their pending UFAs and hope to rebuild around them. Why you’d choose to drop Ryan and still hope to get better in coming years can only be related to the cap.

  3. danphipps01 - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    Honestly, I’d sooner write this season off than dump Ryan. Why? The UFAs Mike mentioned. At this point, if they don’t pull a hot streak out of their collective hats, they’ll probably fare well at the draft, and when you combine a potential early starter in the NHL with the money freed up by some of their questionable contracts (Blake, Beauchemin) coming off the books, you have the potential for the Ducks to rebound. The downside is, this season’s sacrificed in that plan. But what alternatives are there? If the best idea they’ve got is trading a young star power forward at a deficit, which they would given their weak bargaining posiiton as a team losing all of their games, they don’t have any realistic plans to recover this season anyway.

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