NHL Trade Rumors: Why Derek Roy to Anaheim Ducks for Bobby Ryan Makes Sense

T.J. McaloonContributorJanuary 11, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Honda Center on November 27, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There are trades in the NHL that are smart, and then there are trades that appease both fanbases.

Very rarely do you see the trade that is smart for both teams and makes both team’s fans happy.

Trading Buffalo Sabers’ Derek Roy for Anaheim DucksBobby Ryan would be one of those moves that is the perfect combination of smart and keeps the fans happy. 

Now, both players have not been rumored in the same breath for each other. However, Ryan and Roy were recently brought up in trade discussions by people with some close NHL connection.

From the Boston Herald

Roy getting dangled was the word on Saturday night’s telecast from longtime HNIC reporter Elliotte Friedman and again in his weekly "30 Thoughts" column posted Monday on the network’s website.

"It’s fine. It’s whatever people say," Roy said. "You can’t worry about it and do anything about it. You have to go out and play your game. Everyone here is trying to do their job, whether it’s stopping the puck, playing defense and scoring goals. We all have to do our part.

The Anaheim Ducks are believed to have looked at both Roy and Drew Stafford when General Manager Bob Murray was in town in late November. Roy’s name is getting more attention lately because his contract has only one more year to run at a salary of $5.5 million but a reasonable cap hit of just $4 million.

If the Ducks would make a move for Roy, then a player like Ryan would have to be in return for the Sabers to make this deal work for both sides. 

However, Jim Matheson from the Edmonton Journal thinks that Buffalo would be a good landing spot for Ryan: 

Another league executive agrees Ryan is the most likely to move on.

“He’s really good, don’t get me wrong, but Getzlaf and (Corey) Perry? They go together,” he said, unsure what Ryan would fetch other than young players.

The Buffalo Sabres, with the league’s highest payroll, aren’t pleasing new owner Terry Pegula, either. They’re talented, but it’s a stale bunch and they’re small up front with Derek Roy, Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe leading the charge.

On most nights this year, they’ve got Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, and that’s it.

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 28: Derek Roy #9 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 28, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If this trade would happen, with the Ducks sending Ryan to Buffalo for Roy, it moves two struggling players onto new teams that could jump start their seasons. 

For Anaheim, Roy gives the Ducks some cap relief when two of their biggest stars, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, become free agents at the end of the 2013 season. 

Roy's cap hit of $4 million comes off the books when he is an unrestricted free agent in '13. If it doesn’t work with Roy and the Ducks, then they can part ways with him after one-and-a-half seasons, while being able to re-sign Getzlaf and Perry.

However, if it does work out great, Roy's $4 million per year is cheaper than what the Ducks are paying Ryan.

For Buffalo, they get another young piece to build a championship around.

Ryan does have a cap hit of $5.1 million until 2015. However, with Sabers owner Pegula willingness to spend to build a team, it would seem that he would not be opposed to spending the money on the talented winger. 

Buffalo and Anaheim are struggling teams. However, moving two of their top-tiered players could give them that shot in the arm that propels them to a huge second half of the season.