Well, it's that time of year again.
With the draft now just days away, it seems as though rumors are running rampant, as usual.
It was this tweet from Bob McKenzie of TSN that stirred the pot regarding Ryan:
Hearing ANA's Bobby Ryan is "available" again after being taken off trade market after Randy Carlyle's Duck departure.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2012
For those who don't remember, Bobby Ryan was actually atop Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke's wish list around the time of the NHL trade deadline.
If Bob McKenzie is right, and Bobby Ryan is, in fact, back on the market, there is no reason to believe that Toronto wouldn't once again be interested in prying the perennial 30-goal scorer from the clutches of Bryan Murray and his Ducks.
Around the time that the original rumors were swirling, I actually wrote a piece on why Bobby Ryan would be the perfect target for Leafs GM Brian Burke.
Should Brian Burke make a play for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan is he's available?
The same logic still applies today.
Ryan would still fit into Toronto's long-term plans, he'd still provide an excellent source of secondary scoring, and his price tag would be lower than other marquee players on the trade market (see Nash, Rick).
After having missed the postseason again in 2012, it seems as though acquiring Bobby Ryan if he is available should be even more of a priority now than it was back in February.
Considering Anaheim already has a high draft pick which they can use to draft one of the many coveted defensemen in this year's entry draft, Toronto may not even have to give up their fifth overall pick in this year's draft to acquire Ryan.
After all, it doesn't seem as though the Ducks are looking at a complete re-build and would be more interested in NHL-ready talent.
Perhaps a deal involving the rights to Cody Franson, a Matt Frattin or Nazem Kadri-type player, Clarke MacArthur, and next year's first round selection gets the deal done (though a re-signed Cody Franson would certainly help the chances of this trade coming to fruition).
At this point, if there is an option other than Rick Nash (who still seems to be commanding a king's ransom for an asking price) for Burke to pursue, it would be best for the team's future to explore it.
Not to mention, we already know how much Burke loves bringing in players that he had in Anaheim, and considering that Burke drafted Ryan himself with a second overall pick in 2006, I'm sure there's already been a call made to Anaheim to inquire about the young sniper.