Bobby Ryan Is the Answer in Toronto for the Leafs

Shahriar BalouchiContributor IIIJuly 3, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 31:  Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on March 31, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2012 NHL draft came and went and the Leafs made all their selections, and the chatter of trades at the draft turned out to be just that. 

Leafs GM Brian Burke did make one significant move before leaving Pittsburgh after the draft was complete, and that was the acquisition of James van Riemsdyk. 

When I initially heard of the trade, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I liked Luke Schenn a lot and still do. The kid has high upside and he will be crushing Leafs players for years to come.

The Leafs did address a key need, which was size and skill. Let's get something straight—James van Riemsdyk does not play a mean game. He does finish his checks and does not shy away from the front of the net, but he is no Steve Ott or Luke Schenn when it comes to standing up for teammates.

So after I thought about it some more, an idea came to me and then I started to get excited about the trade.

With JVR being added for Schenn, what if the Leafs were to package Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin, Nazem Kadri and a young D-man (Cody Franson, anyone?) for a power forward who could play center as well?

I thought about it and Bobby Ryan was the only player that made sense. Burke loves him. He is on his way out of Anaheim, and Burke has the inside track in Anaheim in terms of making deals with his former team.

The Leafs would replace the two wingers on the second line with two new ones who possess both size and skill. One has scored 30 goals many times and the other one wants to break out.

This would give the Leafs many options in terms of their top two lines.

Ryan could center the top line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul as his wingers, leaving Mikhail Grabovksi to center the second line with Matt Frattin and JVR on the flanks.

Or the Leafs could keep the line of Lupul-Tyler Bozak-Kessel together and try to create some chemistry with Grabovski, Ryan and JVR.

The Leafs have many players to fill out the bottom two lines, with the likes of Tim Connolly, Matthew Lombardi, Dave Steckel, Mike Brown, Joe Colborne, Jerry D'Amigo and the newly signed Jay McClement available to fight it out.

The Leafs have (if the cap remains at $70 million) $32 million in cap space to spend next year on July 1 with only 11 players under contract. Connolly, Lupul, MacArthur, Lombardi, Bozak, Steckel and Carl Gunnarsson all come off the books.

With Ryan and JVR here, I can see Burke making a big play for Getzalf and Perry if they do in fact hit unrestricted free agency.

Making this trade for Bobby Ryan does not only make the Leafs better now, but it also gives the Leafs many options in the future.

Burke has pretty much free reign here to offer anything and everything for Bobby Ryan, as he doesn't need any of the assets as they will not be kept in free agency.

What say you, Leafs Nation?

Bobby Ryan for MacArthur, Klumenin, Kadri, Franson and a pick? 

Too much? Not enough? Or just right?