10 Mistreated NHL Stars Who Should Demand Trades (After Bobby Ryan)
He has had four consecutive seasons with 30 or more goals. Yet, Ryan is not happy with his position on the Ducks. He has heard his name come up in trade rumors, and he has taken that as disrespect from his employers.
He may not be correct in believing that the Ducks don't have much regard for his ability, but it doesn't matter because Ryan feels disrespected. He told Randy Miller of the Camden-Courier Post that he would not mind being traded.
There are other players around the NHL who may not be in an ideal situation with their current teams. Here are 10 "mistreated" players who would be better off demanding trades.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane has been one of the Chicago Blackhawks' mainstays for the last five seasons.
He has been scoring key goals for them since he was 19, but no goal was more important than the one he scored in overtime to beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. That game-winning and series-winning goal gave the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup since 1961.
Despite the success that has seen him score 126 goals, Blackhawks fans and management want more. They want Kane to be a superstar who is worthy of having been the No. 1 pick overall in the 2007 draft.
Kane has been good to very good, but not elite. Some question his maturity and commitment because he has tended to party quite often (source: ESPNChicago.com) in the offseason. If Kane believes he would be more productive elsewhere, he should demand a trade.
P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
P.K. Subban is one of those athletes who often finds himself in the middle of controversy.
The Canadiens' young defenseman has superstar ability because of his skating, puck-carrying and explosive shot from the point. He has scored big goals for the Canadiens, including one in the seventh game of the 2011 playoff series with the Boston Bruins that tied the game and sent it to overtime.
However, Subban also makes his share of mistakes. While he has dominating ability, he will often disappear for long periods of the game, leaving the Canadiens to wonder about his inconsistency.
In a practice session in mid-January, a Canadiens' assistant coach yelled at Subban for his lack of effort (source: TSN.ca). Subban has shown a tendency to waltz at times.
Subban has taken the criticism well and has not complained publicly. However, the wounds caused by the criticism may fester, and he may be better off on another team
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Roberto Luongo's days with the Vancouver Canucks are likely coming to an end.
Luongo knows the team is trying to trade him, and he has no problem with that. He may have a problem with where the Canucks are attempting to trade him to, but in a radio interview on 993 The Fox in Vancouver, Luongo had positive things to say about the possibility of playing in Chicago.
Luongo has been a star goalie for the Canucks, but his struggles in the playoffs—particularly against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins—caused him to lose much of his luster.
The Canucks finished first overall in the regular season in 2011-12, and while they were beaten in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the team still has a strong core and may have a chance to win the championship. It seems that if they accomplish that goal, it will happen without Luongo on the roster.
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Nash has been on the trade front since the trade deadline during the regular season, but he still remains on the Blue Jackets roster. Columbus general manager Scott Howson is trying to trade Nash, but he is not making it easy for opposing general managers, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Howson is making huge demands and is having a difficult time completing a deal.
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
The 35-year-old Iginla has been a star with the Flames since the 1996-97 season. On the surface, the relationship between Iginla and the Flames has been sensational with plenty of mutual respect.
However, Iginla has had a a Hall of Fame career. He has scored 516 goals and has shown the ability to break down a defense with his wicked wrist shot and his strength in the corners. He could be a valuable weapon for any team that is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. It's time the Flames gave him a chance by trading him to a team that has a real chance to win.
Drew Stafford, Buffalo Sabres
The 26-year-old Stafford has a nice touch around the net, and he is one of the players the Sabres look to when they need to score goals. He has scored 20 or more goals in three of the last four seasons with a high of 31 in 2010-11. However, he has not been consistent enough from the Sabres' perspective.
The Sabres would like to have seen more competitiveness from him. Stafford was singled out in the Buffalo News for criticism by head coach Lindy Ruff last year when he let Ottawa's Jared Cowen score the winner in overtime in an early-season game last year.
The Sabres do not believe Stafford fights for every inch of ice, and he takes shifts off from time to time. That's why it's time to trade him.
Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens
Tomas Plekanec has been one of the Montreal Canadiens' most consistent players since becoming a regular on the team in 2005-06. Plekanec is a shifty skater and a clever puck handler. When he has the puck in the offensive zone, he can get his shot away quickly and also find the open man with the pass.
But it's time for Plekanec to move on. He has spent too much time on a team that has been struggling for too long. Plekanec is coming off a disappointing 52-point season in which he finished with a minus-15 plus-minus rating.
He also had a fight with teammate P.K. Subban during a January practice session (source: Associated Press). Plekanec, 29, is entering what should be the prime of his career, and he doesn't need to waste any more time with a franchise that will need at least two years with its new general manager Marc Bergevin at the helm to rebuild.
Mark Streit, New York Islanders
Streit missed the entire 2010-11 season and his timing looked poor after he returned at the start of the season. He seemed to find his way slowly but surely and by the midpoint of the season he looked competent once again.
Streit is a solid all-around defenseman with a good but not great shot. He is also a solid passer. He has a lot of value to a contending team that can use some defensive help.
Streit had 7 goals and 40 assists last year but finished with a minus-27 plus-minus rating.
Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers
Ilya Bryzgalov clearly had and up-and-down first season in Philadelphia. His 2.48 goals against average and his .909 save percentage ended up similar to what his career average had been, but the streaky nature of his season was disconcerting to the Flyers coaching staff, players and fans.
After the Flyers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils, Bryzgalov gave an interview with the Russian language publication Sovietsky Sport in which he said, "What I lived through this season I wouldn't wish to an enemy." (Sportsnet.ca translated and printed the remarks under reporter Luke Fox's byline.)
If Bryzgalov is that fragile and unhappy, perhaps Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has to think about trading the goalie. It's unlikely he will ever play his best hockey in Philadelphia, and it would be in the team and Bryzgalov's best interests to move him
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Could the Sabres trade Ryan Miller? It's a possibility considering the Sabres traded Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars, and the team is looking to change its image and personality.
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says the Sabres have had several conversations with Anaheim general manager Bob Murray about the much-discussed Bobby Ryan. If the Ducks are going to trade their high-scoring winger, they would want a high-profile player like Miller (or a player of similar quality) in return.