The Anaheim Ducks should do everything possible to acquire a talented center from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Bobby Ryan, whether it's David Krejci, young prospect Jared Knight or someone else.
Right now, the Bruins aren't willing to trade Krejci, according to James Murphy of ESPN Boston:
The teams have had "exploratory" talks regarding Ryan, according to a source close to the situation, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made it known that Krejci and Milan Lucic (also mentioned in recent trade rumors) are not available.
While giving up Lucic would be a poor move for the Bruins since his skill set for a man his size is so rare, trading Krejci to fill a need on the wing would be a smart move by Chiarelli.
The Bruins' tremendous depth at center makes Krejci even more expendable. Transitioning Seguin to the center position from the wing is the best way for the Bruins offense to maximize its talent and skill going forward. For this to happen, a trade involving Krejci leaving and an elite winger like Ryan coming to Boston would have to be made.
Here is a breakdown of the possible line combinations for the Bruins if they acquire Ryan in a trade involving Krejci:
|1||Milan Lucic||Tyler Seguin||Nathan Horton|
|2||Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||Bobby Ryan|
|3||Jordan Caron||Chris Kelly||Rich Peverley|
|4||Shawn Thornton||Gregory Campbell||Daniel Paille|
The Ducks' need for more offense could grow significantly in the next year or so, because nearly all of their best forwards will go into the upcoming season set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2013. Of the team's top five forwards, only Ryan is signed beyond next year.
Superstars Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are entering the final year of their current deals and will be free agents next summer. Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu will be free agents as well, and it wouldn't be surprising if both retire after the season. They are 42 and 37 years old, respectively.
It's possible that the Ducks could lose a couple of their top forwards soon, including their two best centers in Getzlaf and Koivu.
Krejci is signed for three more years with a salary-cap hit of $5 million per season, which makes him an inexpensive addition to any team. Krejci's impressive playoff success also cannot be ignored. He has 20 goals and 27 assists in 57 career playoff games.
If the Bruins are determined to keep Krejci, then talented center prospect Jared Knight of the London Knights might be able to help a deal for Ryan get done. Knight shined with the Knights this season and helped lead them to the OHL title over the Niagara IceDogs. He scored 26 goals with 26 assists in 52 games.
Both sides can benefit from making a Bobby Ryan trade. The Bruins need a scorer on the wings for their first or second line, and the Ducks need a young, established top-six center. There's no reason for a deal not to happen between the two teams.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and has covered the team firsthand since the 2010-11 season. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.