The 2011-2012 Philadelphia Flyers had a productive season and were among the final eight teams left in the NHL playoffs. If their season is looked at from a Flyers fan's perspective, then one word comes to mind: disappointing.
From the goaltending issues that have plagued Philadelphia for a number of years to the pair of aging defenders, the Flyers clearly have their work cut out for them this offseason.
No matter what the team's biggest needs are, acquiring a playmaker is always at the top of any franchise's list and Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks looks like he could be the next big player on the move.
The past four seasons Ryan has scored at least 31 goals and had at least 26 assists a season. Clearly the productivity is there.
Giroux is the Flyers' center and Hartnell is the left wing, which means that, on paper, with Ryan on the right wing, the Flyers would have 217 points across their first forward line.
Ryan's addition would make the Flyers' first line one of, if not the most dangerous first line in the NHL.
During the 2011-2012 season, Ryan ranked 23rd among right wingers in average ice time at 18:21. He played heavy minutes but was never forced to miss any time due to injury.
Only eighteen right wingers played every game last season, and it's easy to see how playing every game in such a physical sport makes a player unique. It points to one of Ryan's most important traits, his durability.
The less time a player misses, the more time they are available to help their team win and that would be a very welcome addition to the Flyers.
Playing for the 2010 United States Olympic Hockey Team earns you a lot of credibility and more importantly, a lot of experience.
Hockey is similar to soccer in the sense that the NHL is made up of people from all over the world. It's a large part of what makes the NHL so much fun to watch.
When the game gets taken into international competition, the style of play completely changes, and players are exposed to a variety of playing styles that would not be possible in the NHL. Each country is different, and those that get to experience this are generally well served.
Ryan was able to be a part of a U.S. hockey team that took the silver medal in an overtime loss to Olympic favorite Canada. He was 22 years old at the time, and the Olympic stage had a role in shaping his game.
Only 23 players were on the U.S. Olympic roster that year and the lessons that Ryan learned would help a Flyers team that is in need of more experience. Especially after the departure of veteran Jaromir Jagr.
Piggybacking on his Olympic experience, Ryan has the knowledge and name for other players to look up to him.
It is only natural for players to admire players that have succeeded and done it at the highest level. Bobby Ryan fits that mold perfectly.
Ryan was not a captain with the Ducks and might not be a captain with the Flyers, but that shouldn't make his potential impact in the locker room and on the ice any less significant.
He still has the makings of a leader, and if his head is in the right place then he should step up and become just that.
At 6' 2", 209 lbs, Bobby Ryan isn't too difficult to miss on the ice.
On top of that size, he has the speed to create space from other wingers and the agility to avoid the big hits from defensemen.
Wayne Simmonds is the same height as Ryan, but might want to think about starting on some protein shakes if he wants to make up for the 26-pound weight difference. As Philadelphia's current No. 1 right wing, bringing in Ryan would immediately makes Simmonds' lack of size a topic of discussion.
Sure, Simmonds' blazing speed makes up for his thin frame, but Ryan has too many physical tools for his status as a first-line winger to ever be questioned.
Philadelphia fans are notorious for being rowdy and energy filled. They will boo and hate on a struggling player just as hard as they will support and root for someone that is succeeding. They soak in and thrive on anything that excites them.
Plays like the one above would only add to that.
Ryan's combination of physical tools and his hockey skill set make him a human highlight real waiting to happen. Sure not every goal or assist will be exciting; but when a player has tools like his, it's only a matter of time until ESPN puts his goals on the Top 10 list.
There are certain things in this world that just make sense: Dogs bark, cats meow, players don't play well when they are unhappy with the team they are on.
"I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."
Acquiring Ryan in a trade would put him near his home town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey and would inject a fresh feeling into him and hopefully his game.
Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek both produce points at a solid rate and are currently the Flyers' first- and second-line right wingers.
Third-liner Max Talbot gets his fair share of points but is looked at as more of a bench player who needs to be the team's tough guy and provide heart.
Bobby Ryan's addition would push everyone down a slot in the depth chart, but it would also move them into roles that they are more comfortable playing.
Let's face it, Ryan is going to start and his acquisition would give the team much more talent, especially at right wing . Why not add depth at the same time as adding talent?
As most professional sports go, the NHL is getting younger and younger. That isn't to say that older players can't play though as hockey is actually one of the sports where a long career is possible, it's just that youth is beginning to take over.
This is a perfect reason for the Flyers to grab Ryan. Getting the team a little bit younger should give the older generation a healthy break when it's necessary and they're feeling tired.
Ryan does not play too many minutes per game, but that could easily change as he enters the prime of his career.
Bobby Ryan is part of an elite group of young players with exceptional upside and potential.
He has all of the physical tools, his skill level is off the charts, and he is a very well-rounded player.
It really just comes down to grabbing him. If Philadelphia wants to become an even more exciting team with the potential for greatness then they will see that Bobby Ryan is the guy they should be after.