Whenever the current labor negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA conclude with a new CBA, we could see several trades made around the league, and one prominent player who could possibly be dealt is Bobby Ryan.
Despite the number of trade rumors that the Anaheim Ducks star has been mentioned in over the last year or so, he has remained in Southern California.
However, there are a number of teams who could use him, especially the ones who have failed in free agency. Let's look at four teams that will likely make a play for Ryan at some point this season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins could be busy near the trade deadline next season, and they are a good trade partner for the Ducks in a potential Bobby Ryan deal.
Anaheim doesn't have too many impressive defenseman prospects in their organization, but Pittsburgh certainly has a few that the Ducks could covet.
Defensemen Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maata, both of whom were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL draft, as well as Joe Morrow and Simon Despres, could be used by Penguins general manager Ray Shero to acquire a goal scorer such as Ryan.
Seeing Ryan alongside Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby would be fun to watch.
I've discussed a possible trade scenario involving the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks involving David Krejci and Bobby Ryan a few times before, and even though it's getting old, I still think Boston is the best place for Ryan if he's dealt.
If Nathan Horton has more issues with concussions this year, Ryan would be the best possible top-line replacement on the wing for Boston.
With the Bruins also having very little room under the salary cap, it helps that Ryan and Krejci's salaries are quite similar.
The San Jose Sharks would be smart to acquire Bobby Ryan because he would help the current team contend for a Stanley Cup with their core group of veterans, such as Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, and he would also be a player that general manager Doug Wilson could build around for the future.
Defenseman prospect Taylor Doherty and top center prospect Freddie Hamilton are two players that the Ducks might covet in a possible trade with the Sharks involving Ryan.
The Sharks were 13th in goals per game last season, and they could definitely use a bit more goal-scoring depth throughout their top-nine forward group.
Ryan would be a fantastic fit in San Jose, and he knows the Sharks well since the Ducks play them many times per season as Pacific Division rivals.
If Leafs general manager Brian Burke needs more scoring from his Leafs team next season, he might target one of the better players he's ever drafted.
Burke knows Bobby Ryan well since he drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft while he was the GM in Anaheim, and the physicality that the Ducks star plays with would make him a solid fit in Toronto.
Randy Carlyle, who coached Ryan throughout his entire NHL career until the Ducks fired him in November, is now the head coach of the Leafs.
Toronto would likely be a comfortable place for Ryan given that he would have some former Ducks people around him.
To get a deal done with the Ducks, Burke would likely have to part with one of the talented young defensemen that the Leafs have in their organization.