The Philadelphia Flyers are struggling offensively.
If the offense doesn't pick things up soon or if another forward is lost to injury, the team will need to start actively pursuing someone like Bobby Ryan if it wants to remain competitive this season.
The Flyers lost James van Riemsdyk, Jaromir Jagr and Matt Carle this offseason. While none of them were necessarily standouts, Philadelphia does seem to be missing them in one way or another.
I was, and still am, a fan of the JVR-Luke Schenn trade, because although JVR is tearing it up for Toronto, it just didn't seem like he would be able to reach that potential in Philadelphia.
Just because JVR is doing well for the Maple Leafs right now doesn't mean he will maintain it over the course of the next few seasons and it certainly doesn't mean he would have played that well if he was still in Philadelphia right now.
Losing Jagr didn't seem like a huge deal at the time, and he was definitely overpaid by the Stars, but Claude Giroux is struggling right now and could definitely use him on his wing.
Carle was a terribly frustrating player, but he was adept in the offensive zone and a fully capable skater and puck-mover, which the Flyers need right now. A big part of their woes is coming from their lack of offensive talent on the back end.
Tye McGinn has been a nice surprise and Mike Knuble is a decent third-line short-term solution, but the Flyers are really hurting for another big piece on offense.
Sean Couturier just doesn't seem like he's going to bring a lot to the table offensively. He should develop into one of the best two-way centers in the NHL, but he lacks elite offensive ability.
Other guys, like Jake Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Matt Read are playing pretty well, but it just seems like something is missing.
That X-factor could be Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks.
He grew up near Philadelphia, is only 25 years old and is one of the best right-wingers in the NHL.
He produces consistently and has been incredibly healthy throughout his young career.
The big question is what it would take to bring Ryan to Philadelphia. The Ducks are in a bit of a conundrum right now, so their willingness to part with Ryan could be very fluid.
Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Toni Lydman and Saku Koivu will all be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Kyle Palmieri will be a restricted free agent.
The Ducks also spent a combined $21 million on Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen last summer, so their cap situation may be interesting this offseason.
If the Flyers were to press Anaheim, they may get a decent deal if the Ducks make re-signing Getzlaf and Perry a priority. Trading Ryan would also help them free up cap space to make a move and get younger if Koivu and Selanne retire.
So who should Philadelphia offer?
They don't have much in the way of defensemen, although someone like Erik Gustafsson, Shayne Gostisbehere or Brandon Manning could be enticing to the Ducks.
The Flyers should try to build a package around Scott Laughton. He has a lot of value at this point, but is stuck behind a crowded list of Flyers centers. Combining Laughton, Gostisbhere/Gustafsson and someone like Read or Voracek may get the job done.
If the Ducks insist, I think Paul Holmgren would be willing to substitute one of those players for a second-round pick and maybe just try to offer Laughton, Gostisbehere, first- and third-round selections to see if Anaheim bites.
I'd still consider Schenn and Couturier to be untouchable. Wayne Simmonds should also stay in Philadelphia no matter what.
But other than that, offering any combination of the above players for Ryan would be a good move for Philadelphia right now.
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