Bobby Ryan: Perfect Fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Burke's ConscienceContributor IMay 28, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 02:  Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks moves the puck defended by Sami Salo #6 of the Vancouver Canucks in the third period at the Honda Center on April 2, 2010 in Anaheim, California. The Canucks defeated the Ducks 5-4 in a shootout.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that the Leafs need a top-six forward.

There are many names being thrown around, and there are scenarios set up that could possibly land these impact forwards. To get a top-tier player, such as Bobby Ryan, you must give up something that the other team wants/needs.

Not every NHL GM is as dumb as Mike Milbury.

There are many reasons why, for the right price, Bobby Ryan would look good in the Blue and White. Firstly, in Brian Burke's system, you have a top-six who will be able to score from LW, C, and RW. Ryan, who went second overall in what's known as "The Crosby Draft" can now be considered a proven scorer.

In 2008-2009, Ryan posted an unbelievable 31 goals, 26 assists, and 57 points in a mere 64 games. He followed this up with 35 goals, 29 assists, and 64 points. After putting these numbers up at just the age of 23, he can definitely be considered a force in years to come. Another attractive feature about trading for Ryan is that he has shown that he does not want to play in Anaheim anymore. 

This can work to the Leafs' advantage. If the Ducks were to send Ryan to Toronto, there would be a pretty hefty price tag attached, but they know they can't expect full value, seeing as Ryan has said he wants out.

The Leafs do not have a ton of players they could give up, but here is one deal that could happen:


To Leafs

Bobby Ryan

Kyle Chipchura


To Anaheim

Tomas Kaberle

Mikhail Grabovski

John Mitchell

Fifth- or seventh-round pick 


This deal works very well for both teams.

Obviously for the Leafs, they get another top-six forward, who has immense scoring potential (and can score now as well). But they also get another big piece of the puzzle. By getting Kyle Chipchura, they get a centre who is 6'2", 204 pounds, can skate and play two-way hockey, but can also play a grinding role and even drop the mitts. He fits perfectly into the Brian Burke "Top Six-Bottom Six."

Chipchura's contract is only $500,000 and is an RFA next year, so if impressed, the Leafs may re-sign him. Chipchura notably is a former first-round pick (18th overall) by the Canadiens in the 2004 Draft.

For the Ducks, they get fair value for a top scorer who it will be hard to get full value for, as well as a "bottom-six" centre. Obviously, Kaberle is the catalyst in any big trade the Leafs will make, seeing as the other team will pick up a defenseman who has a good five years at least left in him.

More than that, he is an excellent skater, a great passer who can carry the puck as well, and a great PP quarterback. He has very, very high hockey IQ, and is an asset to any team.

In Mikhail Grabovski, as well as John Mitchell, the Ducks get two centres who have tons of offensive potential but have not seen great success with the Leafs. Grabovski is a great skater, who needs a bit of polishing. Mitchell is a centre who has put up good numbers in his junior career, and maybe just needs a change of scenery to spark him.

The Leafs' lines would go as follows:

Kulemin - Bozak - Kessel

Stalberg - Kadri - Ryan

Sjostrom - Hanson - Caputi

Orr - Chipchura - Irwin/Rosehill?


Phaneuf - Komisarek

Beauchemin - Schenn

Gunnarsson - Van Ryn





I believe that Bozak could be the No. 1 centre if playing between two solid players such as Kulemin and Kessel. Kulemin is great two ways, and we all know Kessel is a softie, but our biggest scoring threat nonetheless.

On line two, I see Kadri fitting well with Ryan and Stalberg. Ryan has had time to develop, and has shown that he can produce numbers. Stalberg, playing with a playmaker like Kadri and a goal-scorer like Ryan, should have a significantly better year than last.

Bozak and Kadri should be able to handle the load at No. 1 and 2 centres. Bozak showed a ton of promise last year, and showed fairly good chemistry playing between Kessel and Kulemin.

If Burke is serious about his short-term plan, Kadri will be on the big club next year. He is a very promising young prospect who has professional talent. This kid is ready to play, but they should see if his performance in this year's preseason is anything like last years.

If he plays with the same competitive edge, I don't think you can leave him off of the roster.


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