NHL Trade Rumors: Bobby Ryan Could Be Answer for St. Louis Blues

Steven ConklinCorrespondent IINovember 30, 2011

The Anaheim Ducks are off to a horrid 6-13-4 start and haven't done much to make NHL news. Until now. 

Monday night, Sportsnet's Darren Millard tweeted that Nick Kypreos discovered the Ducks are shopping star forward Bobby Ryan around. 

While it is hard to believe Anaheim would want to deal the 24-year-old winger with three years left on his deal, it certainly isn't crazy. 

Anaheim has lost 16 of its last 19 games and if this continues, it would have reason to shake things up by dealing Ryan. The Ducks are lacking both offensive and defensive depth. With these rumors now circling, many teams have and will continue to be brought up as suitors for the 2005 first-round pick.

The St. Louis Blues would be a team to watch for if there is a war for Bobby Ryan. 

Since hiring Ken Hitchcock as head coach, the Blues are off to a 8-1-2 start. They now look like a team who could crash the playoffs if they keep it up. 

St. Louis is tops in goals against (2.00) and shots against (25.6). The defensive play has been spectacular and both Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak have been hot in the crease. 

However, the offense is still a concern for the Blues. The young squad has the worst power play in the league (8.8 percent) and is 21st with 2.46 goals per game. If the Blues want to continue playing at the level they are, the offensive game must improve.

Bobby Ryan could be the answer in St. Louis.

Attaining Ryan would be no easy task for Doug Armstrong and the Blues. The Ducks will probably be hesitant to deal the him to another team in the West, since he could then come back to haunt them two-to-four times a year. 

If Anaheim moved past this hurdle, it'd be asking for a king's ransom in a Ryan deal. The Blues would certainly have to deal two top-six forwards, prospects and/or draft picks.

However, I don't believe this would halt St. Louis.

There is no question the Blues would have to part with either Chris Stewart or T.J. Oshie. They received Stewart last year from Colorado in the Erik Johnson deal. After a great start, it is fair to say Stewart hasn't been what they had hoped in the Blues' system.

Oshie, meanwhile, is the heart and soul of the Blues. His gritty, high-motor style of play has made him a fan favorite, but the addition of Bobby Ryan would do more for St. Louis at this point. He is a much better offensive threat than Oshie. 

The Ducks will undoubtedly want prospects. Although St. Louis isn't loaded with talent right now, it has enough to get a deal done. 

Anaheim would likely ask for prospects Evgeny Grachev and Ian Cole. Both are prospects who have seen NHL action this year. They are physical, defensive-minded players who would help the Ducks' defensive depth. 

St. Louis must pursue Bobby Ryan if he is indeed being shopped. 

Trading either Stewart or Oshie, another forward like Matt D'Agostini, two prospects and a couple of picks would be worth having Ryan in a Blues uniform.

A line of captain David Backes, Ryan, and Alex Steen would become one of the best in hockey and help launch St. Louis back into the postseason.


Steven Conklin is a contributing writer for the Bleacher Report and a student at the University of Central Missouri. He joined B/R in October 2011 and will be a B/R intern starting in January. Any comments, questions or suggestions are more than welcome.

Other Articles by Steven:

Perron's Return Will Boost Blues

Hitchcock a Perfect Fit for Blues

Brian Elliott or Jaroslav Halak?

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