NHL Trade Rumors: What Inking Bobby Ryan Would Mean for the New York Rangers

Greg SlotnickContributor INovember 30, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 23:  Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks waits for a faceoff against the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center on October 23, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks, owners of one of the top lines in the NHL for the last three years, have won only six of their 23 games so far this season.  They've won one of their last 10 and lost five straight.

Bottom line: they are reeling, and it appears that their ownership has had enough.  

According to multiple news sources, the Ducks are officially shopping Bobby Ryan, one of their star snipers who has tallied at least 31 goals in each of his last three seasons.

Ryan is only 24 years old and already has an Olympic silver medal with the USA, and deep playoff experience to boot.  He's one of the marquee young gunners in the NHL, and Glen Sather inquiring about his availability comes at the perfect time for the surging Rangers.  

Simply put: the New York Rangers are playing a brand of hockey that they has not been seen from them in the past 10 years, and maybe even since their legendary run in the spring of '94.

They've won each of their last three games against dominant Eastern Conference competition in Washington, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, and they've done it in style, getting contributions up and down the lineup.

Their depth and grit has helped them undeniably become an elite team in the league.  However, to take the next step, and go from regular-season success to a true Stanley Cup hopeful, the Rangers would do themselves a favor by pulling the trigger on a deal for Ryan—if the opportunity is there.

It's a common saying that whichever team gets the best player out of a trade wins the trade—and no one the Rangers would give up has the skill and potential of Bobby Ryan.

Having said that, there are ways that the Rangers could end up losers in a trade for Ryan, especially if it involves shipping off their top prospect, Chris Kreider of Boston College.

He is having an incredible year in college and has shown NHL-level skill.  Although it's unlikely that Sather would move him now, a year before his college graduation and NHL entry, it is still possible.

A more likely deal could involve Mats Zuccarello, who fell out of John Tortarella's favor early in the season and is unlikely to make his way back up any time soon, given the incredible play of recent call-ups Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell.

Dealing Zuccarello, Ryan Borque, and a couple of high draft picks would be a steal for the Rangers, but if they were asked to include a player like Dubinsky or Anisimov, Sather would have to take a long look at the trade.

If a deal is worked out though, say, for Dubi, Zuccarello, and a couple of picks, Bobby Ryan's impact on the team would be undeniable.

Right now, a look at the Rangers roster shows both skill and grit, with a little more of the latter. The addition of Ryan would give the Rangers a real solid potential power-play, something that has been lacking this season.

A top PP unit of Ryan-Anisimov-Gaborik with Del Zotto-Richards at the point would be lethal and vastly improve the one underachieving area of the team. It would also give the Rangers another guy who can create offense on his own, demand the respect of the opposing D-men, and thus, open up the ice in the offensive zone.

Ryan is also from the New York area (New Jersey) originally, and would be a fan favorite.

Adding Bobby Ryan to the current New York Rangers roster would push the team into title contention and could give the Blueshirts faithful their best June in 18 years.