Bobby Ryan Trade Rumors: Could the Blackhawks Be Interested?

Rumors out of southern California are that the Ducks might be shopping Bobby Ryan after an awful November has almost removed them from the Western Conference playoff picture already.

Could the Blackhawks be interested in Ryan? Should they be? And, if they are, what might it cost to get him to Chicago?

Should the Hawks be interested in Ryan? Absolutely! The 24-year-old has scored at least 31 goals in all three of his full seasons with the Ducks, finishing last year with a career-high 71 points in 82 games. Most importantly, Ryan is a left wing; he would naturally fit opposite either Patrick Kane or Marian Hossa on the Hawks’ top six, and would give the Hawks at least one line in their top six with three potential 30-40 goal scorers.

Ryan has three years left on his current deal, with a $5.1M cap hit. For a player with his skills and at his age, that isn’t an unreasonable dollar amount.

So the “should” question is simple. But whether or not the Hawks would consider him, and the cost, are the more important issues.

Ryan had 156 hits and 34 blocked shots for the Ducks last year, and would be a physical presence the Hawks are lacking in their top six. He played with Kane at the Olympics last year, and is one one of the really good young forwards in the game. He has found himself in the doghouse in Anaheim, though, and consistency has been the biggest complaint about him from the Ducks’ perspective.

The cost could be the most intriguing factor for the Hawks. For a good trade template, and relative cost for a player of Ryan’s ability, we only need to look back a few months to when Philadelphia traded Jeff Carter to Columbus.

Carter, 26, had more experience and success on his NHL resume, but also had a more prohibitive contract heading to the Jackets ($5.272M cap hit until 2022). The Flyers received Jakub Voracek, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 Draft, and a third-round pick for their young center.

Voracek, now 22, had 39 career goals when he was traded to Philadelphia this summer.

Obviously the Blackhawks won’t have anything as attractive as the eighth overall pick in the draft to offer, but draft position is the acceptable victim of success. They do, however, have some NHL players that could form a more attractive package than the Flyers received for Carter.

Bryan Bickell has 25 career NHL goals, and his hit numbers would provide (in theory) a physical player for the Ducks to slide into their lineup to partially replace Ryan. Bickell’s 17 goals last year are more than Voracek had in any NHL season before he was dealt.

The game-changer could be Niklas Hjalmarsson. He could partner with young Cam Fowler for the Ducks to give them a young, experienced, shot-blocking defenseman to fill their blue line for the next few years after veterans Francois Beauchemin and Kurtis Foster presumably leave as free agents this summer.

If the Blackhawks consider moving Hjalmarsson in a deal for Ryan, another move, whether it’s an addition via trade from outside the organization or a promotion of Ryan Stanton or Brian Connelly from Rockford, would likely have to follow to replace Hjalmarsson on the blue line.

Frankly, the Blackhawks have more glaring concerns on the back end of the ice than they do up front, where they’re among the league’s top scoring teams to date. Adding a physical forward like Ryan would be an improvement over Bickell, and would make the Blackhawks a devastating group of scorers, but their blue line would be further exposed if Hjalmarsson was included in a deal.

Using the Carter trade as a standard, a package of Bickell, Hjalmarsson and a mid-round pick (somewhere between the second and fourth round) could be enough for the Ducks to pull the trigger. If the Blackhawks needed to include a prospect, there is certainly enough forward depth that moving a forward wouldn’t compromise the organizational depth GM Stan Bowman has built in the last few years.

So could the Hawks be interested? Certainly. Should they? Absolutely. Could the Hawks afford the salary cap hit and asset cost in trade to bring Ryan to Chicago? Sure. Will it happen? Who knows… but it’s very doubtful.

The odds that Bowman would make a move to add another $5M forward to this team are probably less than five percent. But with a name like Ryan on the market, it’s interesting to consider.

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18 Responses to Bobby Ryan Trade Rumors: Could the Blackhawks Be Interested?

  1. jay says:

    Like ryan.. But there is no need for more scoring. Giving up hammer would be stupid since the d already sucks ass. With sharps extension kicking in next season, they need to use free cap space on d, not forwards.

  2. Kevin says:

    I’d rather spend that $5M on bringing in an all-star defenseman before another forward. We have more than enough promising prospect forwards to where it seems silly to get tied to another expensive forward. Dump Hammer, find a new defender that can cover minutes like Campbell without the outrageous salary. Leddy is showing he is skilled enough to deserve an equally powerful defensive pair.

  3. Tab Bamford says:

    As I’ve said all along to questions about guys like Ryan, Nash, Iginla and others, my belief is that the Hawks will use their cap space to improve the blue line, not add another forward. But I’ve received SO many emails, comments, and questions about Bobby Ryan since he allegedly “hit the market” last night that I used this forum to answer the questions.

  4. Neil says:

    Pitkanen from Carolina could be on the block..and would look great next to Leddy

  5. Cody says:

    While I agree with you Tab that the Blackhawks should be interested (and maybe they do have some interest in him, but I haven’t heard anything to indicate that they do) I don’t think there’s a chance in hell the Hawks get him and I think you’re vastly undervaluing Ryan and misjudging what Anaheim would want in return.

    Anaheim needs scoring, so there’s no way they trade him unless they’re getting two top nine forwards with scoring ability back and another asset (pick, prospect, defenseman) A package consisting of Bickell, Hjalmarsson and a mid-round pick is much, much too little for a player of Ryan’s calibre, especially considering the team trading him is looking for secondary scoring.

    I don’t have a proposal idea because, as I said, I don’t think there’s any chance the Blackhawks get Ryan without chizzling off a piece of their core and/or completely compromising their cap situation.

  6. Bryan says:

    Offense is not the problem, amp up the blueline before looking to add anymore scoring. Team defense has been an incredibly problem thus far this year. Penalty kill ranking 30th in the league now??? Deep runs in the playoffs are only possible with good team defense of which this team has shown thus far it lacks sorely…

    Hjalmarsson is +7 this year leading the defense corps…I think to lose him right now would only hurt no matter who you added.

  7. Ivan says:

    As long as we’re in fantasy land, swapping Bolland for Hammer in Tab’s proposed trade get’s this deal done faster and doesn’t sacrifice help on the back end. And while Kruger has a long way to go before he becomes Dave Bolland 2.0 he is well on his way. You don’t have to but I would be comfortable with Kruger skating third line C. And whether it happens this year or not – Bolland will be replaced by Kruger before he hits the open market as a UFA. The questions you have to ask is what you want to get for him? and when? More picks and prospects can’t hurt – but they don’t help win cups in the now either. Bobby Ryan does. He would make the Blackhawks next to impossible to check. And in the coming years when we are filling out our bottom six with guys like Morin, Smith and Hayes our secondary scoring will only get better.

    I don’t care if the hawks win championships atop 6-3 victories instead of 2-1 wins. Outscoring the opponent is the name of the game. The Oilers dynasty did it. Why not the Hawks?

    And now back to reality.

  8. E says:

    I would be ecstatic to see Ryan in red. The physical presence would discourage any checking, and the scoring potential on either of the first two lines, whatever they may be, would be ridiculous. However, I agree that we can’t afford to lose Hjalm, at least not yet.

    The idea of adding Bolland to a trade including Bickell and a pick is interesting, and we have prospects that have proved they can play the center position, at least on the energy line if not the checking line.

    However, while we’re talking superstars, I’d like to revisit the fact that Ryan Suter is going to be a UFA after this year. Sure it wouldn’t be a quick fix the way Ryan COULD be, I’d like to think it’s an interesting thought for the future of the team.

    With the fat deals that Weber (RFA after this season) and Rinne signed, the Preds need to decide whether they want to keep that spectacular pair together or chase a more potent offense. Adding Suter in the place of, say, Scott or O’Donnell and letting Hjalm skate with Montador doesn’t sound bad to me. Suter makes something like 3.5 yearly. Don’t re-sign Brunette and trade Bickell for a pick or prospect, clearing up 1.5 in cap space, and that leaves a dent of 2 in the, what, 5 of cap space we have. There would still be room to make any necessary moves with 3 million dollars in cap space.

    It’s obvious that the Hawks blue line is missing Campbell’s presence, why not sign a cheaper and arguably better D man?

  9. Kyle says:

    It’s fun to dream. Bowman is to conservative to be like the Oilers dynasty, I wish it were otherwise. Bowman things balenced teams D wins cups and hes right.But Ryan with Toews, Kane, Hossa and Sharp would be nearly unstoppable. I would take Ryan in a heartbeat and say forget Dfence. But that wont happen.

    So food for thought… Would the Ducks take Morin, Bickel, Beach, Stalberg and a mid range pick? Maybe even Burnette? I know it sounds like a lot, but do those players really fit in the long term plans for this team? Morin maybe. With sadd, smith, pirri, mcniel and the hayes brothers in the pipe I would be comfortable with that. and thats why I’m not a GM!

  10. wall says:

    IMO we need both… Treue power forward for 2nd line and “D” man… 2 options are to dump Bruno (so we have 8 mill to shop with) or trade… can’t trade D man… AHL d-men are not ready!

    So the only “fantasy island” trade would be Bolland… ( I am a Bollie fan!) but Kruger is the only “youngster” that can fill the shoes (from inside the organization) of a top 6-8 player…

    IMO -I still think a Power forward scoring LW is our top priority… the reason our defense was sooo great in 2010… our offense held the puck in the Offensive Zone for 2-3 line changes at a time!!!!! Carcillo couldn’t even skate on the 3rd line of that team!

  11. No Way says:

    Now starting to dismantle the core. First hammer, then sharp. I’m all for it too.

  12. ray says:

    A bit out of left field here…do you think it would realistic to package some prospects/picks/Bickell/Brunette to LA for Matt Greene. LA has a solid top six, but their third/fourth lines are like the ‘Hawks from last season, not enough reliable contributors.

    I think he’d be a great pick up to have on the 2nd pairing next to Leddy. Big, aggressive, defensively responsible stay at home dman. The rotation of O’Donnell, Lepisto, and Scott is not working. No one knows why Scott hasn’t been put on waivers yet. I like O’Donnell as a defacto player-coach, but like Brunette, he is not fast enough to play on this team. Thoughts?

  13. Tab Bamford says:

    I can’t help but wonder why I wasted time using bold print in the final paragraphs of this piece to make it clear there is litte/no chance Bobby Ryan comes to Chicago. However, this article was to serve as an answer to the dozens (literally… 27 to be exact) emails, msgs or comments received about Bobby Ryan since he was allegedly put on the market by Canadian media yesterday. Could the Hawks pull the trigger on a deal? Yes. But it simply doesn’t make sense to deal from a position of weakness – the blue line – in order to add to a position of strength – scoring forwards.

  14. wall says:

    Tab, I disagree w/ “position of strength-scoring forwards”… right now we have a few 5-star forwards and a bunch of 1-2 star forwards… there is no in between (only statistical 3-4 star forwards- 25 & 15) and I refuse to call Bruno anything more than a 2-star forward (excluding PP). We need a couple 2-3 three -four star complimentary forwards to do the “dirty” work and put the puck in the net!

    Our “D” should be just as good as 2010!!!! Leddy + Monty , should make up for Campbell + Sopel or be close to it, but it is not… so we can only conclude that Keith, Jammer are overrated and (Monty is a bust- what is the over-under on #5 “losing an edge” in the remaining games’?) or the offense can no longer control the puck for the majority of the games and take alot of pressure and responsiblity off of the “D”!

    I conclude- Versteeg, Ladd, Buff, Madden, Brouwer are smarter, tougher, better than Frolik, Bickell, Carbomb, Bruno, and Stalberg—Period! That is why Keith won the Norris!!!

    Now we can’t afford three-four 3 Mill+ guys right now… so we need 1-2 of them to come up the ranks from Minors cheap… sooner than later or the “core” guys will be looking for fatter contracts!

  15. wall says:

    last line should say-

    we need to bring a couple of guys up thru our minors -cheap, sooner than later, because if we wait 3-4 years some of the “core” guys will be ending their current contracts and most likely be looking at fatter deals!

  16. Tab Bamford says:

    So, wall, your position is that being the highest scoring team in the Western Conference doesn’t make scoring a strength of this team?

  17. wall says:

    My position is that when we have scored it is has come primarily from 1 line… and that is not going to get it done against top ten teams or in the playoffs…
    and we have been shutout 3 times (4 if you include the last game (last second PP goal)).

    I still ask was our defense that good in 2010 or was it really our ability to possess the puck? and limit quality chances- I still contend it was our ability to control puck-

    furthermore- when our D-Men aggressively play in the offensive zone… two things have happened- we have scored alot- or we have been scored on alot.

    after the 2 thumpings we took (Oilers + Flames) Coaches backed off the D in the offensive end. and we have not scored much since! Most scoring from 1 line!
    Our scoring has done what? 2, 2, zero goals, 6, 2, 1 ( PP w/30 seconds left)… 2.16 average against mediocre teams (excluding Sharks) in last 6 games.

  18. Bill Placzek says:

    Just what Bowman wants to do: Weaken his defense with the loss of Hammer, trade is most attractive low end contract (Bickell) to place his team in the same situation it was in less than two years ago…take on a 5.1 Mil deal for a poor skating wing, and then having to try to figure out who to launch when they try and tie up Nick Leddy to a long term deal, or try and sign Ray Emery long term.
    Only the most naive homer fans think that the minute a scorers name in mentioned as in play, that their team “needs” that player.
    So Stan Bowman, who already stole Leddy, and worked tough deals to patch together a team around Cap launched with decent returns is gonna jump at the chance to send a reliable second pair defender without a replacement? (and that is not even considering how well he and Leddy have worked together). I think if you are looking at a top echelon team whose success is wrapped around 4 scoring forwards and two top superb defenders, you see them deciding what can be bought as insurance at forward and dee. A guy like Tampa’s Dominic Moore, who at 1 mil can slide up and down any of the centre slots if an injury occurs and be quick enough and solid defensively. I know the dream would be for former Toews tutor Shane Doan to agree to a short move for a chance to win a Cup (and then re-sign as an UFA with Coyotes similarly to what happend with keith Tkachuk some time back)-he is a stand alone scorer, who still can be a solid defensive presence, play with jam, and take an odd face-off…but his renta WILL cost.
    L’il Scotty will also be looking for any player whose cap hit and ability might enable him to get a keeper (not a rental) and have someone who provides strong competition to the lower end of his roster. I just don’t think the are going to get rash now that things are in control, no clamor to find the “perfect sixth defender” or addition impact scorer whose contracts make them Olesz like no mater what their rpoductionw as playing with Getzlaf and Perry…

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