Although Bobby Ryan hasn’t been at the center of a lot of NHL rumors around trade talks in the Eastern Conference, at least not with the Pittsburgh Penguins, they have been mentioned among the teams that could be vying for him. The lack of buzz for Ryan may have a lot to do with the fact that he is not a free agent, but was thrown into the trade mix when a Philadelphia beat writer reported towards the end of June that he was unhappy with the Anaheim Ducks.
And with the New York Rangers being out of contention for Ryan after acquiring Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, the Penguins now have better odds at having him wear a black and vegas gold uniform. However, they will have to continue to compete with cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, especially since Ryan grew up near Philadelphia and playing near family may be somewhat enticing for him (which seems to be what most of these players are basing their decisions on this off-season).
Ryan was drafted in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks during the same draft class as the “Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes” in 2005. He was second overall only to Sidney Crosby who the Pittsburgh Penguins had won the rights to choose first during the draft lottery.
He is a talented winger, not to mention a highly coveted right-hand shooter, that would nicely fit into the Penguins lineup. Ryan, who has been successfully playing alongside Anaheim teammate and captain, Ryan Getzlaf, for the past several seasons definitely posesses the necessary characteristics for that of ‘a winger for Sid’ [Crosby] and could be just as successful along his side. He is a 30+ goal-scorer marking his fourth over-30 goal season last year while playing in all 82 contests. The sole fact that Pittsburgh would then have four top draft picks on one team with two first round picks (1st and 2nd overall) in Crosby and Ryan; and a first and second round draft picks, respectively, in Evgeni Malkin (2nd overall) and James Neal (33rd overall) makes acquiring Ryan an even more appealing option; not to mention that there would also be four over-30 goal scorers on the top two lines with those same four players.
With Pittsburgh still having some holes to fill and the free agency options dwindling as the 2012-13 season approaches, Ryan could definitely be added to their list of possibilities that would increase the chances at a respectable run for the Stanley Cup this season.
Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.