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August 18, 2012 | 6:20pm ET
Ryan still hoping for change
 While a trade is not imminent, Bobby Ryan is still a hot commodity.

NEW YORK, NY -- A four-time 30 goal scorer is not a bad consolation prize for missing out on the Rick Nash grand prize. And for teams in that position, Bobby Ryan will fit just fine.

It has become increasingly move evident that a split between the American forward and the Anaheim Ducks is likely. In an exclusive interview with Randy Miller of the Courier-Post last month, Ryan made it perfectly clear he would be willing to accept a trade.

"Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately," Ryan said. "Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way."

The message was also crystal clear when he quipped, "I take things personally."

Ryan, as well as Nash, were the two biggest scorers frequently mentioned in trade rumors over the past few months. The Ryan rumors even began as early as December of last year, with some insiders having the New York Rangers as the front-runners. But with the Rangers all but definitely out of the race after making their big of-fseason move, there are still more than a few teams that would love the New Jersey born winger to make them his new home.

The most popular destination for Ryan has been the Philadelphia Flyers in recent months. Growing up a Flyers fan, in the nearby town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, it would make a lot of sense for Ryan to return to the first place he called home.

In the very same interview with Miller, Ryan discussed the possibility of playing in Philadelphia.

"Everybody wants to play in your hometown, but it would be tough because a lot of expectations come when you're put into a situation like that," he said. "For me, if I'm moved, Philadelphia would be a very ideal and comfortable place for me."

He also reflected on the idea of playing with star center Claude Giroux.

"Claude Giroux has done things to elevate his team to a new level," he said. "If I were to come to Philly, I would love to be alongside him."

With the re-stocking of shelves, and the full reset that occurred in Philadelphia a short while ago, they also very have the right pieces to get it done. At the top of Anaheim's wish-list should definitely be young forwards Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.

Obviously, Philadelphia would prefer to hang on to all three of them, but it's impossible to foresee a deal without one of the three heading West with varying degrees of likelihood.

Detroit has spent the off-season like the teenager who never found a prom date. They were in on Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Nash, and came up with Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson. Not exactly the most stellar summer for a team that just lost one the top defenseman to ever play the game. Detroit has had continued success in the draft department, however, and does have a few interesting young pieces.

Unfortunately, at the top of Anaheim's shopping list should be defenseman Brendan Smith, who is more valuable to a Nicklas Lidstrom-less defense than many other teams in the NHL. They have some attractive young pieces still with young forwards Thomas Tartar, Gustav Nyquist, and Teemu Pulkkinen.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been tight-lipped about the team's moves (or non-moves) thus far stating.

"We're going to continue to explore the market," he said during the team's Winter Classic press conference last month. "There are some players on the free agent market that we have some interest in. There is some trade talk out there, which we're trying to explore."

Another team who has been strongly linked to Ryan this off-season has been the Buffalo Sabres. Ryan's reservations about joining the team would be the lack of a clear-cut number one playmaking center. Ryan has been very transparent about his desire to skate alongside a top playmaking talent.

This, however, has not stopped Buffalo from inquiring and considering the option of bringing the young forward to New York State.

Ottawa, another possible destination for Ryan, were hot on the Nash front. They were often linked to Nash, because of their desire to take their team up a notch and replace the aging Daniel Alfredsson's production.

Senators GM Bryan Murray spoke to reporters after confirmation of Alfredsson's return but didn't give any clues as to what the team has planned for the rest of the off-season.

"We talk to people on a regular basis about what they're doing with particular players," he said.

As cryptic as it sounds, Ryan would be a good fit in Ottawa, and they have the young assets to get a deal done with top forward prospect Mika Zibanejad.

Of course, the team that always makes the most sense is usually the least likely destination, and that is again the case here. Despite being division rivals, the San Jose Sharks would love a ticket to the Bobby Ryan sweepstakes.

San Jose has been looking at every possibility to upgrade their forward core, and Ryan could fit perfectly in San Jose playing alongside one of the best playmakers in the game over the past ten years.

Unfortunately for San Jose, Anaheim would likely ask to be completely blown away to let him go to an inter division rival.

All is quiet on the trade front for now, but as we have seen time and time again... that all changes with just one phone call.

Patrick Kearns is a Columnist for TheFourthPeriod.com and the New York Correspondent for The Fourth Period Magazine.


 

 

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