Revisiting The Bobby Ryan Trade – A Year Later


It is Anaheim Ducks day at SenShot and there are essentially two things that make the Senators and Ducks intertwined.  The first is the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals and the second is the Bobby Ryan trade.  I will look at the former a little later today, and now I will revisit the deal, that although the players involved are now completley known, there are still some outstanding issues to be resolved before on can fully evaluate the trade.

First off, the players involved.  After all of the draft picks have settled, the trade ended up being Bobby Ryan to the Senators in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and Nick Ritchie.

While Ryan’s first year in Ottawa was less than overwhelming, he did play hurt over the second half of the year which could have been a factor in his disappointing production.

On the other side, Silfverberg was still searching for his way in a strong Ducks lineup, but now with a year under his belt and the departure of Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Nick Bonino should open up some ice time and a more offensive role for the young Swede.  Noeson had his season ended very early with a devastating knee injury in practice with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate after just 2 games, forcing him to miss the season.  What his ceiling is as far as an NHL player has always been in question, and even moreso now with the need to recover from this injury.

The crown jewel of the trade from the Ducks perspective might just turn out to be Ritchie, who the Ducks selected 10th overall with the pick that originally belonged to the Senators.   He is just the type of power forward with offensive potential that the Senators need on their roster, and you have to wonder if the Senators would do that deal again if they had known it would have ended up being a top 10 pick even in a relatively weak draft.

Secondly, the lasting impact of Bobby Ryan in Ottawa will determine if the Senators made the right decision in parting with 3 young assets for 1 proven scorer.  If Ryan can’t be convinced to sight on long term within the next month or so, then it is something that is going to haunt the Senators and be the focus for much of the season until he A) signs an extension; B) gets traded at the deadline or before or C) comes out and states that he wants to test free agency when his contract expires in July 2015 and the Senators can get a deal done for him early in the season.

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If Ryan doesn’t think the Senators have done enough to field a competitive team or the frugal Sens do not ante up a competitive offer in terms of salary and years, then the likelihood of Ryan deciding to bail increases.  And I don’t know which factor will play a more important role in his decision, I just fear that neither factor is likely to make him stay.

Also, if Ryan does sign long term and can’t be the 30 goal, 70 point producer the Senators need him to be, the trade will also look bad for Ottawa.

If that is the case, then the Senators might have no other choice but to deal him as a rental, and in that case they won’t get anywhere near the return that they paid for him at that time, and it would also mean the third major defection in 3 years for the Senators franchise. Ryan is in the driver’s seat in negotiations, and his decision will go a long way to closing the book on the July 5th 2013 trade, for better or worse.