Throughout this summer, Anaheim Ducks right winger Bobby Ryan has been a recurrent subject of speculation, sparked by his comments in late June expressing frustration over being frequently mentioned in trade rumors.
The ensuing silence on the matter from Ryan and Ducks management merely stoked conjecture over his future in Anaheim.
Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register shed some light on the situation in a recent analysis of Ryan’s performance to date and the expectations for this season.
Stephens noted Ryan was linked to the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche in this summer’s rumor mill.
He reported Ducks management insists it is not shopping Ryan, is only “listening to offers from interested parties” and obviously hadn’t received one yet good enough to warrant shipping out the 25-year-old winger.
Stephens closed his analysis by suggesting another slow start by Ryan and the Ducks will keep the rumor mill churning.
It’s obvious the Ducks aren’t in any hurry to move Ryan or, for that matter, center Ryan Getzlaf and right winger Corey Perry, whose names also popped up in rumors this summer, albeit with less frequency.
Still, the upcoming season – whenever it begins – should be a crucial one for the Ducks. A poor first half doomed their playoff hopes last season, testing the patience of management and stoking trade rumors.
A similar start this season could result in a significant roster shakeup for the Ducks, with Ryan considered the prime trade candidate.
Earlier this summer, there was considerable expectation the Pittsburgh Penguins would make significant moves to bolster their scoring depth and defense.
The June draft weekend trades of center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes were considered precursors to pursuing left winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter via free agency or right winger Rick Nash via trade.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, they lost out to the Minnesota Wild in the bidding for Parise and Suter and could only watch as the Columbus Blue Jackets dealt Nash to the New York Rangers.
Penguins fans hoping GM Ray Shero is working on a blockbuster deal might be disappointed.
Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the lack of available trade and free agent options, combined with uncertainty over the ongoing NHL collective bargaining negotiations, has slowed player movement around the league.
That’s forcing Shero and other NHL GMs to await the implementation of a new CBA to determine how it will affect their rosters this season.
A significantly lowered salary cap without a rollback in players salaries could be one outcome, which would force some teams to dump salaries via trade, providing Shero with better options to address his roster needs.
Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com wondered if former NHL left winger Sergei Samsonov would join his old friend and former Bruins teammate Joe Thornton with the San Jose Sharks.
Thornton praised Samsonov’s skills and told Kurz he was receptive to the idea of the Russian coming to Sharks training camp.
A recent report out of Edmonton claimed Samsonov had signed a professional tryout contract with the Sharks, but the winger’s agent, Neil Abbott, denied that, adding he’d been in talks with several NHL teams.
Kurz claimed the Sharks are among those teams, though GM Doug Wilson declined to comment. Kurz suggested Samsonov would be an upgrade over the departed Torrey Mitchell as a third line winger.
It remains to be seen if Samsonov joins the Sharks on a camp tryout, let alone if he’s good enough to crack the roster.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla's Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.
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