The heat of summer sometimes makes a man do crazy things. In this case, it makes a man attempt to address the rumor of Bobby Ryan being on the trading block and the Sabres supposed attempts to acquire him.
In case you've been living under a rock for the past few months, the Anaheim Ducks are once again shopping around their big, talented winger. Ryan, who is only 25 years of age, has been the subject of so many rumors that he's simply asked the team to trade him anywhere and end the madness. How about Buffalo?
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This post isn't going to debate what the Ducks are asking for Ryan, it's purpose is to imagine how the Buffalo Sabres would be different with Ryan in the fold. The most obvious area of improvement would be in scoring - Ryan has netted at least 30 goals in each of his last four seasons. He's a big power forward who knows how to use his body and loves to shoot. For a team with an anemic offense and an inconsistent power play last season, his scoring touch would certainly be a boon, and would make his teammates look better as well.
Ryan would also be an injection of size and toughness to a team that could use more of both. He enjoys hitting - amassing over 100 last season - and won't say no to the occasional fight, making sure to get in at least one per year. He's durable too, having only missed one game over the past three seasons. No more injury excuses.
As for where he would play and who he would play with, Ryan would clearly be on one of the top two lines, but he'd have to replace Thomas Vanek if he wanted to play on the #1 line. I imagine that he'd replace Marcus Foligno to play with Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. A Ryan-Ennis-Stafford line would feature three truly dynamic players and would allow Foligno to play his more natural third line role.
While we often preach discretion, tonight feel free to let your imagination run wild with thoughts of a Bobby Ryan trade. What would it take to get him, where would he play, and would he be the missing piece to push the Sabres over the edge?