With the trade deadline approaching, the Nashville Predators are poised to make a move that could significantly improve the team down the stretch. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll take a look at a few potential players that could bolster the Preds' lineup. First up: Bobby Ryan.
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What Bobby Ryan would bring to the Predators
It's no secret that the Predators have one glaring need that needs to be addressed before serious talks of a Stanley Cup can be brought up: a forward that can provide consistent scoring night-in and night-out. That's exactly what Bobby Ryan brings to the table.
Ryan followed up his 64-point campaign in '09-'10 with a career-high 71 points in '10-'11. But he also plays a defensive game - a requirement in Barry Trotz' system. Ryan Posted a +9 and +15 over his last two full seasons all while playing top minutes for the Ducks.
Everybody remembers what he did to David Legwand in the playoffs last year:
He certainly fits the mold of the top-6 forward that would bolster Nashville's scoring up front and would conceivably be enough to convince Shea Weber and Ryan Suter that Nashville is ready to compete for a Stanley Cup now.
Perhaps the biggest positive for Ryan is his contract status going forward. According to CapGeek, Ryan is under contract through the '14-'15 season at a very reasonable cap hit of just $5,100,000.
If you believe what we've heard from multiple outlets - that Poile has been given the green light by management to spend to the salary cap - then Ryan makes total sense from a financial standpoint.
What would it cost?
Here's where it gets tricky. Anaheim GM Bob Murray stated earlier in the season that besides Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, nobody is safe, which would indicate that Ryan would indeed be available for the right price.
But that was when the Ducks were struggling. Currently, they've won nine out of their last 11 games, and suddenly the playoffs don't look like too unreasonable of a goal. Does that increase the asking price for a top player like Ryan? You would think so.
The Ducks' immediate needs look to be on the blueline and in net - good for the Predators who have prospects to give up at both positions.