WWYDW: Should the Oilers consider pursuing Bobby Ryan?

Bobby Ryan

It isn’t a secret that the Edmonton Oilers could use a good,
right-shooting forward. It’s also common knowledge that general manager Peter
Chiarelli highly values size and strength in his players.

In that vein, in this week’s edition of What Would You Do
Wednesday we consider a hypothetical trade target for the Oilers, one who hasn’t
come up a lot in the rumour mill: Bobby Ryan.

Age-wise, Ryan is an imperfect but not implausible fit for
the Connor McDavid Oilers.


The second overall pick in Sidney Crosby’s draft year, he’s
basically a peer of Milan Lucic, who was Edmonton’s big summer free agent
acquisition. He’s old enough that the five remaining seasons on his contract
are a bit of a concern, but he’s also young enough that he should have several productive
campaigns left and could plausibly sign another contract once his current deal

Ryan is also a right shot who can play ably on either wing.
He used to be a pretty reliable 30-goal scorer back when he was a fixture on
Anaheim’s power play, but even in Ottawa he’s been a productive skater. At 6’2”
and 204 pounds he has good size for a scoring line forward and while he isn’t a
pure crash-and-bang winger he’s very capable in traffic and a physical presence.

This is also a moment where the idea of the Senators trading
him is plausible.

To some extent, that’s a function of Ryan’s contract.
The Sens have a well-deserved reputation for nickel-and-diming, and can’t
afford to be stuck with a $7.25 million cap hit if Ryan’s production declines.
It’s also probably worth noting that the deal is backloaded. Ryan’s salary
doesn’t match his cap hit until next year, and he’ll collect a total $1.0
million above that cap hit over the final four seasons of his contract.

He’s also battled a hand injury this season, and (likely as
a result) is having a below average year for Ottawa. He’s clearly not a
favourite of new head coach Guy Boucher, who has slashed his average ice-time
by two full minutes from where it was last season.

All of this makes him interesting fodder for a hypothetical
exercise like What Would You Do Wednesday. Size-wise and even age-wise he’s a
fit for what Chiarelli has done for the Oilers, and his contract represents
both risk (if his performance plummets) and opportunity (since he might not
otherwise be available).

In Chiarelli’s position, would you be interested in bringing
Ryan in, and if so what would you see as a reasonable trade offer? 

  • OilersGM

    No I would not go after Ryan because of his contract and the main reason for me is he does not have a crazy one timer like the likes of Stamkos, Ovie, Laine or Panerin. Now I know the players I mentioned are at a higher ceiling then Ryan but we need a pure goal scorer.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      this would seem the most logical proposal as the Oilers will not let themselves be hooped into paying the whole contract themselves. that said, a guy like Pouliot could go the other way at full salary. i have heard Ottawa may be interested in him and for us Ryan is an improvement over Poo.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Maybe a pure goal scorer like 10 years ago but watch him play. He’s a shell of a shell of his former self. He’s now a bottom 6 player who might be able to help out on the 2nd PP unit.

  • Jason Gregor

    I can’t envision any scenario where Oilers would take him and his $7.250 million cap hit for five more seasons.

    HE has averaged 21 goals the past three seasons. Not a great skater. Not a force defensively. His best days are behind him.

    If I’m GM I’d have zero interest in him.

  • Deported to Ottawa

    I think Ottawa would love to get rid of that contract. They’re the wrong team, I doubt they’d take back money.

    Ryan doesn’t play big and doesn’t excel at any aspect of the game. No matter how you look at it, not a good idea.

    • Seanaconda

      Ottawa might take back cap space tho they wouldn’t take money but they love cap hits not paid with real money. But no stay away from Ryan he is the one forward I wouldn’t want from Ottawa

  • vetinari

    From a cap management standpoint: no. We need future cap flexibility because we have new contracts for McDavid, Draisatl, and Nurse to budget for in the next few years and Ryan’s contract will not age well as his production diminishes.

    From a roster improvement standpoint: maybe. Ryan is 29, a right shot and averages .5 pts per game this season which is better than Pouliot’s measly .23 pts per game at age 30 while being a lefty. There is also Pouliot’s love of taking dumb penalties at the wrong time to consider.

    The only trade scenario I can envision is Pouliot plus Fayne (both are shorter term deals for Ottawa) for Ryan and a second or third rounder with Ottawa retaining 3.25M per year to equalize the cap hit on the forwards. The end result is Ottawa, with greater cap room than us, shortens the term of its contract obligations and doesn’t need to protect the new guys in the expansion draft with the two players dropping off the books earlier than Ryan and we get a right shot utility forward with a better point per game production for the wing.

    If Ryan doesn’t work out, he may be ideal bait for LV in the expansion draft and we lose the long term salary commitment while still having a draft pick to show for our efforts.

  • Ty Guy

    read the other day that Gionta and Mark-Andre Fleury could be targets for the oil for a playoff push. Gionta is a lesser risk in my opinion than Ryan, older yes, but veteran play off experience and a walkaway contract (FA I believe).

  • I think we need to see Gustavsson play a bit more to pass judgement on him. That said, for the playoffs, is he a guy that can fill in when Talbs is spent tired?

    Getting a better back-up 1b guy would go a long way in the playoffs.

    I’d focus on that.

    • Oliveoiler

      I personally don’t want to see Gustavsson play another game. His ‘flounder flop’ has no place in today’s NHL. He needs to learn the head trajectory style, and it’s not learned overnight. Fleury could be an interesting addition – PC has seen lots of him when he played against Boston. LB is too much of a risk right now as well. We need a really strong back-up goalie ASAP, period. Hell, this could be OUR season, don’t risk it on 2nd rate back-ups.