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The Sabres Observer

Why Would Buffalo Not Pursue Bobby Ryan?

If you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find 29 team blogs this week theorizing why it’s a good idea for a phone call to be made about Bobby Ryan.  I’ve read a few such pieces, and the worst ones are those that actually think he’s an untouchable and too good a player for Anaheim to give up.

This is the same organization that last night hired the guy who oversaw the repeated failures of the biggest group of underachievers that the league has seen in quite some time.  Who says they aren’t capable of dealing a 24-year old forward who scored 100 goals over the past three seasons?

Word on the street is that the wheels are already in motion.  Ryan hasn’t been as effective this season and is only on pace for 24 goals.  We in Pegulaville can only hope for even a trace of such a swoon to overcome Ville Leino.

As Sabres fans have heard, Ducks GM Bob Murray and a few of his scouts were in the First Niagara Center press box Tuesday night.  We’re all being told that there have been discussions between Anaheim and Buffalo, but are being cautioned not to assume that Ryan is the topic of conversation.  Forgive me for rolling my eyes at anyone who tries to tell me with a straight face that his name wouldn’t be brought up.

I get a kick out of talk from the experts who say you can’t make trades like this because you would have to overpay and endanger the stock of your farm system.  Have these talking heads heard about Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo, or pretty much every major deal orchestrated by Don Waddell?

For their part, the Sabres are still reaping the benefits of the Chris Gratton for Daniel Briere bargain almost nine years ago.  Top-four defenseman Andrej Sekera was drafted courtesy of a pick acquired in that deal.  It’s not just about the picks exchanged in these trades, but also having an organization that knows what to do with them.

And I don’t buy the notion that the salary cap is an impediment to Darcy Regier pulling off something like this, especially after my enduring a summer of silliness reading how Buffalo would have to cut everyone from Brad Boyes to Jason Pominville to make room for their free agent pickups.  Put another way, if the Sabres want Ryan bad enough then they’ll find room for him.

Opportunities to add such an elite young talent to your arsenal don’t come along very often.  The hiring of Bruce Boudreau by the Ducks may have put a Ryan deal on hold for now, but what happens if they’re still slumping in 3-4 weeks?  The Sabres have a GM known for some crafty moves during his tenure.  If you dare to dream, I say go ahead.

Twitter: @DaveDavisHockey

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink


Gunner Staal's avatar

There is that whole part about other teams putting together better packages than the Sabres have to offer.

Posted by Gunner Staal on 12/01/11 at 01:02 PM ET


Sorry, but when your team has zero cap space, that IS an issue.  Making room is one thing, making five million+ of room is completely different.  Anaheim is going to want young talent, prospects and picks and there absolutely will be teams willing to do that kind of deal without insisting that Anaheim take back more than Ryan’s salary in return.

For what he is, Ryan is practically a bargain compared to almost anyone on the Buffalo roster.

I’m sure Buffalo will make an attempt at getting Ryan and they should, as should any other team that see themselves as a contender, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up…

Posted by Garth on 12/01/11 at 01:35 PM ET


Buffalo gets what they deserve giving big dollars to someone who washed out in Detroit and only has basically 1 decent year to his name.

Posted by Leino on 12/01/11 at 01:47 PM ET

@DaveDavisHockey's avatar

Garth, the Buffalo News reports that Anaheim is fond of Drew Stafford.  If that’s true then we just solved 80% of the problem.  In Buffalo’s situation the cap isn’t as big an obstacle as you think.

Posted by @DaveDavisHockey from Buffalo, NY on 12/01/11 at 02:09 PM ET

@DaveDavisHockey's avatar

It wasn’t a headline.  It was embedded near the bottom of a Ryan Miller piece.

Posted by @DaveDavisHockey from Buffalo, NY on 12/01/11 at 02:36 PM ET

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About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

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Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]