Since February, the Flyers have been hot in their pursuit of Columbus Blue Jackets RW Rick Nash. However, the feeling does not seem mutual. Nash released a list of teams that he wished to be traded to, a list that did not include Philadelphia. However, Holmgren continues to actively press for the 28 year old, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. On TSN, LeBrun said the Flyers are “very aggressive” in their attempt to pry Nash from Columbus.
But, what seems to be lost in the Rick Nash mess is the news coming out of Anaheim. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the Ducks will be looking to move Winger Bobby Ryan. The Flyers have shown interest in Ryan before, but nothing ever panned out from those rumors. Now more than ever seems like the best time to acquire the Cherry Hill, New Jersey product.
So with Philadelphia trying so hard to bring in a big scorer in Rick Nash, why not turn your attention to Ryan? The Ducks star is four years the younger, and their production is almost identical. Last year, Nash posted 30 goals and 29 assists, while Ryan contributed 31 goals and 26 assists. While their stat lines may almost be identical, their cap hits are not. Nash made $7.5 million in 2011, while Ryan is in the second year of a new contract paying him around $5.5 million a season.
Another massive difference between the two is what their respective teams want in return. Columbus is looking for pieces that were instrumental to the Flyers success last season (Couturier, Schenn and Matt Read have been rumored along with others as pieces of a trade), a price that should be way to high for the Flyers to pay. Anaheim on the other hand, could be looking for players that could “increase depth and not payroll”, McKenzie says.
Even if GM Bob Murray and the Ducks are looking for a bigger return, Philadelphia should be much more inclined to pay the price for Ryan than Nash.
Claude Giroux at Center and Bobby Ryan at RW would be a linemate combination from heaven. The Flyers have every right to be worried that players such as Max Talbot, Wayne Simmonds, and Scott Hartnell may not contribute as strongly as they did in 2011. A proven, big name scorer is needed not only to benefit Giroux, but provide a second strong, offensive threat. Rick Nash could fit that mold as well, but is the cost worth the return?
The cap hit for Nash is extremely high, and the Flyers know with Ilya Bryzgalov how crippling a large average yearly salary can be. Also, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is looking to cash in big time on the only player Columbus has that can demand a valuable return.
Meanwhile, if Anaheim is looking for depth, Philadelphia certainly is not lacking in that. James Van Riemsdyk has been a part of many trade rumors, and could headline a package for either player, along with Matt Read who had an outstanding rookie season and Jakub Voracek.