Poll and analysis: How much should Bobby Ryan make?

bobbyryan2.jpgDuring the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, all eyes were on the super-duper hyped Sidney Crosby. For some time, one had to wonder if No. 2 pick Bobby Ryan would be a mere footnote in the league’s draft history. Or, worse yet, maybe Ryan would go down as the NHL’s version of Darko Milicic, the infamous No. 2 draft pick for the Detroit Pistons whose team won a NBA championships while he did nothing.

Such a stance could only have been taken by someone unacquainted with the time NHL prospects take to develop, though. For the past two seasons, Ryan has developed into another power forward of the future for Anaheim, scoring 31 goals in an abbreviated 08-09 season and 35 in 09-10. He’s an impact player who can produce regardless of the quality of his linemates and certainly has the potential to be a 40-goal scorer in the NHL.

Being that the team wrapped Jonas Hiller with a franchise goalie-type contract, Ryan will be Anaheim’s biggest off-season decision this summer. The Orange County Register reports that extension talks between Ryan’s representatives and the Ducks resumed this week.

In an e-mail response on Tuesday, Don Meehan of Newport Sports Management confirmed that talks have taken place recently and that he expects there will be more conversations in the coming weeks between himself, Mark Guy and Ducks assistant general manager David McNab. Guy is Ryan’s longtime agent and other representative.

Ducks GM Bob Murray also confirmed on Tuesday that negotiations are back on.

The question is, how much is Bobby Ryan worth? The OC Register also had a great post reflecting on the effects of Nicklas Backstrom’s contract on Ryan’s negotiations, rightly pointing out that the talented American winger isn’t quite as valuable – at least at this point in his career – as the Capitals center.

A salary cap dork such as myself will point out that the Ducks have a great, harmonious setup in which Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry share an identical $5.3 million cap hit. Aside from some messy deals with Joffrey Lupul and (to a lesser extent) Jason Blake, the Ducks are in excellent cap shape right now. Wrapping up Ryan will allow the team to build around a talented, affordable young nucleus (as I discussed earlier this year).

Would Ryan take a Perry-Getzlaf type deal? Maybe he deserves a bit more since – statistically speaking – he might be a little further ahead in his development than his two power forward teammates were when they signed their deals? My guess is that he’ll get something in the $5.5-$6 million range, but let’s open the floor to such discussion. What do you think he’s worth? Vote in the poll below.

(Since I didn’t cover every imaginable salary range, feel free to suggest an amount yourself.)

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    The Buzzer: Kempe, Schwartz record hat tricks; Leafs honor Gord Downie

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    Players of the night: Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues / Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings

    The Blues forward tallied his third career hat trick during a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Schwartz scored the game’s first two goals before completing his hat trick with a late empty-net goal to stave off a Chicago comeback.

    Wednesday’s feat for Schwartz came three years to the day of his first career three-goal game.

    Kempe, meanwhile, tallied his first NHL hat trick and finished with four points during LA’s 5-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens. Two of his three goals were assisted by Mike Cammalleri, who also finished the night with four points.

    Highlight of the night:

    Eddie Olczyk returned to the NBC broadcast booth as he continues his battle against colon cancer. Olczyk, along with Doc Emrick, called the Blues-Blackhawks game from Scottrade Center Wednesday night.

    MISC:

    Auston Matthews recorded the 20th multi-point game of his career. He now has six goals and 10 points on the season.

    Patrick Marleau became the 18th NHL player to reach the 1,500-game mark.

    Jake Allen kept his shutout bid alive with this great stick save on Patrick Kane late:

    -The Kings are off their best start in franchise history at 5-0-1. They’ve allowed only 10 goals against through six games.

    Jeff Carter left the game in the first period and did not return after tangling with Jeff Petry. Afterward, Kings head coach John Stevens said the forward will miss some time.

    -Finally, The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie passed away from cancer at age 53 on Wednesday. The Maple Leafs paid tribute before their game against the Red Wings.

    Factoid of the night:

    Scores:

    Maple Leafs 6, Red Wings 3

    Blues 5, Blackhawks 2

    Kings 5, Canadiens 1

    Cammalleri, Kempe power Kings over Canadiens

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    Adrian Kempe recorded his first career NHL hat trick and Mike Cammalleri added two goals as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1.

    After Paul Byron opened the scoring for Montreal midway through the first period, the Kings responded with five unanswered goals to hand the Habs their sixth straight defeat.

    Cammalleri, who inked a one-year deal over the summer to return to the Kings, had a hand in four of LA’s five goals. He started the scoring for the Kings in the first period by celebrating the Dodgers’ playoff run with his own special kind of baseball swing.

    Kempe, who finished with four points as well, scored his three goals over a span of 10:50 in the third period to help the Kings to their best start in franchise history (5-0-1).

    LA remains the only NHL team yet to lose in regulation this season.

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    Jaden Schwartz’s hat trick leads Blues over Blackhawks

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    Jaden Schwartz‘s third career hat trick helped power the St. Louis Blues over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in a Central Division clash Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.

    Schwartz’s eventful evening began with a goal 4:46 into the first period. It was nearly ended minutes later after a scary crash into the end boards following a scoring chance.

    After missing some time, Schwartz returned in the second period and doubled the Blues’ lead with his fourth of a season, thanks to a great outlet pass from Allen.

    As the Blues built up a 4-0 lead, the Blackhawks spoiled Allen’s shutout bid with a pair of late power play goals 80 seconds apart. The furious rally was stopped, however, and Schwartz capped off his hat trick with an empty netter to put the game out of reach.

    St. Louis dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Blackhawks 26-8 as they built up their 2-0 lead. The Blackhawks’ power play failed them early in the game, missing out on five chances to capitalize with the extra man through 40 minutes.

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Kings

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    The Montreal Canadiens play their second game of a three-game west coast trip Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

    It hasn’t been the best start for the Habs, who sit tied for last in the Eastern Conference with a 1-4-1 record. They’re winless since an opening night win over the Buffalo Sabres. On the other side of things, the Kings are the only NHL team that has yet to lose in regulation. Their 4-0-1 start puts them a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, and their game in-hand gives them the opportunity to leap into first place in the Pacific Division with a victory.

    You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online via the live stream.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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