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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    Animal activists protest Ducks’ Stoner over grizzly bear hunt

    Keith Fialcowitz

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A small group of vocal protesters gathered outside Honda Center on Monday night to call for the suspension of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who faces charges in Canada of illegally obtaining a license to shoot a grizzly bear.

    While Ducks fans entered the rink for their home opener against Vancouver, about 20 protesters held signs and shouted slogans condemning Stoner. He faces five charges related to the 2013 hunt on British Columbia’s central coast.

    “Killing is not a sport! Play a real sport!” the protesters shouted in unison. “Shame on the Ducks!”

    Judie Mancuso, the president of Social Compassion in Legislation, compared Stoner to quarterback Michael Vick and Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, whose killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe sparked an international outcry.

    “The entire globe is against trophy hunting right now,” Mancuso said. “If most of these hockey fans understood that was the issue, I think most of them would be on our side.”

    Wildlife groups and First Nations leaders have been outraged by Stoner’s killing of the bear, named Cheeky. Stoner defended his actions at the time when graphic photos of the kill were publicized, but he hasn’t commented recently.

    The protesters were serenaded by chants of Stoner’s name by many fans, while others stopped to look at the signs. Mancuso said her group hopes to raise awareness of Stoner’s legal troubles.

    “If people didn’t have outrage with the NFL, Michael Vick would have gotten away with it,” Mancuso said. “The only way that anything is going to happen is if we do this. If there’s not public outcry, nothing is going to happen, so we’ve got to try.”

    Stoner grew up on Vancouver Island, but hasn’t lived in the province full-time for several years, which authorities say made him ineligible for the hunting license used to take the bear. He played for the Minnesota Wild at the time of the shooting.

    Stoner faces two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license and one count apiece of hunting without a license, hunting out of season and unlawful possession of dead wildlife. His case is set for Nov. 13 in Vancouver.

    The 30-year-old Stoner was in the Ducks’ lineup for their home opener, and he fought Brandon Prust in the opening minutes. Stoner is beginning his sixth full NHL season and his second with Anaheim after signing a four-year, $13 million deal as a free agent before last season.

    Related: Ducks d-man Stoner charged with unlawful grizzly bear hunt

    NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings face Lightning in ’15 playoff rematch

    Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg
    AP Photo

    NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can stream the game online here.

    The Lightning made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015, but their journey almost ended in the first round at the hands of the Red Wings. Detroit shutout Tampa Bay twice in that series and the two squads were locked in a scoreless tie until the third period of Game 7.

    Despite the fact that the Red Wings were a mere hair away from advancing instead of Tampa Bay, the Lightning are often mentioned as serious Cup contenders while Detroit is typically regarded as a good, but not amazing team. However, that gap isn’t entirely unjustified.

    After all, Tampa Bay has a very effective core of forwards that features Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat. If the highly regarded Jonathan Drouin, 20, is able to build off of his strong start to the 2015-16 campaign then the Lightning’s offense could be even more dangerous this season.

    Detroit certainly has some offensive star power too in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the duo is 35 and 37 years old respectively. On top of that, injuries have been a recurring issue for Datsyuk, who isn’t expected to make his season debut until November after undergoing ankle surgery.

    As good as those two forwards still are, the Red Wings have to hope that their younger players will be able to lead the charge sooner rather than later. The good news is that 19-year-old Dylan Larkin‘s campaign is off to a strong start with three points in two games while 23-year-old Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice on Saturday.

    The Red Wings have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Toronto and Carolina, but tonight’s game represents their biggest test to date. Meanwhile, the Lightning are similarly undefeated after three games, but this contest will be particularly trying for them given that it’s their third game in four days.