Despite signing Andy Sutton yesterday, other events indicate that the Anaheim Ducks are being very tight with their wallets. That’s bad news for their negotiations with budding power forward in the making Bobby Ryan.
Bobby Ryan’s agent, Don Meehan, says there’s “no discussions” going on between the Ducks and his client. Looks like it’s still an impasse.
In case you aren’t aware of the situation, the main disagreement is about the length of the possible contract extension rather than the amount of money. The Ducks would prefer a five-year deal because that would allow the team to avoid Ryan’s unrestricted free agent status for two years. Ryan wants a three-year deal so he can cash in on the UFA market immediately. That three-year deal would be especially toxic to Anaheim because their other power forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will become UFAs that summer, too.
As the two sides continue their staring contest, I’m still not sure why a team won’t at least throw an offer sheet his way.
While it will cost them money, a few draft picks and some awkwardness among other GMs, why wouldn’t the Kings think about sending Ryan an offer that would make things tough for Anaheim? If I were Kings GM Dean Lombardi, I’d send a tough-to-match three-year offer sheet to Bobby Ryan. If the Ducks match it, they’ll have to deal with that aforementioned bottleneck. If they didn’t match it, though, the Kings would steal a young, talented power forward from a division rival. A forward group including Ryan, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Ryan Smyth and a (hopefully healthy) Justin Williams would be very difficult to deal with.
Sure, the Kings will have their own restricted free agents to deal with, but the NHL’s true contenders occasionally make big moves to make “the jump” from a solid playoff team to legitimate Stanley Cup threats.
Either way, it seems like talks are at a standstill. We’ll keep you up to date as the contract negotiations drag on.