Now that Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Little are no longer restricted free agents, the spotlight focuses even more on the two biggest RFAs remaining (unless you really love Marc Staal): Bobby Ryan and James Neal. The Ryan-Anaheim Ducks negotiations have been especially intriguing because the ideal three-year length for Ryan would be lethal for his team. They’ve been at an impasse for quite some time, now, and that still seems to be the case.
The (mostly) good news is that Ryan doesn’t want a trade and is pretty adamant about avoiding a holdout, too. The 23-year-old forward discussed the situation with the Orange County Register.
“I don’t want a trade,” Ryan told the Register on Monday following a workout. “I’m not asking for a trade. Iwant to be here in Anaheim. This is where I want to be.
“If it comes to a situation where there’s heads butting, then I guess it would be best. But I am not looking for a trade. I have no intentions of being traded. I love it here and want to remain a Duck.”
“I don’t want people to think I’m holding out or I’m going to hold out,” he said. “That’s not the case. We’re just trying to find something that works for both sides right now.”
Ryan says that he wishes the two sides could meet up and hash the whole thing out in one day, but “understands it is a process.” The two sides seem like they’ve simmered down quite a bit, at least publicly. I wonder if four years is the magic compromise number there, but obviously both sides want to get their way.
(The story states that the Ducks will just matter an offer sheet, but why wouldn’t a nefarious team send a three-year deal his way even if it’s just to give Anaheim a headache? Come on, Los Angeles Kings, this is the perfect opportunity to give your in-state rivals a hard time.)
While Ryan’s quotes seem pretty positive, he’s not saying a trade is out of the question altogether. This closing quote could give Ducks fans some pause.
“I’ll figure something out before I get to a holdout [scenario],” he said. “But if NHL teams are starting camps, I’ll be on the ice somewhere. Hopefully here.”
To paraphrase a wise, cartoon dog: “Ruh roh.”