Forget Rick Nash – Bobby Ryan is younger, cheaper, and has scored a few more goals than him over the last three years.
It’s not hard to see why some of the losers of the Zach Parise sweepstakes and a number of teams that passed on the former Devils captain altogether would express interest in Ryan’s services.
According to the Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun’s sources, the teams that will go after Bobby Ryan include the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Red Wings and Flyers have been cited as potential destinations for Rick Nash at one point or another, but Ryan might make more sense for both squads. For the Red Wings, it would probably be easier to pry Ryan away from the Anaheim Ducks than it would be to convince the Columbus Blue Jackets to trade Nash to a division rival. The Flyers would appreciate Ryan’s lesser cap hit given how close they are to the ceiling.
The Penguins might not have as great a preference between Ryan or Nash as either one would be more than capable of excelling alongside Sidney Crosby. For that matter, either one would look good as a potential long-time linemate for Steven Stamkos in Tampa Bay, but it’s not clear if the Lightning have any interest in pursuing Nash as well.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have the trade chips to make this happen and Brian Burke has pulled off some deals with his former squad in the past, so they can’t be entirely dismissed.
That being said, the Ottawa Senators might actually emerge as the frontrunners for Ryan’s services, given that they apparently came the closest to acquiring Nash. The main thing that stood in the way of Ottawa getting Nash was the fact that he has a no-movement clause and didn’t include the Senators on his list of preferred teams.