Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on March 31, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.
(March 30, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)

Bobby Ryan thinks he can thrive as a center


The Anaheim Ducks have tried to convert winger Bobby Ryan before, and it appears that could be the case once again. The good news is that the budding power forward told the OC Register’s Eric Stephens that he’s on board with the idea, even if it’s not just a temporary change.

“It’s something I think I can thrive in and if it’s something we want to do long term, I’m open for it,” Ryan said.

The Ducks boast some nice high-end talent, but the team’s budget doesn’t allow for exceptional depth. Molding the 25-year-old forward into a useful second-line center could be a serious boon for Anaheim’s playoff hopes.

It also might help him avoid being traded.

He’s been the target of trade rumors before, and with stalwarts Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the last season of their current deals, it’s likely his name will sprout up again.

So far, he’s putting up the solid numbers that might help him stay put. He has two goals and five points in six games, echoing the promising work he did in 2009-10 (64 points) and 10-11 (71) more than last season’s somewhat disappointing 57.

Maybe that position change – and thus, Ryan – will stick this time around.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier

Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.