Bobby Ryan is Best Bet for New York Rangers

Ever since the New York Rangers lost their opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Final, speculation on acquiring Rick Nash surfaced. In a matter of days, the Nash talk has subsided as Bobby Ryan hit the scene.

The fate of Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and the New York Rangers may be just days away. Rangers GM Glen Sather could take the giant leap in acquiring Nash or Ryan in the next few weeks after the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Possible moves involving Brandon Dubinsky, Michael Del Zotto and even Chris Kreider could land the Rangers the offensive scoring power needed to secure a Stanley Cup team.

Nash has a no-movement clause and ultimately will make the final decision on where he wants to play. New York has been on the top of the list, because Nash would like to play on Broadway and win a Stanley Cup. The Rangers are stocked with talented players who would make a great supporting cast for Nash and promises superb trade acquisition for Columbus. Nash has also expressed interest in San Jose, Philadelphia, Toronto and Carolina.

Rick Nash Blue Jackets
Rick Nash (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson may have some demands on the trade that the Rangers could do without. Not wanting to dilute the chemistry back in February, the Rangers still don’t want to give up top rookies Chris Kreider or Ryan McDonagh in a deal. New York’s interest in Ryan may alleviate the Kreider move. Impressed with Kreider at the last deadline, Howson could be appeased with an Artem Anisimov or a Derek Stepan, but the Kreider deal won’t go. The Rangers have a stall of formidable young talent in Ryan McDonagh, Carl  Hagelin, or Dylan McIlrath to haggle a deal without losing out.

Howson may become more reasonable with the latest news of the Rangers possibly pursuing Bobby Ryan. The Anaheim Duck is a free agent and has claimed GM attention around the league. In Ryan’s 332 NHL regular season games, the 25-year-old accrued 136 goals. He’s an addition that will retain the youthful chemistry the Rangers need moving forward.

This boiling situation with Nash-Ryan saga grows greater with some Parise thrown in. Since Parise and the Rangers are not expected to commune, Ryan is the next best option. Age plays a factor as Ryan is three years younger than Nash. Ryan is a bargain too. Ryan brings a $5.1 million cap hit through 2014-15, while Nash carries $7.8 million through 2017-18.

Bobby Ryan Ducks
Will Ryan be the next Blueshirt? (Icon SMI)

As Blueshirt Banter points out, “Ryan scores just a hair under .41 goals a game. Just to clarify that’s better than Zach Parise (.38 goals a game) and just below Nash (.42 goals a game). To put this into perspective from the Rangers’ side, Gaborik scores just under .45 goals a game.”

Considering the Rangers need to improve on scoring, they may need to reconsider letting go of some fledglings to land a high talent such as Ryan or Nash.  New York is stacked with offensive talent, but posting just 2.15 goals per game in the playoffs wasn’t enough to win. With the second-lowest scoring figure to advance past the first round of the playoffs, the Rangers cannot afford to waste another season.

Nash, a 30-goal scorer, is a good match with the Rangers’ program. The 28-year-old is a good skater with a little bit of sniper in him to wreak havoc.  Rick Nash won’t sport the Rangers jersey unless the other teams in the hunt drop out and Howson’s demands become reasonable. . Bobby Ryan is upstaging what the Nash deal could have been. Ryan would fit well with the youth and vigor of the Rangers.

At this date, Howson reportedly hasn’t received the magic offer to release Nash.  Ducks management may not be asking the same high price and willing to secure a deal sooner.  The Nash deal could take all summer.