The names Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski, Andrei Kostisyn, and Drew Stafford have all come up in trade talks involving Bobby Ryan… Coming from one of the sources that first broke the firing of Bruce Boudreau, it is an interesting early-season conversation piece regarding the Sabres possibly acquiring a spark from outside the organization.

Hearing Bobby Ryan as the focal point of a trade rumor is nothing new in the usually calm trade waters of the NHL. Ryan being moved has been speculated heavily in the past, most noticeably with the Leafs back in the 2010 offseason – where a trade was going to be officially announced. Alas, it never happened and no splash was ever made. The Ducks GM, even before the Bleacher Report article was written, shot down any Ryan trade happening.

Now, with the Ducks playing abysmal hockey, the team finds itself backed into a corner – knowing full well that it has to do something to appease an upset fanbase and disappointed team. Usually, the best ways to do this are to either fire the coach or break up the core of the team. Demoted to the third line in practice, even Ryan knows that something is entirely possible, speaking to the media about “pulling the trigger” on some kind of change:

“Can you blame (management) entirely if they do? Like I’ve said, we’ve had bad months before and come out of it. But we haven’t had to come back like we’re going to have to come back this year (to make the playoffs). We’re digging ourselves a deeper hole, and everybody is fed up with it… So we can’t blame them if they pull the trigger on something.”

Source sourcing a source

Before we do anything, let’s compare the five players mentioned in the tweet and see who might be the best fit in a one-for-one trade.

The media knows of the possibility of Ryan being put up for a trade to somewhere in the northeast, but the four mentioned players don’t exactly match up to the caliber that Ryan has played to throughout his career. The closest of the four players to Ryan’s overall statistics would be Drew Stafford – but the Sabres cannot take on the added $1.1 million that Ryan’s contract would bring with it. If the Sabres packaged a defensemen as well – say, Andrej Sekera – both teams would fit under the cap.

Say there was a Ryan + Pick for Stafford + Sekera deal…

The Ducks would:

  • plug a hole in their defensive corps
  • have a new forward in a new system
  • Carlyle’s job would be safe for a bit longer

The Sabres, in return, would:

  • be improving their team by bringing a proven scorer into the locker room
  • improving by subtraction
    • potentially allowing another rookie defensemen to crack their lineup
    • removing a forward who’s lack of scoring is attributed to “missing by inches” by Lindy Ruff
  • acquire a die-hard Twilight fan

On second thought, send him to Toronto.

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