In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Monday, March 2, 2009

The trade debate

This year's NHL trade deadline is being so highly promoted that even my sports-clueless coworker, the one who thinks that the Ducks/Kings crosstown rivalry has something to do with little league baseball, said to me: "I bet you're hoping your Ducks get a great deal before that deadline is up, huh?"

You bet.

More specifically, I'm hoping the suits don't do something stupid and trade away any of our best veteran Ducks right as we're clinching a playoff spot.

If there's no chance we can make the playoffs, that's one thing. But if we do happen to make it, I don't want us to be down and out before we even get a chance to battle for the Cup. I want Chris Pronger, Scotty Niedermayer, and J.S. Giguere wearing Duck jerseys as they play postseason games. I've heard a lot of rumors, particularly about these three, as the trade deadline looms.

My buddy Josh Brewster even wrote an article about the Pronger rumors. By the way, I entirely agree with him. Pronger has been holding his own. Yes, the team has been struggling this season, but I don't think it has anything to do with Pronger not pulling his own. Hell, what do you expect from a guy who's had to play alongside a new blueliner practically every other game? Why trade off such a valuable defenseman when it seems so improbable that we'd be getting at least an equally valuable player for him? What if you do trade Pronger, and Scotty decides to retire at the end of the season? What do you do without either of your two big D-men?

Pronger has even gone on record to say that he doesn't want to be traded. "I love playing here in Anaheim with the Ducks and I love living here in California."

And us fans love having him here. Sure, he doesn't really have a say in what the big guns do with him, but it's gotta mean something that he doesn't want to leave.

On an emotional note, I've gotten the chance to meet Pronger and watch him interact with fans and his fellow teammates. The guy belongs. If you've ever seen him in this capacity, you know what I mean. The team wouldn't be the same without him.

I believe the same is true for Giggy. I know I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again. Yes, he's had a tough year. Yes, he hasn't been as consistent as we would like him to be. But, in the end, Giggy is one of the best goaltenders out there. Hasn't he been proving that with the last couple of games he's played? Randy Carlyle thinks so. I love that he's entrusted Giggy to start these past couple of games. It's only right that you stand by the guy who has brought your team through so much.

If Giggy gets traded, I will be very surprised indeed. I almost want to bring a sign to the next game I attend: "In Giggy we trust"

Speaking of surprises, what do you all make of the Chris Kunitz/Ryan Whitney trade? Initially, I was emotionally bothered by the trade. I like Chris Kunitz. He's a fan favorite and a team favorite. He's one of the Stanley Cup boys. I didn't even think he was on the table. To lose him, and a promising prospect, seemed like a mistake to me. I know Ryan Whitney's supposed to be a great defenseman, but he better be darn good to lose two players over.

I guess it doesn't help that I haven't heard many positive things about Whitney this season. Being in hockey-sterile Socali, I haven't heard much of anything about Whitney. I'll watch him closely during the next couple of games, seeing as I'll have to construct my own evidence-based theories about him.

Something that helps the Kunitz pill go down a little easier, I do believe the trade was a good thing for Kunitz's career. In the very next game that he played with the Pittsburg Penguins, alongside superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, he made a goal and an assist and helped bring the win. If the Pens needed a good guy to join a scoring line, they got one with Kuny.

Still, I'm keeping his picture on the Wall O' Fame over there on the right, at least til the end of the season.

Last man of note is our dear Captain, Scott Niedermayer. I understand he's putting Bob Murray in a bit of a hard place, being mum about his postseason plans. If Scotty is intending to retire, he hasn't let that on. But Murray has been quoted as saying he has no intention of trading Scotty.

I certainly hope not. I love Scott Niedermayer. Players like him are one in a million. And after everything he has done for this club, he deserves to retire with them.

I guess I'll be holding my breath all the way up until Wednesday afternoon.


My Zimbio
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