Ryan, Niedermeyer and 1st for Kovalchuk.

Hearing rumors that Anaheim is closing in on a deal to land Kovalchuk. I don’t know any of the specifics, but just thought that it is interesting what the Ducks did this week which allows them to make this trade.

I have been hearing a lot of other BS rumors, teams like Vancouver, Los Angeles or even Chicago doesn’t make sense at all. You don’t make these huge trade when your team in on a winning streak. More importantly, the teams trading for Kovie wants to sign him in the offseason. There’s no way any GM will want a $10M second-liner, and Kovie won’t signed to any team which doesn’t use him as a top unit. This rules out Vancouver.

Kings are winning a lot of games of late. The chemistry of Kopitar and Ryan Smyth is great, and you don’t swap your top LW to RW under these circumstances. Chicago rumors is even crazier, they’ve sign Hossa just to provide that extra scoring power, they don’t need any more, especially when it costs you at least $7M in cap space. To trade Hossa and his huge contract to Atlanta is even crazier, because there’s no guarantee on Kovie signing in Chicago.

On the other hand, the Ducks are really interesting. Just this week, Bob Murray traded away goaltender Giguere and his $6M contract to the Leafs, but picked up $8M back. A $4M Toskala and $4M Blake for $6M Giguere???!! With Giguere, the Ducks can at least rotate him with Hiller, but who’d want to take a risk with Toskala now??

Of course, Toskala’s contract expires next season, so he’s just a tactic for Murray to offload $2M salary. Blake, despite overpaid, his cap-hit will be dropped to 3M next season, and you can at least dress him, which is better than paying $6M for Giguere to sit at the bench.

But if you look closer, maybe it’s more than that. What if this is just a step to try to land Kovalchuk? We all know that Niedermeyer is worth nothing at this moment for the Ducks. The team is out of playoff picture, and Scott is 35 and an impending UFA.

If you do this:

Atlanta Thrashers
Bobby Ryan ($1.92M impending RFA)
Scott Niedermeyer ($6M impedning UFA)
1st rounder 2010

Anaheim Ducks
Ilya Kovalchuk ($6.4M impending UFA)

What you get is a somewhat balance shift of cap space, with $1.5M extra for Atlanta which they can easily absorb. The Ducks get the best player, and a natural LW to play with Getzlaf and Perry, Oouuuugh that’s scary… Lose a high pick and Ryan. Kovalchuk might not sign back, but with the off-loaded salary in the Giguere trade (saved $3M in 2010) and Niedermeyer ($6M in 2010), Anaheim can offer Ilya the maxmium pay, a luxury not a lot of teams have. Ryan is RFA, so they need to negotiate with him anyways, and possible match other people’s offer sheet, so trading him away may not be all bad. The 1st rounder will be high, but the draft is only mediocre in 2010.

For Atlanta, they get a player which can immediately help their playoff drive. Bobby Ryan is having a breakout season, 24G 43Points in just 56 games. Ryan is young just 23 year old, and he can play both wings. Ryan is RFA, and Atlanta has cap room to ensure they can sign him, even if it’s slightly overpaid. You also get a superstar defenseman in Niedermeyer who’s looking for a final shot at the cup. The 1st rounder from Ducks will be high, so that itself is attractive.

It works for the players too, Ryan is often logging 2nd-line time, although he’s used in special teams as well. In Atlanta, he will be the franchise face with tons of ice-time. Again Scott gets his last shot at the playoffs, and Kovalchuk will choose which teams he wants to play as it is the case since the beginning of this whole mess.

So what do you think?

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