With the Senators desperately needing to move Bobby Ryan’s contract, could the LA Kings acquire him while also netting draft compensation?
It feels like the Senators have been attempting to off-load Bobby Ryan‘s contract since the day they signed him to an extension. And heading into a long offseason, there could be multiple opportunities to find a trade partner. Could the LA Kings insert themselves into the conversation?
Amid their rebuild, it’s all about the future right now with regards to the Kings. Next year, we will begin to see the fruits of the rebuild with several prospects likely to see regular time, especially Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Gabriel Vilardi, and Kale Clague – to name a few. Still, the LA Kings have a ton of flexibility in salary cap space – as do the Senators – and it’s already been made quite clear they don’t plan on spending big this offseason.
So why not use some of the funds to acquire additional draft capital or prospect compensation?
Bobby Ryan comes at a $7.5M cap hit over the next two seasons. He also missed a bunch of time this year, landing on the NHL player assistance program for substance abuse issues. He returned in mid-February, scoring a hat trick in his second game. In 24 games last year, Ryan tallied five goals with three assists.
The 32-year-old isn’t the player he once was, but the Kings don’t need him to be, especially if it’s for a maximum of two years. He is, however, a fantastic mentor for younger players, which could prove invaluable over time.
If other prospects beg for playing time beyond next season, the LA Kings can buyout his contract at a $3.6M cap hit in 2021-2022 and then $1.8M in each of the two seasons after that. The Senators have a fair amount of draft capital in October’s draft, especially in the first and second rounds.
In this particular trade, I have the Kings acquiring Ryan, a second-round pick in this year’s draft, and a third-round pick in next year’s draft. The Senators would get center Michael Amadio and winger Trevor Moore in return, whose contracts both expire after next season, but are projected to be an affordable re-sign.
The Kings may ask for more, given they are taking on a huge contract. This is just one example of a trade. So it’s entirely plausible that Ottawa surrenders a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a prospect, or some other combination of draft picks and prospects.
With Anderson-Dolan, presumably Quinton Byfield, and several other centerman prospects, it appears Amadio could be the odd man out. Moore hasn’t lived up to offensive expectations, despite being acquired mid-season last year. But as noted, some of the centerman prospects will be forced to convert to the wing.
An early peek at the offensive lines on Opening Night may look like this:
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Grundstrom – Vilardi – Frk
Kempe – Lizotte – Carter
Ryan – Anderson-Dolan – Wagner
As alluded to, the Senators have a lot of cap space as well, so there’s a viable scenario where they just ride out Ryan’s contract while they continue to rebuild. But the Senators also have a number of free agents this offseason, with Chris Tierney, Connor Brown, Anthony Duclair expected to receive paydays from the club, per Evolving Hockey.