The Ducks announced today that they have sent right wing Bobby Ryan
to their AHL affiliate in Iowa. Ryan was thought to be with the team full-time this season, but because the Ducks remain over the $56.7 million salary cap, Ryan was sent down.
He’s a young player who has made huge strides. He demonstrated that in training camp. He was in probably the best shape of his life and htat was the first step for him. His perforamance was that where it made us difficult for us to reassign him today.
"It was a difficult move for us, but in the new world of the NHL, the cap issues are the cap issues," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "He’s a young player who has made huge strides and he demonstrated that in training camp. His performance was that where it made it difficult for us to reassign him today. I just want him to go down and be the best player he can possibly be. It's not a question of if
he's going to play in the NHL, it's when
In addition, the Ducks announced that left wing Joakim Lindstrom has been claimed on waivers by Chicago.
Anaheim now has 25 players remaining on its 2008 Training Camp Roster – 16 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders.
Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Burke comment on the situation on a conference call with reporters:
Bobby Ryan had an excellent camp and he was clearly in the hunt to make our team. Not a lock, because we haven’t made those decisions yet, but he was in the hunt. He did everything we asked him to do in the offseason. It’s been a successful campaign for him, no question about it.
We looked at 100 ways to start the season and figure out a way to keep Bobby and we can’t do that. There is no other option for us at this point in time. Fairness to players is a principle we live by in Anaheim and it’s part of the reason players want to play here. We treat our players fairly. What I said to Bobby is, “This may not seem fair to you because you were in the hunt. But it’s definitely cap related.” Our first priority is to get him back here on our team, if and only if he is dominating at that level. He proved he can do that in the playoffs last year. If he does that, we will try to figure out a way to bring him back with our cap situation and budget situation. If we can’t do that, then the second alternative, and it’s clearly our second choice, is to find him another organization to play in. But that’s clearly not our first choice. We fought hard to keep him out of other deals in the past couple of months, we were under tremendous pressure to include him in other deals and we fought hard to retain him.
Our first priority is that he plays for the Ducks. But if he’s dominating down there and we can’t resolve our cap situation, fairness would dictate that we would try to move him. But, and this is critical and I made Bobby repeat it when I told it to him, we’re not setting a timeframe on this. I’m not going to say, “If we don’t find a way in 30 days, we’ll move you.” I’m not putting a timeframe on this. He belongs to our organization and we’re going to do what’s best for the organizations within the confines of being fair to him. But not one bit of this is applicable unless he dominates down there, and we think he will.
If there is going to be a trade at some point, we’re going to do it for something that helps the Ducks. It has to be an age-group asset, as we call it. It’s not a first round pick and not a 30-year-old. It’s got to be a guy in Bobby’s age group or a package that includes a guy in Bobby’s age group that can help us. Our fans deserve that.
Bobby Ryan is a great kid and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We believe he’s going to be a good NHL player. I wish there were better options to deal with this situation, but there are not.
I think people are going to take an opportunity to blast the cap system or blast the Player’s Association for not notifying the league that they do not intend to re-open the CBA. We don’t fault the league or the union in this case. This is the landscape we live in. The same set of rules apply to every team. We’re not faulting anybody here. We’re just going to move ahead.
On how Ryan took the news,
Randy and Bob Murray said he was clearly disappointed, and I don’t blame him. Getting sent to the minors is never a fun meeting. For a guy who worked as hard as he did to put himself in the hunt, it’s clearly disappointing. I talked to him on the phone and he was clearly disappointed.
On whether he could be back up before opening night (Oct. 9),
It’s highly unlikely. I can’t see a scenario where that would happen. There is no Plan B to do that. I cannot see that happening.
On the Ducks’ cap situation,
We’re still looking at some other moves, but even with this move we’re going to be close to the cap.
On what the Ducks will be looking for from Ryan in the AHL,
It’s more of whether the hockey ops people feel he’s dominating. That doesn’t always manifest itself on the scoresheet. I told Bobby, “You’ve got to be a top player down there. You carried those guys in the playoffs last year and we’re looking for you to do the same thing.”
On whether the Ducks will carry 22 players when the season starts,
We’re trying to sort that out. We’re trying to figure out Brad Larsen’s injury status, for one thing. Atlanta was very forthcoming about this [when the Ducks traded for him in the Schneider deal]. They said he had a problem and they weren’t sure how severe it was. We’re trying to nail that down now. We like this player and we were willing to take him, even if he was injured. We think he will be a useful player for us at some point. There are guys going on waivers every day and we’re looking at some of those things. And if Brett Festerling makes the team, and he’s the seventh defenseman, does that make sense? Does a kid like him have to play all the time? We’re working through a whole bunch of issues. I’d like to carry 20 from a budget and cap standpoint, but when you’re on the West Coast, that’s not realistic.