Ducks forward Bobby Ryan has been the subject of persistent trade rumors… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)
They started the proceedings by trading their top offense-minded defenseman (Lubomir Visnovsky) to the New York Islanders for second-round pick in 2013 and looked to the future by selecting a skilled 18-year-old defenseman (Hampus Lindholm) from Sweden.
It was the in-between stuff that blindsided the Ducks on Friday at the NHL's Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
The bombshell came when their high-scoring winger Bobby Ryan unleashed his frustration over trade rumors. Ryan said he was taking it all "personally," airing his feelings in an interview with the one of the Philadelphia Flyers' beat writers.
"Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately," he told the New Jersey Courier-Post. "Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way."
Ryan, 25, grew up near Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, N.J., and obviously playing for the Flyers is intriguing. "I gotta be honest with you," he said to the Courier-Post. "At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."
The story surfaced on the Internet not long after the Ducks had traded the injury-riddled Visnovsky, who is 35, and before, with the sixth pick overall, they selected Lindholm, whose mentor is former NHL player Kenny Jonsson.
"I'd just like to say I'm disappointed at this time at his comments and I intend to talk to Bobby personally when we get back from the draft and clear the air a little bit," Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said.
Murray said that Ryan's representatives had not asked for a trade. He called the Visnovsky deal, "a hockey move, attempting to change the look of the defense."
League-wide, as expected, the Oilers took forward Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 pick. And there was a major trade on the first day of the two-day draft. Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal will be joining his brother Eric in Carolina as the Hurricanes sent center Brandon Sutter, youngster Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 pick in the draft to the Penguins. Sutter is the nephew of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter.
The Kings, who took over-age forward Tanner Pearson of the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League with the final selection of the first round at No. 30, were hardly idle on other fronts. Intent on keeping their Stanley Cup champion team intact, they reached agreements with forwards Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser.
It was not a major surprise because President/GM Dean Lombardi had identified them as priorities before they headed into unrestricted free agency. Stoll signed a three-year deal, at $3.25 million a year, and Fraser's two-year deal was for $825,000 a year.
Stoll's influence went beyond the rink. Captain Dustin Brown tweeted his approval of the deal, calling Stoll "#glueguy." The website capgeek.com puts the Kings at $11.9 million under the temporary working salary cap of $70.3 million.
Additionally, the team is not expected to renew the contract of assistant coach Jamie Kompon, who had been with the organization since the summer of 2006. Sutter had kept the staff intact when he took over as coach in mid-December.