July 5th: There was heartbreak. Sens fans worldwide were screaming in anger because their beloved captain for over a decade had gone to a now division rival. Bryan Murrray knew he needed to make a splash. That's exactly what he did when he acquired Bobby Ryan for a steep price of Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 1st rounder. It was a very bitter sweet day as we got one of the best snipers in the game, but everyone was asking if we truly got better.
The hype over the summer was insane, as many prognosticators pegged Ryan for at least 35-40 goals and 80+ points. I still think that's a bit ambitious, but a 30-goal, 70-75 point season is more realistic. After just two games, Ryan had no goals and fans were already upset. You know who had 2 goals after 2 games though? That's right, Jakob Silfverberg. Fans already called the trade a bust, saying Silfverberg shouldn't have gone. Everyone acknowledged it would take a lot to get Ryan, but many people were assuming Noesen and the 1st rounder would turn out good, and that Bobby wasn't as good as Jakob. I think many of the people saying it was a bad trade have shut up a bit in the past 2 weeks.
Silfverberg as it stands, is not as good as Bobby Ryan. I doubt he ever will be. After the first two games, Ryan has 6 goals and 2 assists in 7 games, and in the past 6 games Silfverberg has just 2 assissts. Ryan has shown just how lethal his wrist shot is, and is a major weapon on the power-play. He is the best pure goal-scorer we've had since Dany Heatley (which has been repeated over and over). Silfverberg is a player that I loved last year, and it was hard giving him up after how much I had talked about him. However, his ceiling is most likely a 60 point guy tops. Ryan has the potential for maybe 90 points if he gets a bit lucky. Anaheim knew Ryan was better, so they wanted more assets to offset the loss of him. Losing Stefan Noesen might hurt, and it might not. Right now, he is out for the season with an ACL injury. I don't think he has progressed exactly how we envisioned him to. However, he was a player that was always going to need time, so perhaps he still may be a good player. I'm sure Murray didn't like giving up the first rounder, but there's also a chance that's a mid-late round pick that turns out to be nothing.
Whenever you have a chance to get proven talent for some lottery tickets, you do it. Ryan was definitely worth the risk, even though we're only 9 games through the season. Just remember, people: Silfverberg =/= Ryan, plus the added assets might amount to nothing. One other thing that's encouraging, is that Ryan has been playing with Turris and Macarthur recently on the "second" line, and is still producing. Having two lethal lines in the top 6 would be wondrous. If there's a power-play late in the game, and we need a goal, aren't you glad we have Bobby Ryan who can snipe top corner? I know I am. Now move on with this debate, it's over.