Versus Series: Wing Selection-Bobby Ryan vs. Marian Hossa
By Rob Kirk on September 25, 2012
With all of the movement this summer, Bobby Ryan acted like he wanted to be a part of the fun and requested out of sunny Anaheim. Marian Hossa spent the early part of his summer in a cloudy fog as well courtesy of a Raffi Torres cheap shot during the Blackhawks first round series loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
While Hossa should make a full recovery, Ryan’s reputation among his teammates might need some repair. He has since backed away from his trade “demand” and kept quiet as the NHL slid into the lockout. While his frustrations are understandable, his motives are questionable at best. Going public with your grievances never makes any athlete look good. Crying foul while collecting $5.1 million annually for playing a sport hardly endears one to the general public.
So when you are faced with a fantasy option of Ryan vs. Hossa, who is the better pick? Both players are almost the exact same size, but Ryan is eight years younger with a lot less wear on his tires. Hossa racked 100 points in his younger years, but this year’s fantasy draft doesn’t consider Hossa’ numbers when he played for some team called the Thrashers. Not sure if they were associated with the skateboard magazine or the french fries but I believe they hailed from the fine state of Georgia.
Everyone keeps waiting for Bobby Ryan to break out and be the player he should be. With his size and skill, the young American Duck-wing should be putting up numbers similar to those Hossa was putting up at age 25. Ryan plays with a talented core in Anaheim, and a full season with Bruce Boudreau could be just what the duck-tor ordered. (See what I did there!)
Ryan is the more physical of the two collecting far more hits and penalty minutes, but Hossa still trumps him in the offensive categories. Ryan gets more goals but Hossa bagged almost twice as many helpers last season. My play is to go with the younger Ryan.
It’s a roll of the dice because Hossa’s production has risen back to the levels he had in his prime, and the Blackhawks can fill the net with pucks. His health could be a question mark though. Concussion aside, Hossa has played only one complete season in the last five years, which happened to be last year.
If Ryan wants out of Anaheim, it’s hard to say which player we’ll see. Does he play harder and better to make teams covet the promising young star he used to be. Or does he pout and end up in the temperamental Boudreau’s dog house and get sent packing, tail feather tucked between his legs. ( See that! I did it again!) Roll the dice and take Ryan. Bet on his durability and count on a more mature focused player once the league is open for business again.
Rob "The Captain" Kirk
"All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity." - Gordie Howe