And with comments from the man himself over Bobby Ryan trade rumors, it's officially time that those rumors have stretched from the abstract to the very realistic.
In a conversation with the Orange County Register on Tuesday, Ryan responded to the rumors that have circled him over the last few days, telling the paper that he "wouldn't be surprised" if he were traded at some point soon.
"In a perfect world, you get drafted and you stay with a team for your career and you win (Stanley) Cups." ... "At the same time, it's the business side of things that all comes back to. If they feel like it's got to be the right move for the team, then I'd certainly welcome it.
"If they feel like the Ducks are going to get better and I'm going to get chance to play somewhere else, I guess I would. But I'm certainly not thinking about it day in and day out."
For his part, general manager Bob Murray isn't talking about the speculation, only saying that when he's presented with offers, he examines all of them to see if there's an opportunity to make his team better. According to several, he's been picking up the phone with offers on the other end quite a bit lately.
That's not to say the Ducks are actually shopping Bobby Ryan. Via Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com:
The Ducks are listening to offers for Bobby Ryan, sources confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday. But really, "they're listening on a lot of guys. They have to at this point," another source said.
It's not that the Ducks are actually shopping Ryan, but rather the rest of the league phoning Anaheim and, more often than not, inquiring about the star winger, sensing that Anaheim might be willing to shake up their roster.
There's a difference between shopping a player and listening to offers for a player -- the Ducks are in listening mode.
You have to imagine that the thought of acquiring a player like Bobby Ryan is tantalizing for a lot of teams, and who knows, it could happen given the suddenly dismal situation the Ducks find themselves in this season: winners of just two of their last 18 games, and losers of seven straight heading into Wednesday night.