Detroit Red Wings: Bobby Ryan is the perfect reclamation project

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings should consider bringing in recently bought out forward Bobby Ryan as a reclamation project.

Recently the Ottawa Senators opted to buy-out Bobby Ryan‘s lucrative contract that had two years left and averaged $7.25 million.  Ryan said the settlement took him off guard but understood the decision.  Here is the perfect example of a player, Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings should target on a one-year deal next season.

Ryan turns 34-years old in March.  The veteran may not have much tread left on his tires, but he’s a guy that is a proven NHL scorer.  He may not be able to bury 20 goals anymore, but he still can net 15 in a full season.

The Detroit Red Wings struggle to score goals, and a player like Ryan would be provided all the ice-time with Detroit that he can earn, meaning he wouldn’t be buried in the lineup due to a plethora of other scorers if he is performing.

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With the Red Wings, Ryan would have an opportunity to work his way from being a fourth-line forward back into a top-nine role, and in Detroit, maybe even a second-line winger with how atrocious the lineup is.

Last year Yzerman brought back center Valtteri Filppula on a two-year deal to try and stabilize the lineup down the middle.  Filppula signed for $3-million per season, but only provided the Red Wings with six goals and 20 points in 70 games last season.

Yzerman indeed hoped Filppula, who scored 17 goals the year prior with the New York Islanders, produced similarly and perhaps receive some trade calls at the deadline.  That may still happen next season for a team looking for a ‘do it all’ fourth-line center.

Ryan could provide the Detroit Red Wings with a similar scenario.

Ryan is best known for his Anaheim Ducks days, where he cut his teeth playing on the top line alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf before moving on to Ottawa due to the salary cap budget.

Despite cashing in with the Sens, Ryan, never lived up to his Ducks days.  He scored 30-plus goals in four consecutive seasons with the Ducks but never scored more than 23 in a single season with Ottawa.  He has not scored 20 goals since 2016 when he scored 22.

Ryan won’t break the bank after scoring just five goals and eight points this past season in 24 contests.  I suspect he will be looking for a deal similar to his old friend Corey Perry in Dallas, which carries a cap hit of $1.75 million.  With how bad the Red Wings performed last season, add a million to that figure to entice a veteran like Ryan to join a non-contender.

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The Red Wings will have plenty of cap space, and if they choose to bring in Ryan on a one-year deal with the intention of moving him at the deadline for a mid-to-late round pick, it is a no-brainer.  If Ryan’s offensive struggles continue, it won’t be much of an issue to Detroit as they won’t have much invested in his services.