Detroit Red Wings: Could Bobby Ryan be the best offseason addition?

(Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)
(Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman made a move to sign Bobby Ryan to a one-year deal, which might result to be the best signing yet.

The Detroit Red Wings have categorically had an incredible offseason, making great signings and setting the team up to improve in the 2020-21 season. One of General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman‘s short term signings, Bobby Ryan, could work out to be the best of them all.

When free agency opened up, the Red Wings were able to scoop up Ryan on a one-year, $1 million contract to come to Hockeytown. From conversations since then, it seems pretty clear that Ryan feels it will be a good fit for him, and he will look for a chance to redeem himself.

Ryan signed a big-time, seven-year, $50.75 million contract with the Ottawa Senators back in 2014 that got him paid. He was never able to live up to the prowess that he exhibited with the Anaheim Ducks when he first broke into the league.

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The Red Wings scooped up Ryan after he was bought out by the Senators, back in September.

Supposedly, Yzerman talked with Ryan about coming to Detroit and hoping he could use it as a chance to bounce back. Yzerman helped him realize how he could look to get things back on track.

Ryan is 33 years old and only played in 24 games during the 2019-20 season. He did have a brief stint away from hockey after he stepped away to enter the player assistance program.

In the 24 games that he did play for the Senators, Ryan only managed five goals and three assists for eight total points.

On a non-contender, it might be asking too much to see the 33-year old bury 20-25 goals, but the 15-20 range is more realistic.

Ryan could slot in well in the middle-six forwards here. He was buried on the fourth line in Ottawa but could find a home on the third line, possibly jumping up to the second line more often than not, based on this team’s roster.

While a one-year, $1 million contract may seem like another roster spot filling contract, Ryan might be able to do something with it. As a veteran looking to find his footing and try to squeeze some more quality hockey out of him.

Ultimately, the Detroit Red Wings could do a few different things with Bobby Ryan to make him an extremely valuable offseason addition.

He could be the best free-agent signing the team makes from an offensive standpoint because he will add help in several areas. He adds depth, adds scoring (hopefully), adds to the power-play production, and adds rental possibility.

If Ryan does manage to tap into some offense, Yzerman could move him as a trade-deadline rental for a contending team looking for a cheap addition. Ryan could net a draft pick for Yzerman to use in the coming years as he looks to continue his draft success.

The other option Yzerman has with Ryan would be to keep him and sign him to another one-year deal for the 2021-22 season ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. It’s quite early to look ahead to the next offseason, but if Ryan finishes out the 2020-21 season in a Red Wings uniform, that could be an option the Red Wings consider.

In that case, the Red Wings would really just be looking to cheaply iron out Ryan for whatever productive hockey he has left in him before he calls it a career. Either way, it will be interesting to see what Ryan does in his 2020-21 campaign while donning the winged wheel.

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Keep an eye on Bobby Ryan in 2020-21 as he looks to be a source of offensive production for the Detroit Red Wings as they strive to show some improvement.