This article was the first thing that came to mind the second news broke that the Detroit Red Wings had agreed to terms with veteran winger Bobby Ryan. Seriously.
At the time, it all made sense. The Detroit Red Wings need to fill out a roster; Yzerman wasn’t going to break the bank in free agency. Things haven’t gone how Ryan had hoped in Ottawa, and the Senators decided to buy-out the remaining years of his plus-$7-million per season deal.
Ryan met with Yzerman and apparently went home and told his wife that he thinks they’re signing in Detroit. Yzerman wowed the veteran winger, plus surely mentioning he’d have the opportunity to play as a top-six forward in Detroit plus work on the teams’ top power-play unit. Understanding the youth movement in Motown is still a year or two away.
The veteran winger signed a one-year deal that paid just $1-million. The money is really secondary after being bought out, knowing he’s collecting those Senators’ cheques still. It was surely more about the fit.
Like Bernier, I hope Ryan has enjoyed his time in Detroit and would be open to a reunion this summer. Having a veteran winger around with the skill-set of Ryan to help mentor the youthful Detroit Red Wings is far more valuable than what he produces on the score sheet.
Ryan is averaging just under 16 minutes per game and has scored six goals, seven assists, totaling 13 points in 29 games. Ryan owns a CF% of 49.1, which is good on this Red Wings roster. It’s noteworthy that 60% of Ryan’s five-on-five shifts begin in the offensive zone.
The 34-year old winger would be a solid third-line scoring winger that could help on the power-play for a playoff-bound team seeking depth upfront. Yzerman will likely accept a mid-round draft choice for Ryan’s services without hesitation.