The Detroit Red Wings have officially finalized their roster ahead of opening night for the 2021-22 season. On the somber side of all the prospect excitement, the Red Wings parted ways with Bobby Ryan, who was on a PTO through training camp.
The hopes were high for Ryan as he tried to make the team out of camp. However, the Detroit Red Wings felt that they were going to move in a different direction and head into the season without Ryan.
Last season, he was brought in on a low-cost, one-year contract to be a veteran presence in the forward core and hopefully get a nice revival of offense for himself and this team. It’s been a feel-good story with Ryan, and it frankly sucks to see him go.
Not so fast. Ryan could very well still suit up for the Red Wings in 2021-22 if he declines to sign elsewhere right away. The two sides have been receptive to a return, and that is clear; however, the Red Wings are moving in a younger direction, but veteran depth could be needed down the line.
The Detroit Red Wings have moved on from Bobby Ryan… for now.
He may not be scoring 40-goals or flying around the ice like he used to. However, Ryan was someone who the team could rely on in the middle-six group of forwards. He’s a veteran who has battled adversity on and off the ice, someone who can mentor some of these younger players.
Not to mention, after his absence from hockey by his own choosing to combat some off the ice issues, Ryan returned and was not quite the same player he used to be. Age catches up, not to mention the absence, but he was able to tap back into some scoring and be an impactful player.
While he was only able to log 33 games in 2020-21 due to some injuries, Ryan logged seven goals and seven assists for 14 total points. He started last season on fire and overall pieced together quite the exceptional season.
The saga of Ryan in Hockeytown ends, for now. While it may not seem like a true “saga,” there was a lot to like with Ryan, and he caught on quickly with the fanbase and organization. I keep hinting at “for now” because it seems like the door is not totally shut.
If the Red Wings were to sustain some injuries to their forward core, it seems like they may give a call over to Ryan to see if he still wants another go with the team. Without Jakub Vrána for the next couple of months, losing more forwards will be an issue.
So while Ryan will not suit up for the Red Wings in 2021-22 as things stand, do not rule it out for the whole season. It’s a long season, a marathon, not a sprint.