| The Detroit News
Detroit — Whether Bobby Ryan is traded at the deadline, finishes the season here, remains a Red Wing or moves on in the summer — all of it remains to be seen.
But it sure sounds like the veteran forward wouldn’t mind staying a Red Wing.
The trade deadline during this shortened, condensed NHL season is April 12, and Ryan could be an interesting bargaining chip for general manager Steve Yzerman.
Ryan, who’ll be 34 on March 17, signed a one-year contract for $1 million over the summer, knowing a trade could be a distinct possibility. And Ryan still knows that. But, he’s really taken to Detroit.
“We’ve loved it,” Ryan said during Friday’s Zoom chat with the media, ahead of the weekend series against the Chicago Blackhawks. “I say we, as a family. My wife loves it, she’s very happy in the area. The kids like it. I know my daughter likes going to her dance class. Things like that.
“We’re very comfortable here. It feels weird, I’ve played 20 games and it’s such a weird year, but we’ve loved every single moment of it. Whether it’s tomorrow or five weeks from now down the road, I feel fortunate to have gotten to play here and wear the Winged Wheel.
“I love the group of guys, love the coaching staff and everything about it, honestly, everything about it. It’s been an incredible experience.”
If Ryan were to be dealt at the deadline, returning to Detroit as a free agent again next offseason would be a possibility.
“If there’s an opportunity to come back here in the summer, it would be a conversation that Steve will have with me and I don’t know what his plans are, but it’ll be very high on my list,” Ryan said. “I love it here.”
Ryan hasn’t had any conversations with Yzerman about this trade deadline or next season, but a discussion is likely to be forthcoming.
“When I signed I knew that (a potential trade) was going to be a possibility if I come in and played well and it was a going to be a win-win situation, possibly for me to get the opportunity to go somewhere and be in a playoff race and for the team (Wings) to get an asset,” he said.
“I understand the business side of that thing. (But) I feel like I’m getting my feet wet as a Red Wing and it’s a little sad, because I’m just getting comfortable with the guys, I have been, but you’re really getting to settle in and have a place in the locker room and it’s just been the nature of the year (condensed schedule). There’s nothing you can do about it unfortunately.”
At this point of his career, the speculation and rumors, the possible teams that could be in the mix to acquire him, all that doesn’t bother Ryan.
“I’ve heard the whispers and things like that and you take it with a grain of salt until Steve or your agent tells you exactly what is happening,” Ryan said. “When I was younger, it would have been something that weighed on me heavily. But having been through it one time, not so much anymore. I can’t control any of that, so I’m just going to play.”
One of the reasons Ryan is interested in staying in the Wings’ organization is the young core of the roster.
Then, there’s the leadership of captain Dylan Larkin.
“I would say there’s a very quiet resolve within the guys who know they’re going to be here that they’re building something,” Ryan said. “They understand results may not be immediate, but they’re not getting down about it, they come back to work and that starts with Larks.
“He’s got guys all pulling on the same rope and same direction and that speaks a lot about him. He’s not a rah-rah guy but he can be at times. He just comes in and leads by example. His work ethic, the way he is around the room and handles himself, guys follow that.
“But that would be the biggest takeaway, the resolve that those guys are going to get better. It may not be immediate and right now, but they’re committed to the process of getting better every day.
“I’m excited for them. It’s just a great group of young guys in that room.”
Red Wings at Blackhawks
Faceoff: 8 Saturday, United Center, Chicago
Outlook: The Red Wings (6-13-3) and Chicago (11-6-4) begin a two-game-in-two-nights weekend series. … The Wings are winless in four games against Chicago (0-3-1). …. Chicago RW Patrick Kane (10 goals, 21 assists) is playing at an MVP level.