Detroit Red Wings: Veteran Ryan Not Thinking About Retirement, ‘Open’ to Return

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With the abundance of cap room Steve Yzerman will have at his disposal this offseason, the Detroit Red Wings general manager likely will target long-term, short-term and smart-money moves.

Re-signing injured veteran Bobby Ryan fits each philosophy:

  • Long-Term: Ryan’s experience as a top-prospect-turned-dependable-veteran will aid the development of several young players rising through the organization.
  • Short-Term: Until the corps of prospects gain enough experience – and confidence – to begin leading on their own, Ryan would continue to bridge the franchise’s rebuild.
  • Smart-Money: Ryan, who is a pending unrestricted free agent, signed for $1 million on Oct. 9, 2020. If he’s able to stay healthy, even with a raise, the 34-year-old’s locker-room presence could prove to be a bargain.

Red Wings’ Ryan: ‘I Want to Play Hockey Next Year’

Wearing a sling on his right arm, Ryan on Wednesday spoke optimistically of the future.

“The thing I do know right now is, I want to play hockey next year,” Ryan said, streamed by Red Wings TV. “That’s been my immediate focus, trying to get ready to do that.

“You hope it’s Detroit. I haven’t had those conversations yet. I’ll certainly be open to it. If I’m part of the plans, I’d love to be here.”

Since undergoing surgery nearly three weeks ago, Ryan has been working out with team trainers. On Monday he is scheduled to return to his home in Idaho to continue preparing for his 15th NHL season.

“If I’m part of the plans, I’d love to be here.” – Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan

Will it be in Detroit?

“The thing I do know right now is I want to play hockey next year,” Ryan said. “My immediate focus is to try to get ready to do that. You hope it’s Detroit. I’d certainly be open to it.

“I can’t reiterate how many times I’ve said it — it’s just an incredible place to play.”

 Blashill: Ryan ‘Cares’

In 33 games with the Red Wings, the 2005 second overall draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks collected seven goals among 14 points. He made an instant impact, becoming the first player in franchise history to score four goals in his opening three outings.

In 866 NHL games for the Ducks, Ottawa Senators and Red Wings, Ryan has recorded 261 goals among 569 points.

“He cares about our hockey team growing.” – Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, assuming he earns a contract extension after next week, said he would like to reunite with Ryan once he’s fully recovered.

“When you meet him, you respect him even more because of the person he is,” Blashill said. “He’s a really, really good person. He’s a genuine person. He cares about the people he’s around. He cares about helping other people. He cares about our hockey team growing.”

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