The Detroit Red Wings released veteran forward Bobby Ryan after inviting him to camp on a professional tryout.
“We just made that decision that that is the best thing for us,” coach Jeff Blashill said after Monday’s practice at Little Caesars Arena. “I wish Bobby a ton of luck going forward. I think he’s a great, great person, a real good player, but that’s (the decision) we made.”
Ryan had two goals and two assists in six games.
The decision reflects how well rookie Lucas Raymond has played. The 2020 first-round pick came to camp and impressed with how he fit into the NHL lineup, earning a spot next to Dylan Larkin.
“It at times was portrayed as two guys fighting for one job,” Blashill said. “That was not necessarily the case. But Lucas’ game, and other guys how they played, factored into it for sure. Lucas had a real good first part of camp.”
General manager Steve Yzerman took a flier on Ryan, a former 30-goal scorer, last fall, signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract. For Ryan, who had been bought out by the Ottawa Senators, it was an opportunity to continue an NHL career that began when he was drafted second overall in 2005, behind Sidney Crosby. Ryan had an excellent start with four goals in three games, and had seven goals and seven assists when his season ended in late March with a triceps injury.
When it came to making decisions on the roster after the season ended, Yzerman didn’t offer an extension to Ryan. Ryan, 34, had interest in free agency, but said he held out hoping something would work out with Detroit because “no place has felt this comfortable throughout my career,” Ryan said in September.
The Wings called Sept. 20, while Ryan was watching “Monday Night Football.” At that time, they knew Tyler Bertuzzi’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine jeopardized his availability to play in Canada. A week into camp, they found out Jakub Vrana would need shoulder surgery and would miss a minimum of four months.
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