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Bobby Ryan Is off to a Hot Start for the Detroit Red Wings

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Bobby Ryan Signed a One-year, $1,000,000 Deal with the Red Wings

Bobby Ryan was one of seven free agents that General Manager Steve Yzerman added to the Detroit Red Wings roster after the 2020 NHL season. Paul McPherson wrote before the season that this would put pressure on head coach Jeff Blashill. Some of these players may be moved at the trade deadline to acquire more draft picks to accelerate the Red Wings rebuild. It is hard to imagine with the start that Ryan has had, that he would be one of the free agents moved.

In a 3-2 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ryan scored the second goal for the Red Wings at 14:17 of the second period. With that goal, Ryan became the first player in Red Wings franchise history to score four goals in his first three games played with the team. This is an impressive statistic given the number of talented players that have donned the winged wheel.

Bobby Ryan was bought out by the Ottawa Senators after a 2019-20 season where he took a lot of time off. There were many suitors for a player who had previously scored 30 goals four different times. Ryan said he saw this free agency period as a sort of clean slate. After the Red Wings recent game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ryan said that the one reason he wanted to come to Detroit was “Steve Yzerman.”

Ryan started his career with the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who drafted the left-winger second overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft. Ryan would ultimately play for the Ducks for six seasons. In 2013, Ryan was traded from Anaheim to the Senators.

The trade was seen as a win for both teams given that the Senators were getting a player who had scored at least 30 goals in four of the previous five seasons. Anaheim, on the other hand, were getting Jakob Silfverberg from Ottawa. Silfverberg was a strong skating two-way forward coming out of Gävle, Sweden.

Ryan on Struggles with Alcohol in Ottawa

Bobby Ryan’s time in Ottawa did not end in the way he wanted it to. He entered the league’s alcohol treatment program in November of 2019. He did not have an easy childhood. To his credit, he has said that this was not the reason he started drinking.

For his part, Ryan said at the time that he attempted to handle his problem with alcoholism on his own. “I was trying the white-knuckle thing and do things the wrong way. I’d have 20 days of nothing and one real, bad one and you just can’t get better without help. There’s such a stigma around asking for help and I was trying to do it. I’ve done that for a long time.”

The most special moment for Ryan in Ottawa was when he returned from his time in rehab for a problem with alcohol. The fans at Canadian Tire Centre chanted “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!” Ryan would score a hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-2 victory. This performance is no doubt where Ryan earned the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”

Red Wings Off to a More Offensive Start

Anthony Mantha has begun to heat up as he only played in 14 games during the 2020 NHL season that was shortened to 70 games for the Red Wings due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Red Wings finished the season with only 17 wins. This was in large part due to a lack of secondary scoring. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi both finished ahead of Mantha with 19 and 21 goals respectively.

Whatever the rest of the 2020 NHL season has for the Red Wings, Ryan has already had a successful one given what he has overcome off of the ice. The hockey world cannot help but to feel good for the 33-year-old. Ryan has a chance to continue his hot start on Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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