Bobby Ryan wants to be part of the future of the Detroit Red Wings, and not just because he feels robbed in the present.
Ryan enters the offseason determined to rehabilitate his right triceps, which required end-of-season surgery shortly after playing his last game on March 28. At 34, Ryan is in the twilight of his career, but he’s not ready for retirement.
“What I know right now is I want to play hockey next year,” Ryan said Wednesday. “My immediate goal is to try and prepare for it. You hope it’s Detroit. I would certainly be open to it.
“I can’t repeat how many times I’ve said it – it’s just an amazing place to play.”
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General manager Steve Yzerman signed Ryan last October in a move that proved to be smart for both teams: The Wings got a former 30-goal scorer for a year at $ 1 million, and Ryan got the chance to trying to restart his career.
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The restart lasted 33 games.
“I feel like I’ve been kind of stripped of the whole real experience,” Ryan said. “If I’m part of the plans, I’d love to be here.”
Bringing Ryan back under the same conditions is always a safe and potentially very rewarding gesture. Ryan has recorded seven goals and seven assists, and his value has surpassed what he delivered in games. A former first-round pick, Ryan has agreed to serve as a mentor, particularly to recent first-round picks Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen who feature in the rebuild. Ryan has been through a bit of everything, from scoring 30 goals early in his career with the Anaheim Ducks, getting traded, seeking drug treatment and trying to rebuild his career.
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“I think there will always be a place for that,” he said. “Guys who’ve been through this with age and serious ups and downs like me, can still be a sounding board for young guys. When I have my encounters with the brass and Steve, I hope we will talk about that influence as much as the ice cream stuff. I hope I left some kind of impression on Ras and Z, that if they remember something from playing with me, some kind of wisdom, some wise old slug from the Western Conference kind of got them. transmitted.
Ryan was an immediate fit with the Wings, which coach Jeff Blashill credits to being a real guy Ryan.
“He cares about helping people, he cares about the growth of our hockey team,” said Blashill. “Whenever you try to develop young people, they have to have great role models. They must have great bear dads who can help them overcome the various challenges they face during their career. People they respect. Coaches are one thing. It’s a whole different thing when you can get it in your locker room.
“Someone like Bobby, who was at the top, who was also a guy who was healthy. It can help guys at different stages of their careers. These are essential elements for the growth of young players. “
As Blashill liked having Ryan around, Ryan liked playing under Blashill.
“He’s got a great pulse for the gym – when he needs a load, when he doesn’t, when to step back and let the younger ones take over vocally,” Ryan said. “You can’t deny the progress some of the young guys have made this year – you watch how good Ras is playing and down the straight, Z. There are a lot of guys who have made a lot of big strides, and he’s the one who puts the guys in the position to be successful and they run with it. I would definitely say Blash has done a good job this year.
Contact Helene St. James at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Learn more about the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. His book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph books. Custom copies available via email.