Bobby Ryan will be back in training camp with the Detroit Red Wings but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a Red Wing again this season.
Ryan, 34, spent last season in Detroit after he signed a one-year contract with the team as an unrestricted free agent. He produced 7-7-14 totals in 33 games. Ryan’s season was cut short when he suffered an upper-body injury in March. He underwent triceps surgery in May to correct the problem.
Just because Ryan is being tendered an invitation to Red Wings camp, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to figure in Detroit’s plans for this season. There’s a number of possible scenarios why this PTO could be happening.
— Random Hockey Bear (@thehockeybear) September 21, 2021
It could be as simple as an insurance policy against a rash of preseason injuries. The Wings know Ryan. He was a loyal soldier for the team last season. Ryan worked well as a mentor to the club’s younger players.
“Bobby was a great acquisition for us, a veteran guy that plays the game the right way,” Wings forward Robbie Fabbri said of Ryan’s performance last season. “He’s someone you want on your wing.”
No Place To Play
A four-time 30 goal scorer as an NHLer, Ryan was left out in the cold this summer. No contract offers came his way. Detroit management may be looking to return the favor for the work he did in helping with the development of the team’s youngsters. Putting Ryan in an NHL uniform for the preseason allows him to showcase his talents.
By skating in an NHL camp, Ryan is certain to be in condition to play for a team. The Wings can suit him up for some preseason games. If there’s no place for him in Detroit, this will also serve as an audition for Ryan. It’s an opportunity for him to display to other NHL teams that he’s still capable of delivering the goods.
Often, players in NHL camps on PTOs end up signing with rival teams that have a sudden need at their position. For example, in 2007, defenseman Brent Sopel was in camp on a pro tryout with the Red Wings. He left when offered a more lucrative deal by the Chicago Blackhawks.
In 2009-10, Sopel played 22 playoff games as the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.