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Sens’ Ryan faces career crossroads

Aug 23, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT

St Louis Blues v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

In good times and bad, it seems like odd moments just seem to follow Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan.

He’s made good on his status as the No. 2 pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, yet he’s also the guy who was selected after Sidney Crosby. Being overshadowed by big-name Canadian players probably became old hat for Ryan over the years, as his impressive feats (four 30+ seasons in Anaheim) were glossed over a bit because Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were even better.

Of course, then the awkwardness shifted to being dismissed compared to other Americans, as he was a controversial snub for the 2014 Olympic team.

Big payday coming?

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to forget that Ryan ranks as one of the best young power forwards in the league. He also carries the rare strength of being a fairly reliable peformer among more brutish finesse players who often see their production come and go.

This brings up a tough question heading into the 2014-15 season in which his current contract expires: how much, exactly, is he worth?

At 27, Ryan is currently scheduled for unrestricted free agency. It’s difficult to imagine him hitting the free market, as even the best available UFA talent usually consists of players who’ve already reached their 30’s.

Seriously, take a second to study the players who hit free agency during the prime years who actually made a difference and didn’t defect to the KHL. All things considered, Ryan could command quite a ransom if he makes it that far, which is probably a strong argument for why he should think long and hard about whether or not he wants to stick around in Ottawa.

Should he stay or go?

One big argument “for” is that he’d remain one of the team’s biggest stars. There’s something to be said for being the “big man on campus,” which is a title Ryan would likely share with Erik Karlsson and maybe another player or two.

Unless they can convince him to maintain his relative bargain $5.1 million cap hit, the Senators might benefit from seeing what he can do in 2014-15, too. Ryan remains a potent scorer (23 goals in 70 games last season), even with all the turbulence of last season, from being snubbed to being traded. Sure, an elite season could prove costly, but if his reps want a big contract anyway … why not make sure this is the right fit?

***

Whatever way this shakes out, it should be an interesting – maybe even intense – situation to watch.

  1. vancouversportsbro - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    He hasn’t done anything to earn “a big payday”.

    • flyerspsu - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      In today’s free agent market I think he has, I wouldn’t give him more than 6.5 a year personally tho

    • jl9830 - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Except be one of the better goal scorers in hockey for the better part of 5 years. He’ll get paid bigtime if he hits UFA on July 1, 2015.

  2. areaman714 - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Ryan seems to at least want to be Tonto and not Tonto’s Tonto as he was with the Ducks. He is immensely talented went he wants to be. When he is somewhat interested he us still really good. It is those all-too-often times when he seems disinterested that is so mind-numbing . . . He just disappears.

    This is a contract year so he will be interested much of the time and thus, he will dazzle much of the time. He’ll get paid either by the Sens or the Flyers. If he is not signed by then, the trade deadline will again be an interesting time for the Sens/Philly.

    • flyerspsu - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      W/ hextall as gm it seems a lot less likely the flyers would make a big push for ryan

    • flyerspsu - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Although if Ryan really wants to play in Philly and would take less money I don’t see how hextall wouldn’t be interested, time will tell

  3. gbart22 - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    He should go

  4. mcphillthy - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Hia favorite team when he was a kid was the flyers. Someone earlier had said he dazzles when cares… How well do you think he would play if he was living his dream playing for his fantasy team NEXT TO CLAUDE GIROUX and VORACEK!! I’m sure those thoughts are going through his head as he ponders UFA status.
    If Ryan isn’t going to sign in ottawa I say vinny for Ryan at the trade deadline. Win/win for both teams. Ottawa gets a strong center and leader and Philly gets a salary dump/rental.

    • mcphillthy - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Aww Ottawa fans…. Thumbs down? Do you really think your crappy, non competitive city can keep any talent? Spezza? Alfredson? The list goes on. What makes you think Ryan wants to stay and live in mediocrity? Thumbs down me again. It just proves my point.
      Ryan is coming home to Philly

      • razorsedgeperformance - Aug 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        What are you even talking about? Alfredsson played 16 years for the sens…this isn’t a trade this guy before free-agency situation, and Spezza as well! Ottawa chose to move on from Spezza…The Flyers have lost way more talent than the Sens have!
        You are just mad because you have no idea what your team is trying to do…they acquire someone then next month trade guys away…buyers? sellers? confused!

      • flyerspsu - Aug 24, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        I even downvoted your comments cus they were ridiculous

    • jl9830 - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      With what cap space? Stop fantasizing about more forwards and start worrying about your defense, which is pretty much AHL caliber.

  5. blomfeld - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    “Whatever way this shakes out, it should be an interesting (maybe even intense) situation to watch” …

    Not sure about you guys, but this story has me ‘seriously’ on the edge of my seat ! :)

  6. mackattack29 - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Bobby Ryan could very well go down as one of the more underrated players in the past decade. He is truly as elite as power forwards come and when given the proper system and linemates he can produce with the best of him. It is painfully obvious how little people actually watch him or even know about him outside of a YouTube highlight video and maybe some stats… lol oh how ignorant.

    • btlpper68 - Aug 24, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      sorry but ryan is not a power forward, just becuase hes got size vertically dosent make him a power forward

  7. 950003cups - Aug 24, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Bobby Ryan may be, if anything, overrated. Although that’s changing as his less than stellar performance the last few years takes a front seat. Underrated players are guys like JVR.

  8. clpalermo94 - Aug 24, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Realistically 4-5 mill a year for like 5 years. In this current day and age especially if he has a big year 6-7 for like 8 years.

    • jl9830 - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      4-5 mil lolololol

  9. jpat2424 - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    ^ agreed

  10. djshnooks - Aug 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Tim Murray was a huge proponent for getting Bobby Ryan to Ottawa.

    Tim Murray will have a lot of money to play with next summer and needs a scoring RW.

    Something to keep an eye on there for sure…especially with the fact we all know Buffalo and Ottawa have been having talks about someone, apparently Chris Stewart, and possibly either Hodgson or Stafford.

    Personally, I’d rather them go after someone younger, like an Evander Kane…but they have a lot of youth there.

  11. chrisk61 - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    bobby ryan to flyers has been in the works for years. ott is just a pit stop.

    • rmccleary97 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      I completely agree. Everyone knows Ryan is headed to Philadelphia – you look at all the connections, it’s just a matter of time.

      Respectfully yours,

      Every player who’s been rumored to go to [city] because “he grew up there, it’s only natural he’ll go back home” and never did.

    • jl9830 - Aug 25, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      And how will they pay him his $7M+?

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