Michael Ryder Finds a Home in Boston

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IApril 15, 2009

BOSTON - FEBRUARY 24:  Michael Ryder #73 of the Boston Bruins scores against Craig Anderson #31 of the Florida Panthers on February 24, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 6-1.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Michael Ryder has been a huge part of the Bruins' charge to the top of the Eastern Conference this year. He's put up some of his best numbers of his career, scoring 27 goals and dishing out 26 assists while recording a plus-minus of 28, which is the best of his career.

Ryder played four years for the Montreal Canadiens from 2003-2008. While there, he put up some great numbers: back-to-back 30 goal campaigns along with a 25-goal year. In his last year with the Canadiens, though, he only scored 14 goals to go along with 17 assists, which ultimately led to the Canadiens not resigning him.

This is when the Boston Bruins decided to sign him. A big part of the B's signing Ryder was that Claude Julien had coached him when he played for the Canadiens for two years and another three when he played in junior hockey. The Bruins signed Ryder to a three year $12 million deal. At first, this seemed like a pretty hefty price for a guy who had just come off the worst season of his career.

Little did Bruins fans know what they would get out of Michael this year.

Ryder has had a great resurgence this year, putting up his best numbers since his back-to-back 30 goal seasons in 2005 and 2006. Hopefully, he continues to put up these kinds of numbers for Boston in the next few years and in the playoffs, which could be a big factor in the Bruins bringing the Cup back to Boston where it belongs.