The Ottawa Senators rolled the dice when they traded for winger Bobby Ryan prior to last season with just two years remaining on his contract. That risk paid off on Thursday. The team announced a seven-year deal for the talented winger:
TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported the deal:
Ryan was set to become a free agent following the 2014-15 campaign, but the Senators ensured that he will reside in Canada's capital for many years to come.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun provided a full breakdown of how the money is spread out, and gave more details on other aspects of the contract:
Ian Mendes of TSN provided owner Eugene Melnyk's thoughts on the deal:
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun provided Ryan's thoughts:
There was some concern among Sens fans that a deal wouldn't get done prior to the start of the regular season. Some speculated that Ryan had turned down a lucrative offer, but McKenzie reports that nothing of the sort happened:
Ryan would have commanded big money on the open market as a four-time 30-goal scorer, which is why Kevin Allen of USA Today believes that locking him up was a huge move by Ottawa:
The Cherry Hill, N.J. native was an offensive force with the Anaheim Ducks for six seasons before being dealt up north in 2013. Ryan averaged 23 goals and 48 points in his first season with the Senators, which marked the lowest totals of his career in an 82-game season.
Ryan was limited to just 70 games, though, due to a sports hernia. According to Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, Ryan is confident that his injury issues are now a thing of the past.
There (were lingering issues), all summer long, but I had a breakthrough at one point where the pain just kind of stopped being there. A lot of it had to do when you got back on the ice, breaking through that scar tissue. A lot of people I talked to that had the surgery said it took a year to feel right, for them. I think the fact I had so much time off after the surgery until I had to be on skates again was really a factor in feeling so good.
The Senators are certainly hopeful that Ryan's confidence is well placed since they have made a major investment in him as a first-line, cornerstone player.
If Ryan is healthy, his track record suggests that he is up to the task.
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