The Ottawa Senators are taking another step in a new direction today.
It was reported on Friday morning that forward Bobby Ryan would be placed on waivers for purpose of a buyout. Ryan recently won the Bill Masterson Trophy, given “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
Ryan left the Senators to enter the NHL/NHL Players’ Assistance program after battling with alcohol addiction. He left the club in 2019 and would not return until February of 2020.
I was able to connect with Bobby Ryan after today’s news.
He wanted me to pass along the following statement to the fans here in Ottawa: pic.twitter.com/59YcuLl2mu
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) September 25, 2020
The 33-year-old has two seasons left of a $50.75 million deal he signed back in 2014. A buyout would knock $3.7 million of the Senators’ cap hit for the next two seasons.
In addition, the buyout would then add a $1.8 million cap hit for the two seasons after that, ending in 2024.
Ryan spent the past six seasons with the Ottawa Senators. An original draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan was selected in 2005. The draft took place in Ottawa.
During his time with the Senators, he picked up 266 points through 455 games. This season, Ryan had five goals and 8 points through 24 games with the team.
In his entire professional career, Ryan tallied 883 games in 13 seasons between the Senators and Ducks.
With the move, the Senators move further away from the cap floor. With Ryan’s buyout, the Senators will need to spend close to $22 million to reach the cap floor.
The NHL’s buyout window opened Friday at Noon EST and runs through October 8.
With the move made today, it opens a world of possibilities for the Senators, who were one of the worst teams in the NHL last season. Ottawa has a ton of cap space in their favor, but it is rather unlikely that the team will fill the gap with some of the top free agents in the off-season.
It will be interesting to see if Ryan attempts to join another club through free agency or ponder retirement. Ryan has had a string of injuries on ice and battles off-ice, but his services could be used from other teams.
Ryan still has the potential to be a third-to-fourth line player (depending on the team), but of course money talks. There is still a market for Ryan, who may land quickly on his feet (if he chooses to do so).