After clearing waivers on Saturday, the Senators announced that they have officially bought out the final two seasons of Bobby Ryan’s contract. GM Pierre Dorion released the following statement on the move:
This was a decision that required a lot of consideration. Bobby’s long been a deserving fan favourite in Ottawa. While we’re appreciative of his efforts on the ice, it’s outweighed by how proud we are of him for the courage that he has demonstrated off of it. As we continue to take strides in our rebuild, this decision was one that we felt was best for the organization. We wish he and his family the best as he moves forward.
The Masterton Trophy winner had two years remaining on a seven-year, $50.75MM contract he signed back in 2014 ($7.25MM AAV). The buyout saves the Senators $3.67MM in each of the next two seasons, but apply a $1.83MM penalty for the following two. The full cap hit will now be as follows:
- 2020-21: $3,583,333
- 2021-22: $3,583,333
- 2022-23: $1.833,333
- 2023-24: $1,833,333
Ryan, 33, had been with the Senators since the 2013-14 season, scoring 107 goals and 266 points over 455 games. This year he suited up just 24 times, leaving the team for a chunk of the season to deal with his addiction problems. Upon his return, he provided one of the most emotional moments of the year when he notched a hat trick in his first game back in Ottawa.
Coming into the league as a dominant presence for the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan recorded 30 or more goals in four straight seasons, hitting a career-high of 71 points in 2010-11. His deteriorated play in recent years made this an easy choice for the Senators though, one that was even discussed in years prior as his goal totals fell. The simple fact was that he can no longer provide the kind of value required for a $7.25MM cap hit, especially as finances are tightened league-wide.
That said, Ryan now becomes an unrestricted free agent that is able to sign a new contract with whatever team he chooses. For a much lower cap hit, perhaps someone believes they can bring back some of his production. After all, Ryan did score four goals in eight games after returning from the Player Assistance Program.
For the Senators, it’s not so much about the cap space (as they have more than they’ll ever need) but the actual salary owed. Ryan was due $7.5MM in each of the remaining two seasons, a total of $15MM that will be reduced to $11.3MM after the buyout.
His removal from the roster will also provide more minutes for the young Senators core, a group that is actually quite impressive. Not only do they have one of the best prospect systems in the league already, but Ottawa also has seven picks in the first two rounds and thirteen overall this year.
TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report that Ryan’s deal was being bought out.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
@mhendrickson61 – Agreed!
dave frost nhlpa
This is an example of a lower rung team getting sucked in to a bad buyout.
You were going nowhere for 20-21. You play him in your top 6 until a youngster is ready to push him down. You start 21-22 by offering Seattle a cookie. If not,he’s an asset at the 21-22 trade deadline.
Let me know if that superstar you need to sign so you can finish 10th wouldn’t mind taking a little less because $2M is clogging your books.
Remember,this is a GM who traded FOR DION.
Melnyk is broke. He doesn’t give a damn about this team. He gets to save 3.6 million dollars so Ryan can take a hike.
you clearly don’t know this team.
A. why would you offer Seattle something to take him for 1 season when you aren’t a max cap team? that’s just throwing away an asset.
B. Ryan likely wouldn’t being back anything as that contract is tough to absorb at the deadline without moving salary for most teams.
C. Again the $2 mil is nothing because of you think Melnyk is spending to the cap ceiling you are nuts.
the fact is no buyout is great. it means you made a mistake evaluating the talent and your future situation, but this makes a ton of sense. they certainly could have kept him to mentor but at 7 million plus, why do that?
oh and Murray traded for Dion not Dorion oh Wise One
Why do I see Ryan joining the pens….
Hmmm…we do need a right shot to play the left circle on our PP. That’s probably the only thing Ryan has left to offer.
A cheap deal to play with McCann and Simon wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Took them long enough. Stay away from the bottle. Start a new life
The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant
Every penny counts!
I’m not going to put it in the article, but if anyone wonders why Bobby is so highly thought of in the hockey community, his farewell to Ottawa is a good example: link to twitter.com
@Gaviin – Thanks for the link! I’ve also been a fan of the guy I refer to as Bobby “Puppy-Time” Ryan, for helping that little girl get her wish from her Dad that night. He has long had a reputation for being fan-friendly and great with the kids. I wish him and his family well in his post-NHL endeavors! Thanks, Bobby!
Another Errata on my part — I owe you one less “i”, Gavin! Sorry about that!
2nd Errata on my part! Bobby’s career isn’t necessarily over, yet. Sorry again, Bobby! Maybe an NHL team could use you somewhere in their lineup. OTT’s loss would be your gain…
I hope he continues on his new sober life and gets to playing great hockey again. Best of luck to him.
That said, I hope Donnie Sweeney doesn’t call his agent.
Back to the Ducks!
I’d like that, but that’s not happening. I’d imagine he wants to go somewhere where he has a chance at a Cup, and you and I both know that isn’t happening in Anaheim anytime soon.
He’ll sign with a Canadian team because he loves the snow.