On July 5, during the last offseason, the Ottawa Senators traded Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first-round draft pick in 2014 (Nick Ritchie) to the Anaheim Ducks for star forward Bobby Ryan.
Now Ryan is looking for a contract extension, and those talks have yet to begin as general manager Bryan Murray explained Ryan will meet with management during training camp to sort out an extension. Here is everything you need to know about what to expect from these contract discussions and what Ryan means to the Senators.
What does his resume look like?
Ryan was drafted in 2005 behind Sidney Crosby after the NHL lost the previous season due to a lockout. He appeared in his first NHL game at 20 and went on to play 23 games for the Ducks in the 2007-08 season for 10 points.
His three-year entry-level contract valued at $5.765 million expired in the summer of 2010, and his new five-year, $25.5 million deal proved the Ducks were confident about their high draft pick's future.
For the better part of four seasons, Ryan played with the Ducks' two best players on the top line consisting of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. In each of those four seasons he scored over 30 goals, and his time with the Ducks ended with 289 points over 378 games.
But the Ducks locked up both Getzlaf and Perry to long-term deals totaling $69 million each. Ryan wouldn't be entitled to the same term or money when his contract expired at the end of the season, and so it was only a matter of time before he was on his way out of Anaheim.
Ryan clicked with linemates in Ottawa last season collecting 48 points in 70 games. He sat fourth in scoring for the Senators behind Jason Spezza, Clarke MacArthur, and Kyle Turris who led the team with 26 goals.
Why the Senators need Ryan
The year the Senators tempted Anaheim into making a trade for Bobby Ryan was the year they also lost 17-year veteran and captain Daniel Alfredsson. During this offseason, Spezza requested a trade and was dealt to the Dallas Stars.
[Chart data courtesy Senators.nhl.com]
Because the team's third-highest scorer and captain moved on, and Ryan will be expected to fill that void. He's more than capable, and recent free-agent signing David Legwand is expected to take over Spezza's role as a center. That said, the Senators need Ryan to be more than a 30-goal scorer this season, and he might have to make that happen with new linemates.
Spezza expressed to reporters he felt the organization was in a rebuilding mode, which is why he moved on to a team he believed to be a contender. The Senators have Mika Zibanejad and Alex Chiasson in their system, two players who have proved they can be 30-point producers at the NHL level but are still in the infancy of their careers.
The Senators will need Ryan to fill more than a few holes this season, meaning they should try their best to give him an offer he can't refuse.
What can the Senators offer?
The Senators have just over $14 million in cap space this season with that number jumping to almost $29 million next season, according to capgeek. They have room to give Ryan a raise, but should he get one just yet?
Compare James Neal to Ryan: Both players benefited from playing with veterans at the beginning of their careers. Neal signed a six-year, $30-million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012 and was dealt to the Nashville Predators at the end of June. Ryan played with Getzlaf and Perry, Neal with Crosby and Malkin.
[Chart data courtesy hockeyreference.com]
With Ryan making just over $5 million a season now, the Senators should be looking at around $6 million a season over the next four or five years. He would be around 30 years old when this contract expires, leaving options for him to join a more promising team if the Senators don't have it together in 2019.
When Ryan left the Ducks, he said the rumors and questions about trades left him restless. "It just didn't feel like there was any security. It's tough to play every day with that in the back of your mind."
The Senators need to secure Ryan, who now should be considered their best player, and build around him to ensure he doesn't walk when his contract expires. The Senators have already watched two franchise players do just that.
Feature photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski / USA TODAY Sports