A couple of weeks ago Bobby Ryan's future with the Ottawa Senators looked to be in doubt. The forward was not only entering the final year of his contract, but he also seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach when deciding whether he wanted to re-sign with the team.
Apparently he saw everything he needed to see because on Thursday, just a week before the start of the 2014-15 season, Ryan signed a seven-year contract extension worth a reported $50.75 million. The deal has a no-movement clause and a limited no-trade clause, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
Along with the extension for Ryan, the Senators also announced that Erik Karlsson will take over as the team's ninth captain and fill the void that was opened when Jason Spezza was traded to the Dallas Stars over the summer.
But the big move here is definitely making sure they kept Ryan, who has been one of the NHL's top goal scorers for most of his career, in place. As players like Daniel Alfredsson and Spezza have departed over the past couple of years, Ryan has become their go-to forward offensively, and along with Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris is one of the few forwards the Senators still have remaining on the team who can help carry the offense.
It wasn't cheap to keep him as Ryan's new deal will put him among the 20 largest salary cap hits in the NHL for the season, which shouldn't be surprising given his track record. Since he became a full-time player during the 2008-09 season, only 11 players in the entire league have scored more goals than Ryan's 165 (and he is one of only nine players to have at least four 30-goal seasons over that stretch). Of the 11 players who have more goals than he does, they will make an average of $7.3 million per season this year, while Ryan is one of the youngest out of that group.
|Player||Age||Goals Since '08-09||Cap Hit||Years Remaining on Contract|
*Extensions begin next season.
Bottom line: He's one of the best goal scorers in the league, and the Senators paid him like one. Having already turned 27, Ryan's probably not going to maintain that level over the next seven years, but he should still have quite a few years in front of him where he can be a 30-goal threat.