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Bobby Ryan Making the Most of a Fresh Start with Red Wings

Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman provided Bobby Ryan the chance, and he is making the most of it thus far.

To say that I am rooting for Detroit Red Wings winger Bobby Ryan would be a gross understatement. After being bought out by the Ottawa Senators in September of 2020, Detroit’s GM Steve Yzerman provided him the clean slate he needed. So far, he appears to be taking advantage of the situation. Ryan has played in two of Detroit’s first three games and has three goals, including two this morning during a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Ryan’s Story

For those not familiar with Bobby Ryan and his story – it is equally amazing as it is heart wrenching.  For those readers that may have not seen The Secret Life of Bobby Ryan, it is 25 minutes that is sure to rip on several basic human emotions and can be found here.

In an overtly and increasingly judgmental world it would be hard to argue how Ryan could NOT have been susceptible to substance abuse issues. Some may scoff at that notion, but they would likely be denying any kind of empathetic or rational outlook on how prior trauma can influence eventual behavior.

25 minute documentary on Bobby Ryan’s story (see link above)

New Chapter

At 33, Ryan is entering a new chapter of his professional hockey career, and more importantly, life. A sober and fulfilling life. That said, his productive start is an indication that he still has some game left in him. No doubt, the youthful exuberance in Detroit will give him an opportunity to feel young again.

His presence within the Red Wings locker will also provide a chance for him to be a leader on and off the ice. His experiences should provide a healthy buffer and outlet for young players that may be experiencing similar dependency issues. That kind of counsel can be invaluable in regards to player development and the eventual culture that develops within this young, but upcoming squad.

The hockey community can be extremely harsh and unforgiving. Second chances are intermittently given, but more often people (players and staff alike) are ‘black balled’ and written off accordingly. Sincerely happy to see Ryan has been given a second chance – he deserves it. Here is to hoping he can continue this crisp start and turn that into a great season in Detroit.  

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