The Detroit News’s Mark Falkner spoke with Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith regarding Bobby Ryan’s signing with the Red Wings, and Smith suggests that Ryan will adapt well to his new surroundings:
It was nearly a year ago at Little Caesars Arena when Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith heard the news that forward Bobby Ryan had left the team indefinitely after the morning skate and wouldn’t be in that night’s lineup against the Detroit Red Wings.
Ryan checked himself right away into the National Hockey League/National Hockey League Players’ Association substance-abuse program on Nov. 20, 2019. Three months later, he returned and scored a hat trick in his first home game on Feb. 27, 2020.
Now, the 13-year veteran and the 2020 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner as the player who best exhibits perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication is continuing his comeback from alcohol addiction after signing a one-year, $1 million contract with the Red Wings on the first day of free agency on Oct. 9.
“I wish Bobby all the best,” said Smith, who guided the rebuilding Senators to a 25-34-12 record in his rookie season last year, 23 points ahead of the last-place Red Wings (17-49-5, third-worst record in the franchise’s 94-year history).
“He played really well for us and he was a good guy in the room. It’s a fresh start for him in Detroit and I think he’ll have some success. If he gets a chance in the slot, he can score as well as anyone in the National Hockey League.”