The odds the Ottawa Senators leave Bobby Ryan exposed in June’s NHL Expansion Draft appear slim, and even if Pierre Dorion tempted the Golden Knights by making Ryan available there’s no guarantee Vegas would want to take on Ryan’s annual $7.25-million salary cap.
While speaking with reporters during Ottawa’s team locker clean-out Saturday the talented winger was asked if he was worried about the expansion draft?
The question literally made Ryan laugh.
“For me? Are they going to take $7 million? No. I’m good,” Ryan said through a chuckle.
Ryan, who added he hasn’t thought about the expansion draft “not even a little bit,” is set to enter the third year of a seven-year, $50.75 million contract extension he inked with the Sens a year after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks.
The thought of leaving Ryan exposed is one that might have cropped up following his disappointing regular season performance, his worst year as a professional. However, Ryan was excellent for the Sens in their improbable playoff run that ended in a Game 7 double overtime heartbreaker Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ryan led all Ottawa forwards with 15 points in 19 post-season games, including two overtime winners.
“I think this one’s one of those ones that stings for a little bit,” Ryan said of how his team lost the Eastern Conference Final. “I think eventually you look back at it and hopefully use it as a motivational tool.”
Following that playoff run, one would presume Ryan will be protected just as it seems Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Derrick Brassard, Zack Smith and pending RFA Jean-Gabriel Pageau should be no-brainers to protect at forward. We will find out in roughly three weeks time whether Dorion and the Sens brass agree.
Teams have the option to protect either seven forwards, three defencemen, and one goalie, or eight total skaters (regardless of their position) plus one netminder. All 30 current NHL teams must submit their list of protected players by June 17 and then Vegas will have three days to select their roster, which will be announced June 21.