Details are starting to emerge from the on-again, off-again contract extension talks between Bobby Ryan and Ottawa.
From the Sun’s Don Brennan:
Amid unconfirmed rumours Ryan turned down a seven-year, $49 million offer, talks between him and the team have been put on hold.
Ryan, another player the Senators cannot afford to lose for nothing, told a TV reporter he did not want to discuss his contract situation when he was approached at Sensplex Tuesday.
Brennan’s cohort at the Sun, Bruce Garrioch, also reported the Sens offered Ryan a seven-year extension, but didn’t shed any light on the financial side of things. Ryan, for what it’s worth, said his contract won’t be an issue — “when you get out there, you forget about it,” he explained.
Regardless of what Ryan says, this is going to be a focal point throughout the season. The Sens paid a small bounty to acquire his services last summer knowing he had just two years remaining on his current deal, and year one in Ottawa was something of a bust; Ryan was OK, scoring 23 goals and 48 points in 70 games, but the Sens missed the playoffs and Ryan missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a sports hernia.
(He was also infamously snubbed from the U.S. Olympic team, in case you forgot that saga.)
The former Anaheim Duck could be eyeing free agency. Ryan turns 28 in March and has never gone unrestricted in his career, having inked a five-year, $25.5 million pact with Anaheim following the expiration of his entry-level contract. If Ryan does intend on testing the market, Ottawa could find itself in a position where it’s forced to move him at the deadline, rather than face the prospect of losing one of its key assets for nothing.
That said, Ryan is saying all the right things to suggest he wants to stick in the Canadian capital. He said he’s talked to GM Bryan Murray and head coach Paul MacLean about an increased leadership role — important, since Ottawa’s last two captains are no longer with the team — and said he’d like to expand his on-ice duties, which includes getting time on the penalty kill.
Update: Seems as though the seven-year deal is pretty much official, given this tweet from the Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan…
Bobby Ryan re contract talk: “You’re hitching your wagon to a team for 7 years, it’s ok to take some time to realize if it’s what you want.”
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) September 17, 2014