Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill spoke about newcomer Bobby Ryan during an interview with NHL Network this week.
“First in our franchise history at anything is pretty awesome,” said Blashill. “So it’s a great start for him. What’s impressed me most is who he is as a person ... when I talked to him this summer -- I talked to Steve Yzerman after I had spoken to Bobby and before we signed him, and I told Steve regardless of if he signs with us or not I’m really happy for Bobby, he’s in a great spot.”
Ryan, 33, signed a one-year contract with the Red Wings in October. The winger was awarded the NHL’s Masterton Trophy this past season after a battle with alcohol abuse. The award goes to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Ryan had taken an extended leave of absence from the Ottawa Senators starting in November to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, citing his issues with alcohol abuse. However, he returned to play in February and scored a hat trick in his first home game back in action.