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Bobby Ryan shoots to revive career with rebuilding Red Wings

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DETROIT (AP) — Bobby Ryan was looking for a fresh start and a place to revive his career after it was stunted in part by alcohol issues.

Ryan was sold on that happening with the Detroit Red Wings.

A long conversation with general manager Steve Yzerman sealed the deal even though it was the first discussion Ryan had with suitors during NHL free agency.

“It was a 45-minute call that left me with the feeling that it was the right fit without knowing else what else was out there,” Ryan said Friday after agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Red Wings.

Detroit had the NHL’s worst team last season, but Yzerman told Ryan the team would be better and he could be a big part of the turnaround by getting a lot of ice time to prove his once-promising career is not over.

The 33-year-old Ryan missed more than two months of last season after entering the NHL/NHLPA players assistance program in November, 2019. Upon his return to practice in February, he shared his story publicly in hopes of inspiring others facing similar challenges.

The Ottawa Senators placed him on waivers last month for the purpose of a buyout, making him available. He had five goals and eight points in 24 games for the Senators last season and won the Masterton Trophy, the NHL’s award for perseverance.

“What a whirlwind year,” Ryan said.

He had two years left on his contract at a $7.25 million cap. Ryan, drafted No. 2 overall by Anaheim in 2005, has 254 goals and 301 assists with the Ducks and Senators.

A decade ago, Ryan ranked among the league’s top scorers when he had 35 and 34 goals in consecutive years.

“I selfishly have dreams of getting back to the Bobby Ryan

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Huw Jones: Switch to full-back can revive Scotland career, says Danny Wilson

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Huw Jones has impressed at full-back for Glasgow Warriors
Huw Jones has impressed at full-back for Glasgow Warriors

The Scotland career of “happy and motivated” Huw Jones can be reignited by his switch to full-back, says Glasgow head coach Danny Wilson.

After a blistering start on the international stage, Jones fell out of favour with club and country and missed the 2019 World Cup.

His form since moving to 15 is good, with a try capping an impressive show in Saturday’s 28-24 loss to Connacht.

“He’s really settling into that role and playing good stuff,” Wilson said.

“There are a couple of bits we want him to improve, but that will come with more games and more understanding of the position.

“In terms of his attacking flair and presence, some of his defensive work and back-field work, he’s playing really well.”

Some flashes of his old form saw Jones return to the starting line-up for Scotland’s 2020 Six Nations matches against Ireland and England, but failure to make any meaningful impact saw him dropped for the victories over Italy and France.

With captain and talisman Stuart Hogg the regular starting 15 for Scotland, Jones’ chances of filling that berth for the national team appear slim. Wilson, though, does not see that as a barrier to converting the centre to a full-back long term.

“The best thing for him to get selected for Scotland is to be playing,” Wilson told BBC Scotland. “I think his frustrations sometimes last year was that he wasn’t playing as much rugby.

“[Scotland head coach] Gregor Townsend will be fully aware he can play 15 and 13, and capable of playing both internationally, I believe.

“Things change very quickly in rugby. I don’t think it [playing 15] is doing him any harm. The key is for him to be on the field playing rugby and

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Barkley hopes Villa move will revive England career

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England international Ross Barkley hopes his move to Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Chelsea will revitalise his chances of making the European championships squad next June.

Barkley was in danger of falling out of the picture with Chelsea and England following the Blues’ close-season signings of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.

The 26-year-old had made only three appearances for Frank Lampard’s side this season.

Overall, Barkley has started just 28 Premier League games in a Chelsea shirt since arriving from Everton in 2018.

With the European Championships next year, he wants to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans and believes more regular playing time at Villa will give him a better chance.

“The last couple of years I’ve been stop-start, performing well and then being out of the team,” Barkley told Villa’s website.

“To come here and have the chance to play and perform regularly is a big thing for me. With the Euros at the end of the season, it’s a big target for me and hopefully I can be there.

“Dean Smith swayed me with the way he spoke to me, and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting season.”

Jack Grealish has starred in Villa’s unbeaten start to the season and Barkley revealed the club’s captain played a part in convincing him to join.

“We’re mates off the field and we know each other well,” Barkley said.

“We’ve spoken previously and I’m looking forward to playing with him.

“I’ve spoken to him over the past couple of weeks and he’s been telling me about how good the club is and how welcomed I’d be when I came here.”

Villa manager Dean Smith added: “Capturing a player of Ross’s quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will