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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