The Calgary Flames have signed former Carolina Hurricanes centerman Derek Ryan to a three-year contract on free agency.
To no surprise to anybody since this was known for the last few days, the Calgary Flames have signed C Derek Ryan to a three-year contract with an AAV of $3.125 million. The Flames have yet to announce this, but it’s been confirmed by TSN’s Frank Seravalli and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman.
*EDIT: The Flames have finally officially announced it.
The 31-year-old spent his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes over the last few seasons. He split time between them and their AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, where he was captain. Last season, he finally had his first full season in the NHL where he put up 15 goals and 38 points in 80 games.
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Ryan also played for Team USA at the World Championship this year, where he put up a respectable four goals and seven points in 10 games and walked away with a bronze medal.
Ryan isn’t completely unfamiliar with the province of Alberta. He went to the University of Alberta in Edmonton where he played on their hockey team. He then went over to Europe for a few seasons before coming back and signing with the Hurricanes.
Ryan will be reunited with Bill Peters, who had a big influence on the decision to bring him in. He’ll also be reunited with Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm, another two former members of the Hurricanes. He’ll also be somewhat reunited with Johnny Gaudreau, since the two played together on Team USA at the Worlds.
The AAV of $3.125 million for three years is somewhat steep for a fourth-line center. Given that Nick Shore could have basically done the same job as Derek Ryan for cheaper. However, it’s been reported that a few other teams had interest in him and that he took a pay cut to continue to play under Peters.
The Flames are taking quite a big leap of faith to pay Ryan this much. I don’t mind Ryan: He can score, win faceoffs, and is good at puck-possession. I’m just not a fan of the price tag. But who knows, maybe it’ll pay off. The Flames could also stick him on the third line if Mark Jankowski starts to falter which is a big possibility.