Former Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan fighting an uphill battle

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan was an easy to root for player when he was with the organization. The longtime veteran was coming off of a tumultuous time frame with the Ottawa Senators organization. He missed time during the 2019-20 season after some issues arose.

Before his time with the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan underwent some issues off the ice with substance abuse. He needed to take time away and get into the NHL's league player assistance program. The veteran admitted he needed to get some help and work through things off the ice.

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While I will not sit here and detail what did or did not happen off the ice, he was able to work through the issues and return to the ice. In his return, he even picked up a hat trick, which was a nice touch to a challenging situation overall. After the 2019-20 season, Ryan would sign a contract with the Red Wings.

He joined the team ahead of the 2020-21 season and played a larger role than many would have expected. Not only was Bobby Ryan red-hot with his scoring at times, but he was an easy to root for player. He was constantly giving good interviews and being the veteran player; the Red Wings benefitted from deep in the rebuild.

However, in the summer of 2022, things took a negative turn for Ryan. He's fighting an uphill battle once again.

Former Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan is fighting an uphill battle.

Ryan's efforts and battles off the ice were treacherous, but he put in the work and could find his way again. Ryan was awarded with the Bill Masterton memorial trophy. According to the NHL's website, this award is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication.

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Ryan put in a ton of work to get back on the ice. A few days ago, all of this work was “thrown away.” A report emerged that Ryan was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, for public intoxication. Following the event and news breaking, Ryan took to Twitter to engage with fans.

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He underwent a relapse. However, Ryan continued to be a class act. He took to social media to thank people and admit his wrongdoing. In a string of tweets on his account, he noted the overwhelming amount of outreach and support that folks have offered him in the wake of the recent events.

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It's well deserved. Ryan has shown that he has the strength to overcome obstacles and fight his battles. No one is perfect, and Ryan certainly messed up, but he seems to be already coming to grips with this and working towards the road to recovery once more.

It was easy to root for Ryan with the Red Wings, and I know I am hoping he gets things back on track soon. Incoming personal anecdote. I remember writing letters to some of the best players around the league when I was little, hoping for an autograph for hockey cards I sent away.

I remember my fixation for Ryan coming about after an uncle took him in a fantasy hockey draft held at my parent's house (yes, the old school days where everyone was at the same location to draft), and my dad was mad he missed out on drafting him. It had to be around the 2009-ish time when Ryan was a 30-goal scorer.

The point is, I wrote him a letter and remember getting a small thing from the Ducks in return, with his hockey card signed in the envelope. Nothing was better than getting to open those letters from teams/players as a young kid when the responses did come through.

I have been a fan of Ryan ever since then. It sucks to see him relapse and go down that road, but easy to believe in him and hope he's able to bounce back. Ryan has fought this battle once and is no stranger to working uphill. Now he's going to try and do it again, with plenty of support.

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