Flashback: Bobby Ryan scores hat trick in 1st home game after leave of absence (VIDEO)

The Detroit Red Wings signed LW forward Bobby Ryan to a one-year, $1 million deal to officially kick off free-agency.

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Last season while with the Ottawa Senators, Ryan took a leave of absence to enter the NHL/NHLPA assistance program due to issues with alcohol abuse.

He successfully completed treatment, and would score three goals in his first home game after returning to the lineup – one of the coolest moments of the season.

He received a standing ovation from the fans at Canadian Tire Centre, and was clearly emotional.

“I took the fact that I was doing this for a living for granted for a while,” Ryan told Sportsnet after Ottawa’s 5-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks. “I took everything for granted for a while. For my wife to stand by me and let me go get help, take on a lot, and for me to come back and contribute in that sense, it’s just a family victory.”

“[I got] a little choked up,” he said. “You don’t seek praise for what I had to go through. I said a couple minutes ago that the Ottawa community is just incredible. I never doubted that they would be behind me. They never let me down, so it’s nice that we all got to enjoy this night as a group.

“They supported me and, I guess, to contribute, you can’t write that, right? The way that went, it was just an incredible evening. Thank you to all of them.”

Ryan was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy this offseason for perseverance and dedication to hockey for his efforts.

– – Quotes via Dan O’Leary of NHL.com Link – –

Red Wings sign former Michigan Wolverines defenseman Jon Merrill

The Detroit Red Wings have now made their second move of the 2020 free-agency period.

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After agreeing to terms with left winger Bobby Ryan, they’ve signed free-agent defenseman Jon Merrill, formerly of the Vegas Golden Knights, to a one-year deal.

Merrill will help shore up Detroit’s blue line after the departures of Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley and Madison Bowey.

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