With Penguin scouts based in Boston, the organization has seen Bruins right winger Michael Ryder on a frequent basis for years. Ryder, 31, is a player GM Ray Shero is also said to have had long interest in, most notably during Ryder’s previous time with the Montreal Canadiens, as the Penguins looked into the winger during free agency in 2008
To no surprise,
Ryder is on the Penguins free agent wishlist, sources confirm to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
The 31 year old winger is in the final year of a three year – $12 million deal he signed with Boston in July 2008.
Once regarded as a player who would surely see at least a $1 million paycut from his $4 million a year salary, Ryder has increased his stock with a strong playoff run.
Ryder has been an impact player in the playoffs, most notably in the Cup Finals. He has 3 goals and 6 points in the Finals.
Overall in the playoffs, he has 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points in 24 games and has a plus-8 rating.
Ryder scored 30 goals twice in Montreal and in seven NHL seasons, has scored 25 goals or more in 4 of those seasons.
In his first season with the Bruins, Ryder scored 27 goals in 2008-2009 but saw his production drop to 18 goals in 2009-2010 and 18 again in 2010-2011.
A right handed shot who plays right wing, Ryder is expected to be targeted for a first line role with Sidney Crosby.
Ryder has been seen as a player the Penguins would target on a Petr Sykora type of deal (2 years – $5 million). The deal the Penguins gave Sykora in 2007 is the type of the deal the team figures to be looking for with potential winger targets of interest on July 1.
Of course, if the Penguins keep enough cap space available.
However, the thinking around the league now is that bringing in Ryder for a cap hit under $2.75 million will prove to be difficult as scouts expect him to be more coveted than some thought he would.