This post is a part of Senators day at PHT...
It was an interesting season for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan in 2016-17.
For most of the regular season he struggled through injury and the worst offensive season of his career, managing just 12 goals and 13 assists in 62 games. But once the playoffs started Ryan seemed to rediscover his previous scoring touch and was arguably the Senators’ best players on their surprising run to the Eastern Conference Final, recording 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 19 games. He was at his best during their opening round series when he tallied seven of those points (including four goals) in their six game win over the Boston Bruins.
Later, he scored an overtime winner in the Eastern Conference Final against Pittsburgh and finished the playoffs as their second-leading scorer behind only superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Overall, it was a great playoff run and helped salvage what could have been a lost season for Ryan on an individual level.
Now starting fresh in 2017 the Senators are probably left wondering which player they are going to get: The one that saw his offensive production take a pretty significant drop, or the one that was a fairly dominant force in the playoffs.
The one thing that can be said about Ryan’s time in Ottawa is that his production has remained remarkably consistent on a year-to-year basis. This past season was the first time it really suffered a noticeable drop so it is entirely possible the injury played a huge role in that.
But he is also entering his age 30 season and there is going to come a point in his career where his production is going to drop a little more simply because that is what happens to players when they start to get into their 30s. With still five years and more than $35 million remaining on his current contract the Senators are going to need to hope that decline stays away for a bit longer and that the 2016-17 regular season was simply an outlier due to a tough season and an injury that slowed him down.