Michael Ryder has one more season remaining on his current contract and, with his most recent performance, could see his last season in New Jersey.
Ryder is coming off of a season where he tallied 34 points. That total is not bad by many standards, but for him it should be. Ryder was brought on to the team last summer as a guy who could add an extra boost in scoring, even if it did come in streaky fashion. Unfortunately, every time he did score one of his 18 goals, a streaky stretch never came.
Just before he was signed, Ryder posted 35 points for 2 teams in 46 games. The season before, he posted 62 points with 35 goals in 82 games played. That is a significant drop off considering he played in almost half the total amount of games in 2012-13 compared to 2013-14 and only scored 2 less goals in the lockout-shortened season.
If Ryder was being paid to be a somewhat decent 3rd-4th liner, then this would all be fine. The problem is that he is currently making $3.5 million per season. That’s a lot for a guy that is supposed to be putting up at least 25 goals and 45-55 points a year.
Another problem with Ryder is that his seasons appear to be streaky as well. In his 3rd NHL season with the Montreal Canadiens, Ryder had 31 points in 70 games. That was a 24 and 27 point drop off from the first two seasons. In his second season with the Boston Bruins, he posted 33 points in 82 games. That was a 20 point deficit from the season before.
The same seems to be happening right now. In 2012-13, he was clearly on pace for 45-50 points since he had 35 in 46 games. This could have been Ryder’s shaky season and he could turn it around next season.
He has to, or else he will probably be pushed out.
With the addition of Mike Cammalleri, the Devils are looking for more scoring. With the congestion at forward, Ryder could be one candidate that is removed due to Unrestricted Free Agency. The Devils can easily take the $3.5 million and spend it elsewhere to fix whatever may be wrong with the team through this season.
Ryder is getting paid a lot of money to score, and if he doesn’t, he could end up looking elsewhere for a job.
Do you think this could be it for Michael Ryder in the Red and Black?