Ryan reveals he turned down Flames' contract offer to sign with Oilers

May 18 2023, 4:51 pm

Edmonton Oilers forward Derek Ryan isn’t regretting the decision he made in the summer of 2021.

Ryan, then a free agent aged 35 and staring at possibly the final contract of his NHL career, crossed the Battle of Alberta rivalry to sign a two-year, $2.5 million contract in Edmonton, leaving the Calgary Flames after three seasons.

And he doesn’t appear to regret it one bit.

Speaking with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now, the now 36-year-old not only alluded to the fact that he chose to sign with the Oilers as a free agent rather than stay with the Calgary Flames two summers ago, but that he is thrilled with that decision.

“I’ve had that conversation with my agent, with my dad, my wife, my kids, with everybody close to me in my life about how that was a hard decision,” Ryan said. “I had the same contract offer to stay in Calgary but I chose to come here. That’s never an easy choice, but I couldn’t be happier with my choice to be here. I’d love to finish my career here.”

Ryan, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is clearly hoping to get an extension in place with the Oilers in the near future. He, like many of his teammates, expressed that despite their playoff exit, they are very close to putting it all together.

“I don’t think it takes a hockey genius to realize that this team is a better team than we had last year, and we went on a further run last year,” Ryan said. “Lost to Colorado, maybe we’re a little bit not as disappointed because we felt like we had a good run, lost to a good team that’s put in their time, and they eventually won the Cup.”

Though Ryan doesn’t receive credit like some of the Oilers’ top offensive stars, he has had a significant role in their bottom six the past two seasons. He was able to help contribute to his team’s scoring this past year with 13 goals and 20 points in 80 games.

Based on his desire to have another deal worked out, it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see him re-signed on a deal with a similar cap hit to the $1.25 million he made this season.

Colton PankiwColton Pankiw

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