Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Sam Gagner Or Bobby Ryan?

06/15/2021 at 7:55am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

If only one is brought back, the odds favor Gagner. He’s younger, and he can play both special teams. Ryan was limited to 33 games this season and 24 in 2019-20 — he took much of that season off to address a substance abuse issue — and has not played a full season since 2018-19. And while he expects to make a full recovery from surgery, it will impact his ability to train this offseason.

There is, of course, the possibility Yzerman brings both back. Even if rookie Joe Veleno is a full-timer next season, the Wings will need depth. Ryan didn’t have the offensive season that both sides hoped for in October, but put him on a line with someone who can feed him the puck, or finish his passes, and there’s a good chance Ryan will deliver better numbers.

ROSTER REVIEW:Here are the players the Wings can't afford to lose in expansion draft

There’s no reason to sign either player until after the July 21 expansion draft. In all likelihood, Yzerman will bring back Gagner, and Ryan could be added later, depending on what happens in free agency, which is slated to start July 28.

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