Newfoundland Senior Hockey has seen its share of controversy in the past....
Michael Ryder Rumours
In the 2015-16 season there were persistent rumours that former NHL player & Stanley Cup winner Michael Ryder would be joining the ranks of the Clarenville Caribous of the Central West Senior Hockey League. While this rumour persisted right up until January, there was little chances that Ryder would suit up for any team in the league.
Caribous executive may have made the call to Ryder. He was a well-known local boy with the ability to put the puck in the net. The hopes that Ryder would suit up for the Clarenville team caused a stir throughout the league and while the Caribous did not say he would be playing, they also did not say he wouldn’t. There was a method to their madness to let this prolongued rumour fester throughout the season – it potentially meant a bump in attendance because as history has shown all Newfoundland Senior Hockey fans, anything could happen in the CWSHL, especially after the Gander Flyers announced the signing of former NHLer Aaron Asham.
What would playing in the CWSHL do for Ryder’s career?
Looking at his last season in the NHL, Ryder played for the New Jersey Devils, accumulated just 19 points (6G, 13A) in 47 games, while collecting a $3.5 million salary. If you read any other hockey sites, there were persistent rumours that he was still looking for a game in the big leagues but many of the teams saw his streaky goal scoring and his skating ability somewhat of a risk in today’s NHL. Playing in the CWSHL would have kept the winger in shape but there was a major downside to him slapping on the skates and taking to the ice.
Ryder playing for a local CWSHL team like the Caribous would have drawn attention. Given how well he has done in the NHL with 237G and 247A for a total of 484 points, people would have expected Ryder to tear up the local senior league. The big question is would he have?
In coming to the CWSHL, Ryder could have potentially had a great year, winning the scoring championship, leading the Caribous to another first place league championship, a potential Herder Championship or maybe even another Allan Cup victory. But what if he didn’t?
Being just 35 years old, deciding to play in the league came with a whole bunch of risk. What if he didn’t score? What if he had a mediocre season? What if ….
Hockey is in his blood and the former Montreal Canadiens draft pick in 1998 no doubtedly feels that he can compete at the NHL level. There have been rumours that clubs were interested in the player but not at the $3.5 million price tag.
Chances are that Michael Ryder decided to stay off the ice for a season, enjoy parenthood and his time at home, with hopes to make it back to the big leagues or at least take the focus off him should he decide in the future to play in the local senior league. There is no doubt that any team would love to have him in their line-up in the 2016-17 season.