The much-maligned Michael Ryder is usually singled out most as the player that will lose his NHL roster spot if the Bruins decide to keep more than one of their heralded rookies.
While general manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t want to classify Ryder as an in-danger playerr today during a conference call, he didn’t exactly give the 30-year-old winger a ringing endorsement either.
“I haven’t minded [Ryder’s camp]. I mean, he’s been in one game,” said Chiarelli, whose team is spending today and Monday in Vermont doing team-building exercises. “He came to camp in better shape than he has before. That’s never really been an issue, but his run test was better, his vertical jump was better. So he’s done some good work over the summer.
“I know there’s been a lot written about Mike that he’s the odd man out. I wouldn’t say that right now because I think he’s been one of our better performers in the last two playoffs, the last two years in the playoffs. That’s the type of stuff that’s hard to get. Camp is early and we’ll see how his performance goes the rest of the way.”
In the 2009 playoffs, Ryder totaled 13 points (five goals) in 11 games. Last postseason, he finished with five points (four goals) in 13 contests. While he has had his moments, he hasn’t exactly been roaring down the Conn Smythe parkway. A glance at the numbers shows Ryder has been as hot-and-cold in the playoffs as in the regular season. Last year, two of his goals came in the same game against Buffalo. Then he scored just twice in the seven-game series with Philadelphia.
The previous spring he followed his four-goal performance in the sweep of Montreal with just one goal in the seven-game thriller with Carolina.
With the way the Bruins’ brass — in particular Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien — have been singing the praises of Jordan Caron and Ryan Spooner, it’s obvious the club is intrigued about maybe keeping two, or even three, rookies around to start the season Ryder’s playoff resume has been solid, but he better not bank on it keeping him on this team. He has to do some things to elicit the same type of praise from Julien and Chiarelli that the younger guys have done. Or he can start condo hunting in Providence.