Even though Michael Ryder is a good Canadian boy, born and raised in Bonavista, Newfoundland among the cod and the Screetch, it’s time for the Montreal Canadiens to say goodbye and make their team just a little bit better without really upsetting the fragile apple cart.
Ryder has been good, but never great for the Habs. He’s had a 25 goal season, and two 30 goal seasons, but this year he looks uninterested, just going through the motions, and has been in a season-long slump with only seven goals so far, which is pitiful for a guy considered to be a sharpshooter.
At the end of the season, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, which means some other team like the Islanders will give him a 15 year contract for eight gazillion dollars, even though he may never score 30 goals again. But teams like the Islanders and Washington are wacko so nothing should be a surprise.
What Montreal needs to do is convince Calgary GM Darryl Sutter to trade left winger Alex Tanguay for Ryder and maybe a couple of draft picks. That would allow Calgary to have enough money to keep their stud, Dion Phaneuf, and the payoff for the Habs is Tanguay, who’s 29 years old, (Ryder’s 27) is a really good playmaker, is French-Canadian from Ste. Justine, Quebec, in the heart of Habs country, and just might be the guy to play with Saku Koivu. Lord knows, they’ve tried everyone else.
And in the overall big picture, Montreal and it’s fans, including me, are screaming for a French-Canadian star. And I’m not even French-Canadian.