I'm not frustrated with the loss since I gave up on the playoffs awhile ago and I can appreciate the effort they are showing despite the current injury situation but Ryder bothers me. 1 goal in his last 33 games, just 8 assists over that time. Completely unacceptable. This isn't him being his usual streaky self - just complete ineptitude. Under no circumstance do I want to see him in a Devils uniform next year.
Sometimes I think you just have to make a statement with certain guys. I think Ryder is one of them.
Is there a chance some team buys low on him, and he bounces back and scores 25+ for his new team, making that GM look awfully good? Sure.
But no way in hell that I hang onto Ryder because I'm afraid of that happening. Seriously, screw him. 9 points in 33 games? The guy has literally done nothing for a team that desperately needed contributions from him, and while we're talking about numbers, his shots are down too...2 SPG this season, 2.41 SPG for his career (to be fair, that number is puffed up a bit by his first three seasons, where he averaged 2.78 SPG). He's only had a couple of years similar to this one, as far as SPG go (in '07-'08 and '10-'11), and his numbers those seasons are similar to ones he's put up this year. Basically, if he's not getting his shots, he's not producing.
Of course, pure "puck-luck" guys will fire back with:
If he reached his career 12.6% rate, he'd have 20 goals this season.
If he shot the 14.7% rate he averaged in the prior two seasons, he'd have 23 goals.
That's fine and it makes some sense and that does support a case for a potential turn-around next season...but for me, it goes back to the same thing. The guy friggin' VANISHED for almost a full half-season. I don't think he should get a mulligan on it. And fans in Boston probably thought he'd bounce back in '10-'11 after he scored 18 goals in '09-'10, but he basically had a similar year...18 goals in 79 GP after scoring 18 goals in 82 GP. No way I'm taking a chance on a repeat of this season with Ryder...even if the goals are sprinkled out more evenly, 18 goals or so from a Ryder-type just aren't enough.