|2008 - Ryan Bayda||70||5||7||12||2||26||0||0||0||0||62||8.1|
The USA Today's Kevin Allen has reported on Twitter that forward Ryan Bayda, formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, will be in Pens camp as a veteran tryout.
You might recall that a couple of years ago Adam Hall was in the exact same position and earned a spot back in the NHL by having a strong camp. Bayda's not signed to a standard contract, so if he doesn't impress and win a spot in the NHL, there is no risk to the team and he'll be back as a free agent.
With names like Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Mike Rupp, Craig Adams and Eric Godard all fighting for spots the bottom two lines, it's unclear if Bayda could beat out anyone that already has a contract and an established spot. And obviously some guys like Staal are very secure in their roles, but there's always a roster spot or two up for grabs somewhere along the lineup.
That list of names doesn't even count youngsters like Dustin Jeffrey and Luca Caputi that are attempting to break into the NHL, nor veteran Maxime Talbot who'll start the year on the IR. At the very least it's going to be an uphill climb for Bayda, but it's an almost zero-risk, decent-sized reward for Pittsburgh if Bayda can play well enough to join the roster.
After the jump, see what Canes Country editor Bob Harwood emailed us about a scouting report on Bayda
[I] was surprised since it had been reported earlier that he accepted a try out in St. Louis. Something must have happened.
The Canes liked Bayda but offered him a two-way deal. He was holding out for a one-way. He had a one-way contract last season for the first time and did pretty well. (5-7-12 +2) He also scored two huge goals against New Jersey in the playoffs and held his own in the postseason. But he is a smallish player and the Canes wanted to get bigger.
Over the years he has been a borderline NHL'er, has filled in well in a pinch when called upon, and is good in the dressing room. (very quiet guy) He is not afraid to mix it up in front of the net, but is too small to be very effective there. No one around here was upset to see him go, but no one disliked him either. He is what he is, a utility guy who can fill in on the fourth line and chip in a few points. He has been in the system for a bit, (2002) so I don't expect he has much more room for improvement at this stage in his career. He is a hard worker though and never takes a shift off. While he will hit anyone, don't expect him to knock people off their feet.
He has a nifty shot if given room, but 5-10 goals is probably his threshold. Caniacs will wish him the best.
Interesting stuff. You might also remember Bayda as the player that hit Kris Letang late in a game that sparked a fight and a one game suspension for Bayda.
With all the lower-line "grinder" type players already on the Pens, you almost have to wonder if they will give Bayda a small shot on Evgeni Malkin's line? Bayda did score 54 points (29 goals, 24 assists) in 55 AHL games in 2006-07, so there could be a modicum of talent there. And from what we read above, if he's willing to go to the front of the net maybe it could work out.....Probably not, but you never know until you see.
If nothing else, it's one more chance for one more player to perhaps find chemistry with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. We'll see if Bayda gets that opportunity or if the Pens see him as maybe a 4th line player for them, if at all.