Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Ottawa Senators have placed All-Star forward Bobby Ryan on waivers and plan to buy out the rest of his contract.
The 33-year-old Ryan acknowledged his departure from the franchise by releasing a statement Friday.
"While the news this morning came as a bit of a shock, I understand the decision," Ryan said. "The Sens are an upcoming young team with so many bright years ahead of them. I'm excited to follow along as a fan of all the young players with the rest of you.
"I'd like to thank [owner] Eugene Melnyk for giving me a chance to wear the Sens logo for so many years. You've always treated me and my family incredibly well [and] for that I'm grateful. ... Ottawa will have a special place in our family's heart forever. See you around the ice."
Ryan had two years remaining on a seven-year, $50.75 million deal that he signed with the Senators in October 2014. Friday was the first day of the NHL's buyout window that runs through Oct. 8.
The Anaheim Ducks selected Ryan with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He spent his first six professional seasons with the Ducks before being traded to the Senators prior to the 2013-14 campaign.
Ryan scored more than 30 goals in four consecutive seasons for the Ducks but failed to duplicate that success in Ottawa. He topped 20 goals just twice in seven seasons with the Senators.
Ryan recorded only five goals and three assists in 24 games this season as he took a leave of absence to deal with an alcohol problem. His openness about the issue led to him winning the 2019-20 Bill Masterton Trophy, which is given annually to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Despite his decreased production on the ice, Ryan told the Ottawa Sun that he plans to continue playing.
"I have good hockey left in me and I got away from that for about 18 months and that hurt me," Ryan said Friday. "The way I've been able to train myself this summer and the way I've been able to treat my body, it just keeps getting better. ... This is just a small setback. Everything has been a benefit to me and a new start could be the same.
"I'm still hungry, I want to play and I want to finish correctly and do it on the right terms and do it professionally."
In 833 career NHL games between the Ducks and Senators, Ryan has notched 555 career points (254 goals, 301 assists).