With the Stanley Cup in the rearview, the offseason is underway and every team in the NHL with the exception of the Tampa Bay Lightning is looking to improve its chances at hoisting the Cup next season, whenever that begins. 

Free agency begins next week, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, native Bobby Ryan, who was recently bought out by the Ottawa Senators, is a free agent. Naturally, he’s being linked to the Flyers, and Ryan is no stranger to that. 

“I think any kid that has a hometown team grows up thinking they would play there some time," Ryan said Tuesday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "For a long time and so many years it felt like it might come to fruition.

"Really, the opportunity has never presented itself, I’m not sure if it will this time around, but if the Flyers were to make an offer or extend a camp invite, they’d move high on my list because of all the connections. For me, it’s one step at a time, just wait to see who makes an offer and go from there."

Ryan’s story is one that would make Hollywood’s finest directors blush. Ryan has had some ups and downs in the league after being drafted second overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2005 behind Sidney Crosby. Ryan’s tenure in Anaheim was a productive one, featuring four straight seasons with 30 or more goals.