Bobby Ryan knows there’ll be a culture shift from playing in Anaheim to playing in Ottawa.
And he can’t wait to be a part of it.
That’s what the new Sens forward said on Wednesday as he met local media for the first time, acknowledging hockey in the Canadian capital is viewed much differently than it is in Orange County.
“It’s a completely different culture from what it’s been like the past six years,” he said, as per the Globe and Mail. “[Being in Ottawa] is a completely different way of viewing hockey.
“I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
In Ottawa, Ryan will be under the biggest spotlight of his professional career.
Aside from playing in Canada, he’ll also be invariably linked to departed captain Daniel Alfredsson, as Ottawa’s trade to acquire Ryan happened just moments after Alfredsson shockingly left the team to sign in Detroit.
Ryan isn’t worried about increased pressure, though.
“No,” he replied when asked if he was worried about being under the microscope. “No matter where you play, that happens. When you’re in a position like I’ve been in, there are expectations — and obviously it’s a little different and in a much broader scale here.
“You can’t do that. If you do do that, it’s a detriment to whatever you’ve got going on.”
Ryan does have a point.
The former No. 2 overall pick — taken behind Sidney Crosby at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft — has always shouldered great expectations. A 43-goal scorer in his final year with OHL Owen Sound, he was expected to score goals with equal success at the professional level.
Which he has.
Since his first full season with Anaheim in 2008-09, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has scored 30-plus goals four times. He also has 10 goals in 26 playoff contests.
That production alone should make up for what was lost with Alfredsson, but Ryan’s quick to point out he’s not there to replace the face of the franchise.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who’s going to take that place, especially with what he’s done in the community,” Ryan explained. “If anybody’s going to do that, it’s going to be (Jason Spezza).”