Amazing how different playing in a hockey market like Ottawa is compared to that of sun-drenched Anaheim.
Right winger Bobby Ryan is beginning to find out exactly that as a member of the Ottawa Senators. It seems playing in Anaheim just didn’t compare in terms of how much pressure a player can feel from the fan base.
In Ottawa, your every move as an NHLer is up for discussion and debate. Through two games, Ryan, with a cap hit of $5.1 million, has just one point – an assist in the Senators’ shootout loss to Toronto on Saturday.
It’s only two games. But it’s in a different market, too. A hockey-hungry market.
“You really played under the radar there,” Ryan told the Globe and Mail. “It was different from here.”
Ryan, of course, came to Ottawa in a high-profile trade this summer.
The Senators acquired the 26-year-old Ryan in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on July 5 – the same day that it was reported Ottawa’s long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson would not be returning and would likely be signing elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent.
The spotlight playing in a Canadian market grows even larger on Saturday nights, which is reserved for Hockey Night in Canada on the CBC.
As Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported, Ryan’s conditioning was the subject of criticism on the HNIC broadcast Saturday. Naturally, Senators head coach Paul MacLean took issue with that.
“Whoever CBC is, or whoever they are, don’t know what they’re talking about. His conditioning level is fine,” MacLean said, according to the Ottawa Sun.