Bobby Ryan

Under Pressure: Bobby Ryan

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When you’re bringing home the biggest paychecks on your team, people are going to expect big results.

Most won’t demand team-best play from Bobby Ryan, as just about anyone realizes that the Ottawa Senators go as far as Erik Karlsson can take them.

That said, many are going to expect Ryan, 28, to score more than 18 goals now that his hefty contract is kicking in. Disappointing playoff results aren’t going to cut it, either.

His $7.25 million cap hit tops all Senators, and it’s a lengthy deal (the overall cost: seven years, $50.75 million). It’s a contract that could elicit some serious groans in little time, particularly if Ryan doesn’t find a way to be more than the 20-ish goal scorer we’ve seen lately.

Snipers have it tough in a lot of ways, as even the best hit cold streaks, sometimes based largely on bad luck. Even so, Ryan hasn’t exactly given himself a lot of leeway with fans who may otherwise hand him some benefit of the doubt:

It probably doesn’t help the American winger’s cause that the Senators employed cheaper players who produced similar results last season.

He only ranked sixth on the team in goals with those 18, as Mike Hoffman (27 goals, $2 million next season), Mark Stone (26 goals, $3.5M), Kyle Turris (24 goals, $3.5M), Karlsson (21 goals, $6.5M) and Mika Zibanejad (20 goals, $2.625M) all lit the lamp more often than Ryan.

As uncomfortable as that might be considering Ryan’s price tag, it could also stand as a “good problem to have” … at least if the Senators make the playoffs. (Although he’d probably be the first to admit that his 2015 postseason performance was underwhelming, too.)

If that isn’t the case, Ryan will be put under far more scrutiny, and people will again wonder about his ability to spell intensity. Ultimately, it all reads as a high-pressure situation for Ryan.

Ducks recall ’11 first-rounder Noesen, acquired in Bobby Ryan trade

Arizona Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks
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After an incredibly unlucky run of injuries, Stefan Noesen could soon make his NHL debut.

Noesen, taken 21st overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has been recalled to Anaheim from AHL Norfolk, the club announced on Friday. The 22-year-old came to the Ducks from Ottawa in the Bobby Ryan trade of ’13… and has suffered through two major injuries and rehabs since.

Just a few games into the 2013-14 campaign, Noesen ripped up his knee — tearing both his ACL and MCL — which shelved him for all of the regular season and part of Norfolk’s playoff run. While he did return to get some postseason action, Noesen was again sidelined at the start of this season when he suffered a severed Achilles following a skate cut in mid-October.

Noesen only returned to the Norfolk lineup in mid-February, but made an immediate impact. He’s scored 10 points in 19 games since coming back and could provide a boost for the Ducks heading into the playoffs; Noesen has good size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and his playing style has earned comparisons to his new teammate, Corey Perry — from a fairly legit source in Ottawa GM Bryan Murray, who drafted Perry to the Ducks and Noesen to the Sens.

Video: Bobby Ryan’s high-effort hat trick

Buffalo Sabres v Ottawa Senators
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Bobby Ryan worked hard and put his body on the line on Monday night, helping the Ottawa Senators even beyond scoring his first hat trick in almost four years.

That hat trick still makes for the best video, of course, so check out his trio of goals in Ottawa’s 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres:

This marks the fourth hat trick of Ryan’s career, and as TSN’s Ian Mendes points out, it’s his first since Jan. 12, 2011.

Video: Bobby Ryan with a goal of the year candidate

WINNIPEG, MB - MARCH 8: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates down the ice during warmup before an NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on March 8, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
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Bobby Ryan may be battling a broken finger, but it sure didn’t slow him down Thursday night.

The Sens’ forward dangled Kings’ defenseman Brayden McNabb before beating Jonathan Quick for his sixth of the season.

You know its’ good when the opposing team is voting it goal of the year.

Sens’ Bobby Ryan signs extension… with a fan

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 1: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season and general manager Bryan Murray has already begun discussions on a contract extension for the 27-year-old.

Ryan, who had 23 goals and 48 points in 70 games during his first season with the Sens, will make $5.6 million this season before becoming a UFA for the first time in his career.

According to the blog SensChirp, it appears Murray received some help from a fan in Ottawa.

Posted in the comments section, a fan says he had a lengthy discussion with Ryan before getting him to sign a “long term contract extension”.

Have a look:

I’m no agent, but Ryan might want to get some terms down on that deal before putting ink to paper.

Related: Sens’ Ryan faces career crossroads