The Ottawa Senators were able to get Clarke MacArthur locked up to a five-year deal on Tuesday and now their attention will have to turn towards star forward Bobby Ryan.
Ryan is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and Senators GM Bryan Murray knows they’d be better off keeping him in the fold as he told the Senators’ website on Wednesday.
“I think all of these players that are going into their last year around the League, some of them will sign early because of the situation and the contract they’re getting. Other people will wait a little bit,” Murray said. “We’ve talked to Bobby at length through his agents. I believe it will take until he comes to Ottawa for training camp to continue the discussions. He’s one of the next guys we’re definitely going to try to keep here.”
Ryan, 27, is coming off his first season in Ottawa after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks. In 70 games he had 23 goals and 48 points – his worst full season in since entering the NHL. After four straight 30+ goal seasons with the Ducks, adjusting to life in Ottawa was apparently a bit tricky.
With Ryan entering the final year of his deal, a big performance would go a long way to helping boost any offers he might get – whether they’re from the Sens or not.
Bobby Ryan’s first campaign with the Ottawa Senators has been something of a disappointment, but as it turns out he wasn’t playing at 100 percent.
The 27-year-old forward has been dealing with a sports hernia since November. His hope was to play through it until the campaign was over, but he aggravated the injury on March 22 and has to be shut down for the rest of 2013-14. He will have surgery today.
“Bobby has worked hard to play through this injury to help his team and his teammates, and had yet to miss a game this season prior to the injury progressing to this point,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said, per the team’s website.
“We’re confident that he’ll recover in time to have a full summer of training that will allow him to be back in our lineup and help this team be successful next season.”
Ryan had 23 goals and 48 points in 70 games this season. Not counting the shortened campaign, this will break his streak of recording at least 30 goals and 57 points in four consecutive campaigns.
The fact that Bobby Ryan was kept off of Team USA was noteworthy by itself, but it only set the table for the storm that followed.
An ESPN report revealed that members of the United States selection’ committee had some serious concerns about the Ottawa Senators forward, including Calgary Flames president Brian Burke’s remark that Ryan “can’t spell intense.”
In the aftermath of that Ryan called Burke gutless and USA GM David Poile apologized to Ryan.
Ultimately, the best counterargument Ryan could have offered would have been a hot streak, but instead he’s going through his worst patch of the campaign with two goals and six points in 18 contests.
“We’re not concerned about it at all,” Senators coach Paul MacLean insisted, according to the Ottawa Citizen. “(Ryan) has to keep working at it. He had five, six, seven or eight (shot) attempts (in Thursday’s 3-2 win over Buffalo). They’re going to go in. It’s a matter of time.”
Unfortunately time isn’t on the 26-year-old forward’s side. He’ll play at 3:00 p.m. ET today against Boston and then he’ll start his vacation.
U.S. Olympic team GM David Poile met with Bobby Ryan to apologize for the controversial comments that surfaced following his snub from the American team, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
In fact, Poile emphasized that an injury could very well open the door for the winger to make it onto the team after all.
“He just said you never know what might happen in three weeks, or whatever it is, a month, and I said okay, but that wasn’t really the theme of the conversation by any means,” Ryan said.
The 26-year-old seemed to express mixed feelings about heeding the call if injuries do open that door, whether that is in 2014 or a different international tournament.
“I don’t know, I think you will have to ask me when the opportunity presents itself,” Ryan said. “I’m certainly not going to turn my back on the (U.S.A.) crest.”
Saturday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators seemed to carry the potential for extreme awkwardness, as Ryan’s squad faces Poile’s NHL team. Maybe some of that will still carry over, but this meeting also provided an opportunity for Ryan and Poile to hash things out, which seemed to be in both of their interests.
Despite denying the added motivation, Ryan probably wouldn’t mind scoring a goal or three against Nashville, though.
Bobby Ryan wasn’t just excluded from the United States’ Olympic roster, he was the subject of some scathing criticism during the selection process. In particular, Calgary Flames president Brian Burke’s suggestion that Ryan “can’t spell intense” left Ryan feeling “degraded.”
Team USA general manager David Poile has since apologized and pointed to a misunderstanding between USA Hockey and embedded reports Kevin Allenand Scott Burnside as the reason those comments became public. He also specified that the blame shouldn’t be placed on the USA Today and ESPN writers.
Despite the public back-and-forth, Ryan still hasn’t talked directly with anyone on Team USA executive committee, according to the Ottawa Citizen. He’s aware of Poile’s explanation though.
“I guess it’s a nice sentiment,” Ryan said. “To be honest, I would just like it to go away and let’s move forward now.”
This also hasn’t soured him to Team USA in general. If they were to ask him to join the team as an injury replacement, Ryan would say yes without a moment’s thought.