U.S. Olympic GM apologizes to Bobby Ryan in person


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 wants to move on from quote controversy

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 16: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the St. Louis Blues at Canadian Tire Centre on December 16, 2013 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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.

Poile: ‘I’m trying right now to apologize to Bobby Ryan’


And so, the fire extinguishing begins.

In the wake of Wednesday’s Team USA Olympic roster announcement — and the salacious behind-the-scenes selection committee piece on ESPN — American GM David Poile is trying to douse the flames of Brian Burke’s rip job on Bobby Ryan.

“I’m trying right now to apologize to Bobby Ryan,” Poile said on a Friday conference call. “I apologize as much as I can.”

Ryan, snubbed from the American team, was called “sleepy” by one selection committee member and had his passion questioned by Burke, who drafted Ryan second overall in 2005 and was part of the Team USA braintrust:

“[Ryan] is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary,” Burke says. “It’s never going to be in his vocabulary.

“He can’t spell intense.”

In trying to make amends, Poile said that Burke actually had Ryan on his final Olympic roster and offered up this “excuse” as well:

Poile also added the goal of having ESPN (and USA Today) involved in the meetings wasn’t to denigrate any player, and that as much good was said about Ryan as was bad.

Those good things didn’t make the ESPN piece, apparently.

Yesterday, Ryan addressed the remarks and called Burke “gutless.” The Ottawa forward also rebuffed Burke’s attempts to contact him and seemed genuinely upset over how he was portrayed.

“They were direct quotes and it’s unfortunate they feel that way,” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “That’s their opinions and they’ve got to form a team. I guess to a certain degree you have to respect it.

“You don’t have to agree with it, right? But you could have just cut me. You didn’t have to … Actually I almost feel degraded when it comes out like that. It is what it is. That’s their decision. That’s how they feel about it.”

Bobby Ryan calls Burke ‘gutless’ for intensity remarks

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 16: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the St. Louis Blues at Canadian Tire Centre on December 16, 2013 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

When Bobby Ryan first found out that he didn’t make the cut for Team USA, he was probed for his reaction.

“Insert ‘says all the right things’ here,” Ryan Tweeted to Ottawa Sun writer Don Brennan.

Evidently the “right things” includes an attack on Calgary Flames president Brian Burke for his scathing assessment of him.

“He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary,” Burke said, according to an ESPN report about the selection process. “It’s never going to be in his vocabulary. He can’t spell intense.”

Burke tried to reach out to Ryan on Wednesday, but the Ottawa Senators forward hasn’t called back.

Instead Ryan publicly called Burke “gutless,” according to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch.

“Actually I almost feel degraded when it comes out like that,” Ryan said. He added that he would try to use it as motivation going forward.

Ryan ranks fifth among American-born players with 36 points in 42 games this season. He also surpassed the 30-goal mark in four consecutive campaigns from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

It’s worth noting though that Burke wasn’t alone in his opinion. Another member called him a “sleepy” skater and when Nashville Predators GM David Poile asked people to raise their hand if they were worried about Ryan, plenty of the people on the selection committee did so.

PHT Morning Skate: Bobby Ryan is fitting in just fine

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Daniel who? Bobby Ryan’s start with the Ottawa Senators is helping fans move on past their former captain’s departure. Having him help beat up his new team in their first meeting helps out as well. (Sportsnet)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Thursday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7pm ET. Here’s the link.

Kimmo Timonen is upset with himself after being demoted off the Flyers’ power play. (,

Saku Koivu is itchy for one more run with Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock wants better results in the shootout from his team. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

If there’s a positive story for the Buffalo Sabres after Wednesday night’s game, it has everything to do with Nikita Zadorov. (The Buffalo News)

The Tampa Bay Lightning return to action after four days off. They’re not quite like the Blues who are in the midst of a week off of their own. (The Tampa Tribune)