The Anaheim Ducks are trying to clinch the Pacific Division on Monday, but they’re doing so without winger Bobby Ryan.
The 26-year-old forward is sitting out a match against the Edmonton Oilers tonight with an illness, according to the team. NHL.com points out that this breaks up a streak in which he’s played 220 consecutive games for the Ducks; he last missed time on March 12, 2010.
The budding power forward isn’t the only player who’s banged up for Anaheim. Bruce Boudreau’s bunch is coping without defensemen Luca Sbisa and Sheldon Souray, as well.
The Anaheim Ducks have tried to convert winger Bobby Ryan before, and it appears that could be the case once again. The good news is that the budding power forward told the OC Register’s Eric Stephens that he’s on board with the idea, even if it’s not just a temporary change.
“It’s something I think I can thrive in and if it’s something we want to do long term, I’m open for it,” Ryan said.
The Ducks boast some nice high-end talent, but the team’s budget doesn’t allow for exceptional depth. Molding the 25-year-old forward into a useful second-line center could be a serious boon for Anaheim’s playoff hopes.
It also might help him avoid being traded.
He’s been the target of trade rumors before, and with stalwarts Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the last season of their current deals, it’s likely his name will sprout up again.
So far, he’s putting up the solid numbers that might help him stay put. He has two goals and five points in six games, echoing the promising work he did in 2009-10 (64 points) and 10-11 (71) more than last season’s somewhat disappointing 57.
Maybe that position change – and thus, Ryan – will stick this time around.
While talks continue in New York City to try and figure out how to end the lockout, Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan is hoping a settlement can be reached sooner than later.
Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register hears it straightaway from Ryan about how he hopes an agreement can be reached to help save the game.
“We can’t afford to lose the year,” Ryan said. “Because the sport can’t. Guys can’t. There’s guys that are 36 and 37 years old. Teemu’s 42. This has got to be painful for them. I know how bad it is at 25.
“I hope we get things done in a short period of time. I hope everything comes together this week. It’d be great.”
Ryan isn’t alone in thinking that way and Selanne has been a bit ornery about being locked out for the third time in his career. His care about the state of the sport, however, is one we haven’t seen many players his age share.
With the lockout dragging on, we’ve seen entire teams worth of locked-out NHL players join European squads.
Unless we get a new CBA soon, the exodus is likely to continue, but it sounds like Bobby Ryan will not be a part of it.
“I’m going to handle things the way I think things should be handled,” Ryan said, in a Courier-Post report. “I’m going to continue to skate with the guys … whether it’s coming back here (to South Jersey) for a couple weeks at a time … I think it’s important to stay here (in the United States) and be part of the solution and not just run from it.”
This isn’t the first time he’s dismissed the possibility of playing in Europe. Days before the lockout he said that he wouldn’t play there because he didn’t want to take someone else’s job. However, now he’s also implying that players that go to Europe aren’t “part of the solution.”
Ryan is no stranger to controversy. He previously got so frustrated with the trade rumors surrounding him that he said in an interview, “At this point, I don’t care. Move me.”
He later regretted those remarks.
We’ve heard a lot of players say that they will consider playing in Europe in the event of a lengthy lockout. Anaheim forward Bobby Ryan isn’t one of them.
If there’s a lockout, Ryan plans to stay and skate in California, according to the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens.
“I know you’ll lose guys right way,” Ryan said. “That being said, I’m an NHL player. I’m not going to take somebody else’s job overseas.”
Even if there was labor peace between the players and owners, this would have still been an eventful summer for Ryan. He’s coming off of a somewhat disappointing season — at least by his high standards — and has been the subject of frequent trade rumors.
Those seemed to get over his skin because he said in an interview, “I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don’t care. Move me…because it’s just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re going to be the guy moved.”
He later regretted what he said and called it “kind of stupid.”