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.
Bobby Ryan is getting ready for his first taste of the Battle of Ontario as the Ottawa Senators prepare to host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. Of course, Ryan isn’t the only former member of the Anaheim Ducks that’s involved in the clash, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle will also be in attendance.
It might seem appropriate that Ryan and Carlyle now find themselves on opposite sides of this heated rivalry as they didn’t always see eye-to-eye in Anaheim and that helped spur the trade rumors that hung over Ryan for years. However, Ryan thinks people were overestimating the problems between the two and while he wouldn’t term their relationship as great, he isn’t blind to what Carlyle did for him.
“He’s a tough coach,” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “I do still really owe him quite a bit for becoming the player I am. That isn’t lost on me one bit.”
In reflection, the 26-year-old forward thinks that in his youth, he didn’t always understand what Carlyle was trying to do for him and Ryan took things too personally. Now that he’s matured, he can appreciate that his former coach had the best of intentions.
“I can take things and separate them now whereas I couldn’t when I was younger,” Ryan said. “I just always felt like I was the scapegoat with him. Sometimes I needed more than I knew … That pressure, that push. I certainly regret a lot of what went on.”
Now Carlyle will have to face and try to counter the man he helped guide into the player he is today. Meanwhile, Ryan will try to push a promising young team towards greatness.
It’s been nearly a month since the Ottawa Senators acquired Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks and one of the first things he had to adjust to is the passion and engagement of the Senators’ fanbase.
He’s already done, by his count, 40-50 interviews since the trade and in a recent media event at Bell Sensplex, reporters and cameramen completely filled a bench for a press conference with Ryan.
“I told somebody up there that the only time we see more than five or six reporters in the room in Anaheim is if we’re playing [Los Angeles] or a Canadian-based team, so this is a much different scale than I have seen before,” Ryan said, according to NHL.com. “I wasn’t quite prepared for it, but that’s why I say it was an eye-opener and it was one of those experiences I won’t ever forget.”
On the ice, he doesn’t expect his role to fundamentally change. Ryan is projected to be paired up with Jason Spezza and take advantage of the center’s playmaking abilities. Even still, he admits that moving away from the Anaheim Ducks organization, which drafted him in 2005, makes him nervous.
“I’ve been through eight training camps with the Ducks and you know what you’re going to get,” Ryan said. “You know what each day will bring, what the physical testing will be like and what is expected of you on the ice. I haven’t seen a whole lot outside of Anaheim in eight years, so this is brand new for me. I think nerves play a big part into it. I’m anxious to get going.”
In the meantime, he’s spending his summer primarily in Idaho, in a place he described as “in the middle of nowhere.” That gives him an opportunity to disconnect, which will starkly contrast what life will be like for him during the 2013-14 campaign.
A day that started so badly for Senators fans with the departure of captain Daniel Alfredsson just got a lot more exciting — in a trade first reported by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the club has acquired star forward Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks.
Going to Anaheim: 22-year-old forward Jakob Silfverberg, 20-year-old prospect Stefan Noesen, and a first-round pick.
Ryan has been the subject of trade rumors for some time now. The 26-year-old American, who can already boast four 30-plus-goal seasons in the NHL, has two years left on his contract (cap hit $5.1 million) before he can become an unrestricted free agent.
Following the big contracts awarded to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and with UFA forwards Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne still unsigned, the Ryan trade should come as no real surprise. The Ducks have shown a willingness to spend money in the past, but they’re not among the NHL’s leaders in revenue-generation.
For the Sens, Ryan gives them a proven sniper to play with top center Jason Spezza (or possibly Kyle Turris depending on chemistry).
Ottawa also signed Clarke MacArthur today.
After missing out on the playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers acquired the rights to 35-year-old offensive defenseman Mark Streit. That might have just been the opening move in what could be another big summer for the franchise.
The Flyers are now talking with the Anaheim Ducks about acquiring 26-year-old forward Bobby Ryan, according to CSN Philly writer Tim Panaccio’s sources. One possible return being discussed is 28-year-old defenseman Braydon Coburn and the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Assuming the Flyers sign Streit as reported, the team will have nine blueliners inked to one-way deals, so it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see one of them would go.
Coburn is a big, physical defenseman and led the team with an average of 22:36 minutes of ice time per contest in 2013. However, he also posted just five points and a minus-10 rating in 33 games.
Ryan is a top-tier scorer who recorded at least 30 goals in four consecutive seasons before the 2013 shortened campaign.
His annual cap hit is $600,000 greater than Coburn’s, which is noteworthy given the Flyers’ tough cap situation. At the same time, the Ducks have considerably more flexibility and the option to retain some of Ryan’s cap hit if they feel it’s in their interests to do so.
It’s worth emphasizing that this structure is just one of the scenarios being discussed, so if there is a trade between the two teams involving Ryan, it might end up looking very different to what’s being described here.