With training camp around the corner, Sens players have started to arrive back in town. Pending UFA winger Bobby Ryan is back in Ottawa and has been taking part in workouts with some of his teammates. Not surprisingly, the last couple of days have featured a wealth of Ryan updates about his contract status and feelings about the city and organization.
Bobby Ryan, Sens not rushing into contract http://t.co/9dfm1eJWKt— Hockey Central (@SNHockeyCentral) September 3, 2014
Nothing new to report on Bobby Ryan contract talks. Says he wants to stay in Ottawa-anxious to start year with MacArthur & Turris #cbcott— Dan Séguin (@SeguinSports) September 3, 2014
Ryan talked with the Citizen's Ken Warren on Tuesday and discussed his willingness to take on a greater leadership role with the team now that he's not the 'new guy' anymore. This includes being more vocal in the dressing room. He also talked about how he doesn't want contract discussions to be disruptive to the team and indicated talks have been amicable thus far:
Ryan, who is to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, hopes negotiations on a new long-term deal will pick up steam now that he’s back in Ottawa.
"I was looking forward to getting back here to getting more involved than I have been (in negotiations), but as far as I knew, every discussion has been amicable and there haven’t been any breakdowns or anything like that," said Ryan, who spends most of his summer in relative isolation in Idaho. "Everybody is confident that we’re going to start going with (serious negotiations) when everyone is in town."
There isn't much Ryan can say here. Unless he's really unhappy, he's not going to throw his team and city under the bus. Still, it's nice to hear a player reiterate several times that he likes living in the city, enjoys playing for this organization, and wants to be here long term. It's also nice to hear Ryan speak positively about playing with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. For a player who was unsettled with his previous team, it's important that he realizes he's part of a good playing situation here with Turris and MacArthur.
While the focus has been on Ryan's stated enjoyment of the city and contract talks, his health is the most important factor for the team going into the 2014-2015 season. Initially described as a 6-8 week procedure, he said yesterday that it took closer to 14 weeks to be pain free:
"All in all it was a great summer," said Ryan Tuesday. "We came back in July to get checked on to make sure we were progressing in the right way. It’s not a minor surgery, but it’s not a major surgery.
"When they tell you six-to-eight weeks, I think that was kind of rushing it a little bit. It was more like (14) weeks when I started to feel no pain. The past little while it’s been 100%. I’m beyond ready to go. I can’t wait."
It's a bit concerning to hear Ryan state the healing process took a lot longer than initially thought and the decision to shut him down early looks even better. Still, the most important thing is he's healthy and ready to start the season on time.
Perhaps the best news to come out yesterday is that GM Bryan Murray says he's starting to feel better: