Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan spoke to the media for the first time since undergoing surgery on Thursday. He covered his health, season and future in Ottawa among a handful of other topics in a lengthy session.
Here's what he had to say...
On his condition after the surgery:
I'm doing good, everything went well and I'm moving a little bit better each day. Obviously the first couple of days I didn't do much at all but I'm starting to walk well and take stairs well and all that kind of stuff. It has been positive.
On if it effected his game:
To a degree — I saw what Bryan said about shooting the puck being a big part of my game and I think that's something that hindered that and in some other areas. Not so much getting hit along the wall but I didn't feel like there was a lot of strength in some areas. I'm not using it as a crutch but it certainly weighed on me.
On the wait for surgery:
When it happened it was something that you could obviously play through. The pain wasn't excruciating through December and even into January a little bit, but it continually got worse. With the schedule being an Olympic year and the games being so tight there really was no opportunity to take time off for treatment. You weren't practicing a lot of days but you were out there trying to move and flush it out I guess is the correct answer. We hoped the Olympic break would really calm it down but the opposite happened, it was beyond what we thought, I just played through it. To me it meant more to play at that point, whatever what it was going to take. When I fell into the wall in Dallas that was it.
On if the Olympics played a role in his decision:
Not really, no. For me that was maybe in the back of my mind but for being here individually I felt like new team, new situation, we were up and down, we weren't where we needed to be as a team, I wanted to play, I wanted to compete with the guys. Luckily everybody that I had talked to in the organization felt that if I felt I could play, I could play. Once it's torn it's torn, it's not going to get any worse. As long as we could try to manage the pain I could play but it continually got to the point where we couldn't any more.
On the discomfort and difficulty day-to-day:
Some days it was and other days I would come in and, oddly enough, feel great. Those days were rare obviously but it was weird. I talked to other guys who had played through the injury and they had all elected to get it done a little earlier and miss time right away and maybe in hindsight that's what we should have done, but at the same time, being a little stubborn and wanting to play with the guys night in and night out kept me from doing so.
On if he's happy with his production:
I don't know if happy is the right word. I think I'm indifferent to it right now. Even though I've been doing absolutely nothing there hasn't been a lot of time to reflect on it. There are certainly games that I'm going to remember and if we miss by four or five points there's going to be games that a lot of us remember. For me it's just, like I said, we had a good start — we were up and down but as a line we did really well to begin with and we all hit a wall at some point there. Me, individually, trying to play through it was probably slowing those guys down. Even though they've had great years, slowing those guys down a little bit was more frustrating than the lack of points.
On the frustration of playing below 100%:
It gets old, I think anyone will tell you it gets old, but everyone I talked to in the locker room was supportive of it. They knew I wanted to play and they wanted me to be out there even if I wasn't 100% to try and contribute anyway. I appreciate the guys for acknowledging that and taking it for what it's worth. When you can't do physically what you want to do, it's taxing.
On his long term future in Ottawa:
I think the date is July 1 for us, we're not allowed to talk up until that point. Truthfully for me it has been an afterthought thus far. I know what's happening with the amount of guys coming up a year from now that the organization is going to have to start doing things in right direction for some players. For me, I love it here — we love it here, more importantly — it has been a great change for us. When the time comes if that's the route Bryan wants to go with to sit down and have a conversation, we'll certainly do that.
On enjoying the city despite the winter:
Yeah, the two of us despite the weather — everybody I've met on the street who knows the contract situation makes sure to tell us it's the worst since '92 or '94 or whatever it might be and we just kind of smile and laugh. The novelty hasn't worn off. If we extend ask me in three years how I'm feeling about it.
On if he could foresee a long future in Ottawa:
Yeah, absolutely. I said it in Anaheim that when you get drafted by an organization or traded to an organization you want to reward that organization, you want to be part of that organization for a long deal and you want to take that team to new heights to be part of something special. That's how we felt when we were traded here and coming here, the organization is a first class organization, they treat you like family. I think everyone in the coaching room genuinely cares about each and every individual and that says a lot about the people they've put in place here. That's something you want to be around.
On if he likes being in a hockey market:
Some days, yeah, some days I do, I think you've got to take that for what it's worth. Like I've said, it's nice to be held accountable and it's nice to be approached in the streets and have people talk about you and have them bounce their ideas for the team off of you, even if some of them are a little out there. It's fun, it makes you really think about the season and what's at stake. That's a change from what I've had, I've enjoyed it.
On the rumours of his links to the Flyers:
I don't know where that came from. I think probably five per cent of players if that get to play for their hometown team. If that were the case Toronto would be full of guys. Because (Bobby) Clarke and my family are so close I think that's always been a natural theme of progress but outside of seeing them in the summer when I go home and catching up and skating with those guys it has never been a conversation that we'll see in 2014 or 2015. We've never had that conversation. Like I've said, I've always wanted to be part of one organization, now I'm getting a chance to be part of two and for me that's the way I like it. When that time comes, maybe, but right now I'm a Senator and I truly love that.
On if he thinks there is Stanley Cup potential here:
This was a weird year. For times it looked great and for times nothing seemed to — we'd take one step forward and two steps back. It has certainly been a learning curve for a lot of guys in the room that maybe haven't been through this. I've been through it and learned how to handle it a little bit, but I certainly see that potential. I see guys that come up like Stone and Hoffman, Pageau, guys that can contribute. I think the future is bright, I think no matter what happens with the five guys that are up in the next year and a half here there's a lot of positives for this organization. I certainly don't see why we couldn't.
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