Feb 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan (6) looks on during their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Senators 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators Are Ruining Bobby Ryan


For a team that has been decent offensively but dreadful defensively this season, the Ottawa Senators coaching and management staff are surely making some strange decisions.  I covered some of this earlier in the week with my criticism of Paul MacLean, but it is increasingly frustrating for me, and I am sure other Senators fans as well, to see Bobby Ryan skating on third line.

And for a player that the Senators (I assume) want to begin negotiations this summer with on a long term deal, they aren’t exactly making him feel at home and supported.  You see, Ryan is one of the top finishers in the game, with 4 straight 30 goal seasons in Anaheim before that streak was snapped in last year’s lockout shortened season. What he is not, however, is someone who can create for himself on a consistent basis.  He needs to be playing with top-end players, and right now he isn’t.  Mika Zibanejad could get there eventually, but he isn’t at the point where he can worry about making other players better.  I feel Mika is a top 6 forward, but can’t be the key to a line.  Mike Hoffman is on the other wing, a player who has proven ability at the AHL level, but hasn’t had any success as an NHLer.

I hate to think it, but this feels like the Senators trying to level off Ryan’s production so that he doesn’t have gaudy numbers heading into contract negotiations so that they might be able to get him long term for a little cheaper.  A fifth 30-goal season (or even 40, which is what he was on pace for at one point in the season) and Ryan would hold all the cards in the negotiation, and would probably be looking at Phil Kessel territory on a new contract.

Ryan has been sitting there playing with fringe to middling NHLers for the last 3 games while he sees a revolving door on Jason Spezza‘s wing that includes a guy who has been put on waivers.

It is frustrating for me to watch, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for him to be part of.

If it is a ploy to lower his value in a new contract, I only hope it doesn’t backfire and he doesn’t see it as disrespect and a reason not to re-sign in Ottawa and instead go to the open market in the summer of 2015.

Tags: Bobby Ryan Ottawa Senators

  • Trevor Mahoney

    I have to say I disagree a bit with you post. It seems more like they are trying to balance out all four lines so they can roll them effectively. This team doesn’t seem to have a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line right now, if you look at the minutes last night only 2 players were over 20 minutes (Karlsson and Methot). They are trying to find some sort of chemistry anywhere they can, the fact that the reunited Ryan with Turris and MacArthur for most of the 3rd says that they are need to find scoring somewhere. It will be interesting to see what happens today and what the lines look like tonight but I don’t think there is anything against Ryan now, he had a minor slump and they moved things around to get him and the rest of the team scoring again, and he was producing with Zibanejad and Hoffman, I actually liked that line. Anyways, hoping they can win tonight and start a streak of some sort because time is running out.

    • Allen W

      i hope they have a losing streak so bingo doesnt get screwed for the playoffs

  • Chris Habets

    He’s going open market anyway. Bad trade for a player who wasn’t going to stay in Ottawa.

  • spicy

    i dont know about management but i dont think that is the case here because they are chasing teams to get in playoffs and they need to score to get the job done ……… but you might be right if the management dont believe in sens chances for playoffs and they want to save some money out from ryan in the summer
    and it might be Paul who is trying to find at least 3 lines producing as trevor said earlier

    i hope lines be like this in next season
    Stewart – Spezza – Hemsky
    Clarke – Turris – Bobby
    Hoffman – Zbad – JGP
    Condra – Smith – Neil

    ( maybe stone will be in there 3rd or 4th if they trade hoffman or condra)

    Karlsson – Cowen
    Phillips – Ceci
    Methot – Boro