After I wrote yesterday about whether or not (health permitting) Bobby Ryan would play for the USA, the news came out that he would miss the rest of the season with a sports hernia that would require surgery.
Well, that answers a couple of questions. The first, is why Ryan hasn’t been very good lately, after the news broke and it was revealed he had been playing with the injury since November. Second, it might also be the reason why his ice time and spot in the lineup have been so inconsistent.
But it also begs the question of why the public wasn’t made aware of it. While injuries are usually closely guarded, playing 4 months with a debilitating injury like that should probably have been made public. He took a lot of criticism for his play, as did Paul MacLean for his utilization of the player.
The question it brings up, is why the injury wasn’t taken care of sooner. I know the Senators were in the midst of a playoff race until early March, but the contribution Ryan made over the last couple of months could have been easily covered by someone else on the roster or called up. If it had been taken care of in November (or January for that matter) he could probably have been healthy in late February or early March. Instead of dropping like a lead balloon he could have helped the Senators stay afloat and they might not be playing meaningless games at this point in the season.
That is all hindsight, but you have to think it was a tough decision at the time, with Ryan attempting to secure a spot on the US Olympic team at the time.
It does offer some solace that the injury affected his play over the last 3 months and that the first half of the season version of Ryan is the real version that the Senators can expect going forward. Also that they could be more comfortable knowing that the inevitable big money contract he might be looking for might be worth it after all, with the last couple of months bringing up some doubt.