Did Brian Burke Ruin Bobby Ryan?


Sometimes it is hard to have a thick skin and let comments roll off your back.  To not let the negatives that someone, who you respect greatly, affect you and your day to day activities.

Lost amid the Senators’ current team success is the slump that Bobby Ryan suddenly appears to be in, even at a time when his linemates, Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur, are playing lights out hockey.

Jan 14, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan (6) carries the puck during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Senators defeated the Wild 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The slump the Ryan finds himself in coincides with the announcement of the Team USA roster and the ensuing release of the “behind the scenes” article from Scott Burnside of ESPN.  Ryan’s former GM in Anaheim and the man who drafted him 2nd overall in 2005, Brian Burke, had some harsh comments about Ryan and his perceived lack of intensity (not to mention his ability to spell).

Since those events on January 1st, the Senators have played 5 games, winning 4 and losing the other in overtime.  Ryan, who had scored 16 points in the previous 20 games leading up to the flip of the calendar, had but one lone assist in those 5 games.  Turris has 3 goals and 2 assists and MacArthur 4 goals and an assist in the same time frame.

It’s not just the lack of production that is concerning, but the overall play of Ryan.  He hasn’t been the same player since the obvious disappointment of being left off the roster (as a player who played in the 2010 Olympics) coupled with the comments from a person who he knows and assumingly (until Jan 1) respected.

Whether it is from trying to do too much on the ice to prove them wrong, or if he is indeed focusing too much on the comments and taking them a little bit to heart, I assume that this slump is just temporary.

Fortunately, the team around him has picked up the slack and if you didn’t look closely at the stats or watch what was happening on the ice.

But for now, I guess Senators’ fans have Brian Burke to thank for the current funk #6 is in.