Bobby Ryan is Handling Negotiations Right, And He’s Ottawa’s Key Top-line Piece


"Question: “It has been mentioned that you weren’t completely happy with your ice time last year.. What type of role are you ideally looking to play this year?”Bobby Ryan: “Well, I’ve never said that everybody has speculated that.. I understand you guys are doing a job. My role is going to have to take a step forward in the leadership department and be a guy that is counted on night in and night out to provide offence for the team….  All I said is that I wanted an expanded role across the board”"

Via Sens TV Interview (9/18/14) URL:

That quote above tells me a lot. It expresses what sort of character guy Bobby Ryan is. If we take him at face value, and when we have no reason to doubt Mr. Ryan; he truly never said he was unhappy with his ice time last year.

Bobby claims he was not unhappy with his ice time, and furthermore when he answers the second part of the question Bobby uses “I” statements claiming “I need to step it up in the leadership department.” It’s not the coaching staff’s or management’s job to give him a role, it is he himself who needs to work towards that aspect of his role.

Regarding an on ice role, he once again clearly stated that he primarily is the one responsible for his on ice product “(I need to) be a guy who is counted on night in and night out offensively.”

Discussing what he did say about ice time, Bobby claimed he was looking for an expanded role “across the board”. Leadership wise and ice time wise, an overall expanded role.

He wants to be a go-to player, someone who is relied upon.. and who can blame him.

This year, Bobby Ryan will not have the pressure to make fit with Jason Spezza. Last year, if you can remember Spezza, Ryan, and Michalek formed a “stacked” top line and things didn’t work out.

When it was discovered that Bobby worked much better with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur, the Organization looked for ways to please Bobby and Jason.

Again.. This year Spezza isn’t around. Bobby is almost assured top line minutes on the MacArthur – Turris – Ryan line, and if the organization finds that a Zibanejad or a Legwand is elevated by Ryan and vice-versa, Ryan would like and would deserve to be built around the top-line.

Bobby Ryan was being played ahead of guys like Cory Conacher and Ales Hemsky at times last year. This time around, if I’m Mr. Ryan, then I want the top-line.. and he deserves it.

He’s the only guy on the Ottawa Senators who can realistically score 35 goals in a healthy season. Ryan truly is Ottawa’s best scorer. He puts pucks in the net and has a great finishing wrister that can never be measured by things like advanced stats, but those go his way as well.

Taking a look at some of Ryan’s advanced stats on from 2013-14, it’s clear to see what he generates for Ottawa.

Bobby Ryan leads Ottawa during 5 on 5 TOI in ICorsi/60 (Individual Corsi per 60 minutes) at a 17.346 Corsi number (Shots directed toward the net, essentially). He generates around 2 more scoring chances per 60 over Ottawa’s next current forward, Mika Zibanejad.

In Shots per 60, Bobby takes the crown as well, leading at 9.15 shots per 60 minutes. The same follows in Goals/60 and Points/60 at 5 on 5 TOI.

Point being, Bobby generates scoring chances. He deserves to be the first guy Ottawa looks at in forming a Top-line, despite being a winger.

I’d assume for Ryan this leaves one of two options. 

Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan

Milan Michalek – Mika Zibanejad – Mark Stone/Alex Chiasson


Milan Michalek – Mika Zibanejad – Bobby Ryan

Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone/Alex Chiasson

While the former may seem like the more reasonable choice, Ryan doesn’t want a repeat of last year where he was pushed off the top line as chemistry with Jason Spezza wasn’t there.

That being said, MacArthur – Turris – Ryan has worked well in the past and if things stay as status quo, I see no reason as to why that line has to be broken up. Essentially, making the last 4 or 5 paragraphs seemingly irrelevant.

There is no reason to see any problems ahead for Ryan. 16 – 7 – 6 should and will be the Senators top line, but one can see where Ryan is worried in the sense that he wants the chance to be the key piece in a top line.