With his Ottawa Senators in town to take on the Nashville Predators Saturday night, Bobby Ryan had an opportunity to meet face-to-face with Preds and U.S. Olympic Team general manager David Poile for the first time since Ryan was cut from Team USA.
Ryan's not making the U.S. was compounded when derogatory comments about the Senators forward became public in an ESPN.com report from Team USA's evaluation meetings in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. roster announcement. Ryan's passion and intensity were questioned during portions of the meeting by Calgary Flames president and Team USA director of player personnel Brian Burke.
Poile had already reached out to Ryan and Sens general manager Bryan Murray to apologize over the phone and also issued a public apology during a media teleconference, but Friday was the first time he was able to meet with Ryan in person.
From Senators Extra:
In expressing his heartfelt regrets, Poile also suggested that Ryan could end up on the Olympic team if there's an injury or two.
“He just said you never know what might happen in three weeks, or whatever it is, a month, and I said okay, but that wasn't really the theme of the conversation by any means,” Ryan said following Friday's practice, as the Senators geared up for Saturday's game against the Predators.
Ryan says he hasn't given much thought to the possibility of playing in future international tournaments for the Americans.
“I don't know, I think you will have to ask me when the opportunity presents itself,” he said. “I'm certainly not going to turn my back on the (U.S.A.) crest.
It sounds like Ryan was able to get some closure, though the sting is unlikely to subside. The fact of the matter is, if there is an injury to a forward, Ryan is likely going to be one of the first calls. Smoothing things over makes that call a little easier to make.
There's probably more patch work that will need to be done, particularly between Burke, who had some of the most scathing comments, and Ryan, but it's good that Poile has started the process.
To Ryan's credit, he's still willing to take the call if he's needed. It's still hard to believe he wasn't on the final list considering his 18 goals and 37 points this season.
He'll have a chance to show the general manager that cut him from Team USA what he can do in Nashville tonight.