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Sens coach won’t commit to pairing Ryan, Spezza

Sep 2, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Bobby Ryan #9 of the Anaheim Ducks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on March 31, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0.
(March 30, 2012 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Senators coach Paul MacLean is like a lot of Senators fans in the sense that he’s disappointed to see Daniel Alfredsson leave, but excited by the addition of Bobby Ryan.

The 26-year-old forward reached the 30-goal mark for four consecutive seasons going into the 2013 campaign. That kind of goal scoring prowess is something MacLean feels the team has been lacking for quite a while.

But who will Ryan skate alongside in five-on-five situations? Playmaker Jason Spezza seems like a natural fit, but MacLean doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.

“The chemistry (Ryan) gets, is it going to be with Jason Spezza or Kyle Turris or Mika (Zibanejad), whoever he gets the best chemistry with is who we’re going to play him with,” MacLean said, according to the Senators’ official website.

Regardless of who Ryan’s linemates end up being, this seems like a golden opportunity for him. In 2011-12 and 2013 respectively, Ryan ranked seventh on the Anaheim Ducks in power-play ice time, but he’s likely to play a much bigger role with the man advantage in Ottawa. That change alone could help him challenge his career-high of 35 goals.

  1. georgejarkko - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Wow, Coach won’t commit to a decision before training camp that can change from shift to shift. The balls on this guy!

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Spezza’s passing ability could push Ryan into the “elite” category. Spezza is a great playmaker who elevates those around him. If Ryan is consistent in his game he could reach the 40-goal plateau. Unfortunately, Getzlaf was an elite setup guy as well, and he was never able to propel Ryan to the next level.

    • canadianguest - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      On the surface that makes sense, but in Anaheim, Ryan was option #2 compared to Perry at #1. In Ottawa , Ryan will be option #1. How much this benefits Ryan remains to be seen.

      • vanindeed - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        I agree. Perry was the trigger man. Playing with Spezza Ryan could be a 40 goal guy no problem. Remember Heatley?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        Well, to be fair, Heatley was a top-level point producer before he went to Ottawa. But I do think Ryan will have a career year playing alongside Spezza.

    • theheez - Sep 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      “If Ryan is consistent in his game…” Thats the big issue, he is not. He will take shifts and sometimes entire games off and be completely invisible. Especially if he gets shuffled on a line, then he will also make sure everyone knows his displeasure from moving from the top line for a shift or two. Good luck Ottawa, the maddening life of Bobby Ryan has arrived.

  3. canadianguest - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Can we expect Ryan to play 2nd or 3rd line minutes? Let pretend we don’t know who Ryan’s center will be, and act shocked when he plays with Spezza.

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