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U.S. Olympic GM apologizes to Bobby Ryan in person

Jan 10, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

bobbyryangetty Getty Images

U.S. Olympic team GM David Poile met with Bobby Ryan to apologize for the controversial comments that surfaced following his snub from the American team, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

In fact, Poile emphasized that an injury could very well open the door for the winger to make it onto the team after all.

“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.

The 26-year-old seemed to express mixed feelings about heeding the call if injuries do open that door, whether that is in 2014 or a different international tournament.

“I don’t know, I think you will have to ask me when the opportunity presents itself,” Ryan said. “I’m certainly not going to turn my back on the (U.S.A.) crest.”

Saturday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Nashville Predators seemed to carry the potential for extreme awkwardness, as Ryan’s squad faces Poile’s NHL team. Maybe some of that will still carry over, but this meeting also provided an opportunity for Ryan and Poile to hash things out, which seemed to be in both of their interests.

Despite denying the added motivation, Ryan probably wouldn’t mind scoring a goal or three against Nashville, though.

  1. lowenni - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Don’t think that Ryan will completely forgive them just because of this, but it was classy and polite of Poile to meet with Ryan in person and try and clear things up. However, by discussing the fact that injuries could open the door for a spot for Ryan, I think he missed the message. Ryan wasn’t furious because of the snub, he was furious because of the comments regarding his dedication and intensity. I hope Poile addressed that as well. Most importantly hope Ryan doesn’t turn his back on representing the USA, we need him!

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Sort of like telling a girl “she has a great personality”.

    • c9castine - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      I’m clearly in the minority here but i think ryan is being a little girl about this whole thing. i agree poile should apologize but the only thing that happened here is that a reporter printed something that Burke didn’t think would get printed. Either that or he is just an ass. a meeting to decide who should make the US mens hockey olympic team should not be a meeting where people hold back their opinions.

      if all GM and coaching/management conversations were reported, there’d be a situation like this every day.

      • cofran2004 - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        I don’t normally agree with your assessments, but I think you’re spot on here. This can’t be the worst thing that Bobby Ryan has heard about himself in his career. I mean yeah, I get it… no one likes their work ethic coming into question. And that it was so public does kind of suck. But we’ve all had a work-review. Sometimes your superiors don’t have positive things to say across the board. You don’t always get that promotion. You don’t always get selected to the country’s olympic team. You have to hande these kinds of things with just a little more class.

  2. joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Burke’s behavior is not indicative of how evaluations are performed behind closed doors in sports, and or in every walk of life. It was in appropriate and very unprofessional. Good for Poile for being honest and taking action.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      We’re going to get into this again? Burke’s comments were directed at the brass not to take him for a role he’s not suited for, if they were taking him it needed to be to score goals. The media blew it out of proportion, the comments weren’t degrading, they were an honest assessment made with some hyperbole. The fact Ryan keeps going on about it makes him seem like a baby.

      And assessments like this do happen all of the time, it’s just rarely happens with media sitting there, you’re living in a bubble if you actually think this is a rare occurrence.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      Haven’t had to make personnel decisions before huh?

      • joey4id - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        Maybe not. Maybe I have. ;-) You’ll never know for sure.

      • charlieconway96 - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:50 AM

        I actually agree with Joey on this one. Flow33- If you’ve ever made personnel decisions at your place of work before there is a good chance you know that certain things are said behind closed doors that you probably wouldn’t say to potential employees faces.
        It’s an unfortunate truth but it is the truth.

      • 19to77 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        I’m gonna go ahead and wager that you haven’t all the same. Just can’t see you being trusted with responsibility over other human beings.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Completely agree that this never should have gotten out but people act like it’s horrible this was said when the bad part was allowing the media in at all.

    • c9castine - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:27 AM

      behavior? really? he didn’t call him names. he said he’s not intense and did so empathically. so what?

      i dunno what candy cane land you live in but this is not unreasonable.

      • joey4id - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        Then why did he try to reach out to Ryan to apologize and why did Poile apologize by phone and in person?

    • cofran2004 - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      This is in response to your last comment.

      He reached out to apologize because the media was ripping him a new one, and he needed to try to save some face because he looked to be the bad guy here. When I was reading the article by burnside, I read over that part, and personally thought nothing of it. If anything, I agreed with it. It’s part of being a professional athlete. Your skin needs to be just a tab bit thicker than the average joe’s

      • c9castine - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        i actually did the same. i never thought this was going to be an issue. i assumed ryan has heard this before and almost every player in the game at one time or another has been told at some point by somebody that part of their game sucks. i also didn’t think what he said was even that bad.

        the public printing warranted an apology, from USA Hockey. thats all.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        He has heard it before, he said in his initial press conference that Burke used to say the exact same thing him all the time when he was 18 and 19, but that he thought he had grown past it.

  3. penvik - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Why is Poile putting all the heat on himself? As far as I’m concerned, Poile is forgiven, and is making amends.
    Brian Burke on the other hand is proving and cementing the fact that he should be no where near an NHL franchise. Or anywhere near hockey in general, worst evaluator of talent and team builder in existence. Sad for flames fans that he ended up there, he will set them back for a decade. Wish he would of stayed in Toronto.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Really? Cause he built a pretty good team in 2010, as I recall they were pretty close to winning a gold. Che also built pretty good teams in Vancouver and Anaheim (he completely assembled their defense on a cup winning team) and had Toronto as a playoff team, if anything I think Nonis has shown he’s a worse evaluator of talent.

      People like to pile on Brian Burke because they don’t like his personality, but trying to make it seem like he knows nothing about hockey is ridiculous.

      And really the comments weren’t that bad, in fact I don’t think there was anything at all, but the media wants to create a story, people that hate Burke (there’s a lot of them) decided to be morally outraged and Ryan decided to act like a baby, since they named the team he’s done nothing to prove them wrong.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      Because they need Ryan to play for them in the event of injury

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    I understand it’s a snub but gimme a break already. Giroux has better numbers in less games and he hasn’t made a peep. I know the talent in Canada is more competitive (at center) but cmon already. Give it a rest, visit your multi/million dollar beach house instead.

    • 19to77 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      The Americans need Ryan to be willing to play in the event of an injury. This is just hedging their bets and ensuring the bridge isn’t burnt. Unlike Canada, they don’t have the forward depth to build legitimately competitive Olympic B and C teams just for fun.

  5. hazlydose - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Classy move by Poile to apologize, but he really has nothing to apologize for. It should be Burke apologizing.

  6. 2qswing - Jan 11, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    This was the bi product of the hockey usa kissing espn’s a$$ allowing unfettered access to player discussions and comments without editorial control. THAT is the mistake here. Tough decisions had to be made for all teams. They just didn’t get broadcast worldwide.

  7. Plumber 65 - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    It’s Burke the jerk. What do you expect. This guy has a long history of being a classless sh**

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