Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/31/13
Bobby Ryan recently experienced what life for a star hockey player in Ottawa is all about during a half-day marathon of media commitments fitness assessments and a youth hockey camp. It was a small sample of what's in store for the newest scoring right wing of the Ottawa Senators acquired in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on July 5. "That it has a lot of passion for the game" Ryan told NHL.com discussing the lessons learned about Ottawa during that whirlwind day on July 17. Ryan twice referred to his day as an "eye-opening" experience for a guy who isn't used to being in the blinding spotlight of an entire sports market. He estimates he did between 40-50 interviews with various local media outlets including television radio and print. He said he stood on the ice for his final media session of the day in front of one of the benches at Bell Sensplex that was completely full of reporters and cameramen leaning on his every word. "I told somebody up there that the only time we see more than five or six reporters in the room in Anaheim is if we're playing [Los Angeles] or a Canadian-based team so this is a much different scale than I have seen before" Ryan said. "I wasn't quite prepared for it but that's why I say it was an eye-opener and it was one of those experiences I won't ever forget." Ryan eventually retreated back to his home in Idaho just across the border from Jackson Hole Wyo. He found the remote location with his girlfriend after the 2009-10 season and said it's the perfect spot for a guy -- even one as personable as himself -- to disconnect from the hectic NHL lifestyle for a few months. "It's in the middle of nowhere nothing but golf fishing all that good stuff" Ryan said. "Can't complain one bit." Despite the summer seclusion Ryan has tried to connect himself to the Senators since the trade. He isn't complaining about that either. He said he has talked with several of his new teammates either on the phone or direct messaging on Twitter. He spent time with Senators defenseman Marc Methot during his trip to Ottawa two weeks ago and said he knows Kyle Turris from playing against him and through some events outside of hockey. Ryan still has not spoken with Senators coach Paul MacLean but he's heard nothing but positive reviews from his new teammates. He said he has an idea of what MacLean the 2013 Jack Adams Award winner will expect from him. Ryan 26 had four straight 30-goal seasons with the Ducks and should get first dibs at playing right wing alongside center Jason Spezza. "My role might change a little but I don't think my job is going to change a whole lot" Ryan said. "I've been fortunate to play with a playmaking center for a long time and that seems to be what they have in mind for me again in Ottawa. My role on the ice is to be that goal-scoring winger for the center who is making plays." He said he may try to take on a bigger leadership role off the ice or at least a bigger role than he had in Anaheim. "It's a little bit of a younger team" Ryan said. "I know their average age last year was 26 and they have since lost two 40-year-olds and brought in another 26-year-old so the average is going to go even lower. But you start to learn your role as you start to go through training camp. If they need me to be a vocal guy to help get the younger guys prepared that's certainly something I'd love to do but those guys played some big games last year and some big minutes so it seems like a very professional young team." Now he knows he will join the Senators in a city that will be nothing like Ryan's summer life in Idaho. "It's a different feeling for sure" Ryan said. "It's nervousness again. I've been through eight training camps with the Ducks and you know what you're going to get. You know what each day will bring what the physical testing will be like and what is expected of you on the ice. I haven't seen a whole lot outside of Anaheim in eight years so this is brand new for me. I think nerves play a big part into it. I'm anxious to get going."
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