By Dan Wood
Ducks Radio Analyst
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ducks winger Bobby Ryan
was asleep when his telephone rang this morning.
Former Ducks general manager Brian Burke, now general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the United States team for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics, was on the other end of the line.
“My initial reaction wasn’t anything more than, ‘You couldn’t wait another hour?’” Ryan said. “We were supposed to sleep in today, and he caught me off guard.”
The news, however, was exactly what Ryan had been hoping to hear. He would be among 23 players officially named to Team USA in the afternoon, after the NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers at Boston’s Fenway Park.
The announcement came after most of the Ducks had returned to the team hotel in Nashville following a practice session in preparation for Saturday night’s game against the Predators.
“I was definitely unable to go back to sleep after that,” Ryan said. “I was excited and a little revved up. There certainly could have been worse ways to wake up.”
Ryan, 22, is a native of Cherry Hill, N.J., who also lived in Southern California during his teenage years. He leads the Ducks with 19 goals and ranks third on the team with 34 points, tying Olympic teammate Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lighting as the leading NHL goal-scorer among U.S.-born players.
Ryan appeared in seven games for Team USA during the 2006 World Junior Championships, posting three goals and seven points.
“To get the chance to wear the (U.S.) sweater again is a pretty big deal for me,” Ryan said. “It’s an incredible achievement, something that I’ve looked forward to for a long time.”
Ryan is one of seven Ducks players named to their respective national teams for the Olympics, which will take place in February. Defenseman Scott Niedermayer and Ryan’s sometimes linemates, center Ryan Getzlaf
and Corey Perry
, are on the Canadian team, while center Saku Koivu
and right wing Teemu Selanne
will play for Finland. Goaltender Jonas Hiller
, as well as Ducks defense prospect Luca Sbisa
, are on Team Switzerland.
The other U.S. Olympic forwards are David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Callahan and Chris Drury of the New York Rangers, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks, Phil Kessel of the Maple Leafs, Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche.
The U.S. defensemen are Erik Johnson of the Blues, Jack Johnson of the Kings, Mike Komisarek of the Maple Leafs, Paul Martin of the Devils, Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brian Rafalski of the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Suter of the Predators.
Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, Tim Thomas of the Bruins and Jonathan Quick of the Kings are the Team USA goaltenders.