Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan joined NHL Live to discuss his new seven-year, $50.75 million contract extension announced Thursday.
"I think relieved is probably the best word, because it was becoming a bit of a distraction," Ryan said. "More so excited. It's just happy feelings around for myself and the organization; move forward and know that we're very comfortable here for the next eight years.
"It's just nice that it's over with and we can really focus on these last few preseason games and then get rolling here for Nashville next week."
After spending his first six NHL seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan, 27, was traded to the Senators in July 2013 in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (Nick Ritchie). He had 23 goals and 48 points in 70 games last season, and has 170 goals, 337 points and a plus-47 rating in 448 NHL games.
Ryan, who is getting married next summer, was looking for a place to settle down and begin the next stage of his life. After getting acclimated to the area pretty quickly, he knew Ottawa was where he wanted to be.
"I wanted to be sure that for the next seven years I was comfortable in doing all of those things wherever I was going to be," Ryan said. "Last year the switch to Ottawa was one of the easiest transitions I could have imagined. The sense of community in the Ottawa area is incredible and that's just something I really wanted to be around the next few years."
The Senators on Thursday also named defenseman Erik Karlsson the ninth captain in franchise history.
"He brings so much to the table and is well-respected around the League," Ryan said. "I think it was pretty much a no-brainer and he certainly has the support for all of us."