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Bobby Ryan on his role, negotiations and more

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Senators forward Bobby Ryan addressed a number of topics including his health, his contract status and more before hitting the links at the Bell/Ottawa Senators Charity Golf Classic. Here's what he had to say...

On his health:

I feel really good. I kind of addressed it earlier, we had a breakthrough with the surgery about a month ago and since then I've been able to put some size back on and have a fairly regular summer. It's been good, very good.

On how long it'll take him to get back to normal:

I don't think it'll take very long. I got quite a bit of skating in back in Wyoming and coming here about a week and half earlier than normal to get around the guys and train here and skate here so I don't think it'll take too long. Outside of that you don't really get the repetition until you get to camp and that always takes everybody a little bit so I don't think it'll take too long.

On being excited for the year after last year's injury:

I am, I think everybody is. I know talking to Turry (Kyle Turris) and Mac (Clarke MacArthur), if that's who I play with, we were looking forward to getting back on track and playing the way we were before I got hurt and regressed and as a part of that we all digressed in a sense. The three of us are excited and if that's not who I play with I'm just excited to get back and put all that injury riddled year behind me.

On the role he's looking for:

Well, I've never said that (he was unhappy with his ice time), everybody speculated that and I understand you guys are doing a job. My role, I think, is going to have to take a step forward in the leadership department and become a guy who's counted on night in and night out to provide offence for the team. As much as that was my role last year, with Jason gone it's going to be expanded to four, five or six guys. It's going to have to be by committee. All I said was that I'd like a little bit of an expanded role across the board and everything I've talked about with Mac (Paul MacLean) and Bryan (Murray) that's their feeling as well.

On potentially penalty killing:

I did it early in Anaheim and then the coaching change happened and I got moved away from that. It's been a while since I did it fairly consistently. There was an opportunity for me and Mika to do it a bit last year towards the end of the year. It's a role I've always embraced and I've liked it, I think Mac's big concern was that I'd be cheating all the time and trying to go for breakaways and I did assure him that wouldn't be an issue. If that's what they want me to do I certainly told them at the end of the year that I'd love to be a part of it.

On if the contract will be an issue:

Outside of talking to you guys, no. I won't think about it much, I know I'll have conversations with agents but truthfully when you get out there the game's a game and you forget about it. We left it a bad taste in our mouth last year and everybody's chomping at the bit to right the ship we lost somewhere along the line.

On waiting to see what his role will be:

It's not the way it was meant to come across. I had a conversation with my agents who, in turn, had a conversation with Bryan and at the end of the day if you're hitching your wagon to a team for seven years it's okay to take some time to realize if it's really what you want or not. Everything that I've said and still feel is that I'd love to be here long term. You need some assurance and motivating factor. To not get it done at this early stage isn't a tragedy, we've still got a year to get there. I think everybody is fairly confident that we will.

On the shift to a defensive mindset:

It's okay with me. The Sens traditionally, since I've been in the League, are team that have been hard to generate offence against. Somewhere along the way last year we lost that and that's not the traditional Senators hockey that I know. We're not a star-studded team, I think we're a deep team and a team that has a chance to win every night but we have to be a team that thinks a 200 foot game and we're going to have to focus on winning games 2-1 or 3-2. Whatever helps us get two points at the end of the night, if I have to come back harder or not cheat outside the zone or circle as much, I'm okay with that. Whatever gets us two points.

On if they need a captain:

I'm a big believer that you should. I think at the same time you've had two captains in two years leave and you don't want that kind of thing to happen a third time or whatever that may be. You want to make sure that captain is a guy you're building around and is a guy who's going to stay a long time, whether it's a Karlsson or Philly who could be leaving in two years or Neiler who could be leaving in two years, you never know. I think for me, individually, it's nice to have one — I've never played without one so I couldn't tell you what it's like. That group of guys, the guys that wore the letters last year and the guys you think are going to wear the letters are already our leadership group and they're already the guys that talk. Whether one of them steps forward to wear a bigger letter, it doesn't really mean more to them or to us, but I think from an on the ice standpoint it has always been convenient to have one.

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