|Ryan Shannon believes he's found the perfect fit in Ottawa with the Senators and couldn't be happier he'll stay with the organization for at least another season (Getty Images).
Ryan Shannon's week couldn't have ended in a much better way.
The versatile centre and the Senators agreed today on a new one-year contract that will keep Shannon in Ottawa through the 2010-11 season.
That piece of news was still fresh when the Darien, Conn., native watched the United States blitz Finland with a six-goal first period en route to a spot in the men's hockey gold-medal game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Shannon was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but wanted to stay in a hockey market that has been a great fit in every way.
"I was very happy to get this deal done," Shannon told reporters earlier this afternoon. "I like Ottawa, I like the fans, I like the city and I like being on a team that's confident in winning every night.
"It was great news and I was happy to get it done."
Given all of that, Shannon wasn't tempted to test free agency.
"I like the fans and I like the city. I like my role on this team," he said. "When all of those three things come together like that, what's the point in looking somewhere else?"
With five goals and 16 points in 55 games, the speedy 5-foot-9 Shannon is approaching career bests in both categories. He produced eight goals and 20 points in 2008-09, his first season with the Senators after being acquired in a Sept. 2, 2008 deal with the Vancouver Canucks for defenceman Lawrence Nycholat.
"I like the fans and I like the city. I like my role on this team. When all of those three things come together like that, what's the point in looking somewhere else?" - Ryan Shannon
"Ryan has been a very useful member of our team," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "I think his role is multi-purpose on this team. He can play any forward position and he’s helped us on the power play, so having a player like that is important going forward.
"The coaches like him and play him a lot. We think from a position point of view, Ryan helps us with the versatility."
Shannon, who got off to a slow start this season went goalless in his first 29 games, believes he's "found my game recently."
"Statistically, I’d like to improve on my numbers and signing this contract extension keeps that window open for me," he said. "The most important thing is that the team is playing well, we’re winning a lot of games and there’s a lot of excitement going into the Stanley Cup playoffs."