Bobby Ryan appreciates the public apology from U.S. Olympic general manager David Poile and says he would accept a spot on the club if the door opens due to an injury.
But at this point, he simply wants to move on from the very public controversy which resulted from Brian Burke’s harsh criticisms of his play being made public in an espn.com article earlier this week.
“I guess it’s a nice sentiment,” Ryan said before the Senators left for Montreal Friday afternoon and Saturday’s game against the Canadiens. “To be honest, I would just like it to go away and let’s move forward now.”
Poile, speaking on a conference call Friday, says he was as shocked as anyone to read the pointed criticisms Brian Burke had for Ryan — including that he lacked passion and “couldn’t spell the word intense” — mistakenly believing that USA Hockey had a final say on what was published even though ESPN had been granted full access to the behind-the-scenes discussions on the making of the team.
Ryan responded Thursday by saying Burke’s comments were “gutless” and that he felt degraded by Burke’s colourful language.
Poile apologized to Ryan and to Senators general manager Bryan Murray, suggesting none of it should have happened. If there’s an irony, it’s that Burke personally had Ryan on his team, having complimented his skills in other meetings.
“I’m not disputing what was said,” USA Today reported Poile as saying in the conference call.. “These meetings were very intense and and very passionate. But for the things that were said against Bobby Ryan there were many, many things that were said positively about Bobby Ryan.”
Poile understands why Ryan and Murray were outraged.
“If that was said about me or one of my players (in Nashville)… if I was Bryan Murray and the Ottawa Senators or Bobby Ryan specifically or his agent, I would be very upset about this. “I’ve apologized as much as I can.”
Poile has talked to Murray, but Murray chose not to discuss the conversations publicly Friday. If USA Hockey could do it all over again, the reporting ground rules would have been made much clearer beforehand.
“It’s great to be open and progressive with the media, and in this one particular instance, it probably went further than it should have,” Poile said.
Ryan hasn’t talked directly with Poile or any other members of the Team USA executive committee, but he buys the explanation for how things went so wrong.
“The word I heard is that they were ‘mortified’ when it came out, as well. It’s a miscommunication between them and the writers and a couple of guys (Ryan and Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes) take the brunt of it. It’s over with.”
If Ryan was asked to replace an injured forward, he says his decision would be easy.
“I wouldn’t have to think about it,” he said. “Any time you get a chance to wear the US jersey, you put it on and you play as hard as you can. I would probably take advantage of it.”