It came as a shock back in November when veteran forward Bobby Ryan left the Ottawa Senators’ organization to get some help as he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
The 32-year-old remains out indefinitely following his decision to take part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.
Last month, Ryan started to train again with his teammates and on Friday, he revealed to TSN why he needed to get help.
“Bobby Ryan opened up to us today about his struggles with alcohol.
It was powerful, honest and poignant.
He is in fantastic shape and looks and feels like a person at peace with his life.”
We are so glad to see that Ryan decided to get help and realized it had become a problem.
“It’s something I’ve been battling for a while,” Ryan said. “I’ve tried on my own and I was already getting help for it. What I was doing wasn’t enough. I was trying to white-knuckle things and do things the wrong way. I’d have 20 days of nothing and then one really bad one and you just can’t get better without it.”
He notes that the support he’s received from around the league since going public with his substance-abuse issues has been “incredible.”
“There are so many guys in the league who contacted me, who I had never spoken to before, and who told me about their experience,” Ryan said. “This support has been incredible. Lots of players I didn’t even know they had problems.”
Ryan has posted just one goal and four points in 16 games this season with Ottawa. He scored 15 goals and posted 42 points in 78 games with the Senators last season.
He is in his seventh season with the Senators and is currently the team’s highest-paid player, carrying a cap hit of $7.25 million through the 2021-22 season. Ryan is a veteran of 825 career games in the NHL and has 250 goals and 551 points in his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks and Senators.
Ryan, who has not appeared in a game since November 16, does not know when he will make a return to the lineup as the experts in program will be making that decision when he’s ready.
We wish him all the best.