TSN takes a shot at Ryan O'Reilly after signing with Predators

Bitter much?



There are often times that we hear from some certain hockey fans in Canada that when a high profile player declines to play in a Canadian city, it's because they simply don't want to be able to (or can't) handle the pressure that comes from suiting up for a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens. 

Players who have played for either team will be the first to say that while the hockey tradition is second to none in Canada, the pressure from both fans and media and essentially living in a fishbowl is something that they can usually do without.

2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winning forward Ryan O'Reilly got to experience playing with the Leafs when he was acquired by now-former GM Kyle Dubas at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline from the St. Louis Blues, and he was instrumental in helping Toronto break their near two-decade playoff curse by winning a series for the first time since 2004. 

He's now a member of the Nashville Predators, having agreed to a four year contract this past Saturday. And according to TSN's Bryan Hayes and Frankie Corrado, he may not have been able to handle the pressure - or maybe just didn't want to.

"Speaking with someone close to his camp, it wasn't overly comfortable, him being a Maple Leaf," Hayes said. "I don't think that's his DNA. "

"And being a person of being recognized everywhere you go living in Toronto, that's what I'm talking about," he continued. "I have no idea what he thought of the room or what he thought. I'm talking about O'Reilly kind of being a country guy, he was in St. Louis and Colorado. Now he's in Nashville, and I wouldn't be shocked if he lives 40 minutes outside of the rink. I think that being in Toronto and being a Leaf, that can be overwhelming for people. And you can't know it until you do it. 

"Max Domi is jacked to be a Leaf obviously and we know why. Maybe he'll get here and be like, 'It's not what I thought it was going to be.' Some guys carve it, some guys get here and love it. Some guys think they want it, they get here and test it out, and say it's not everything I thought it was going to be or I'm more comfortable in a different situation. You're talking about the brightest lights in the sports, the biggest hockey market in the world, it's a different beast." 

Corrando then offered this simple-minded take that only one or two writers are with teams like the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars, two of Domi's former clubs.

"We've talked about it so much but if you play in Carolina or Dallas, there's like one beat writer," he said. "Someone from "The Athletic" and someone from the local Gazette. Maybe if it's a national game, there's a little more. But you get here, there's 20 microphones in your face every single day." 

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Source: TSN