One of the best stories so far in the young season is Bobby Ryan being just a goal off the NHL lead with four tallies in five games.
“I was thinking about it the other day. Personally, I think the fresh start was welcome. There’s just an excitement that feels different than Ottawa,” Ryan told Ian Mendes on "The Athletic Hockey Show" Podcast.
The Senators bought out the final two years of Ryan's contract this offseason - a decision he said came as a "complete shock." The 33-year-old then inked a one-year, $1-million deal with the Red Wings.
“I just don’t think I would have the same buzz that I have now about playing the game going back to Ottawa," he said. "There was just too much there in the past. I don’t think it would have translated this way for me there.”
Ryan's tenure in Canada's capital was a rocky one on and off the ice. The 2005 No. 2 pick joined the Senators with plenty of promise after averaging 32 goals and 63 points per 82 games over his first five NHL campaigns with the Anaheim Ducks. He averaged just 19 goals and 48 points per 82 games over seven seasons in Ottawa.
Ryan also took a leave of absence from the Senators last season to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to seek help for his struggles with alcohol abuse. He scored a hat trick during his first home game back in the lineup, and Ryan was later named the recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy for his perseverance.
“There is part of me that wanted to go back (to Ottawa) and do it the right way, like I am now. Not only sober, but correctly - as a professional,” Ryan said. “But it’s hard to argue with that ending.”
Ryan is the first player in Red Wings history to score four goals in his first three games with the club.