OTTAWA – Seeing himself as a bit of a chameleon, Bobby Ryan believes he can blend in on just about any team.
And while he is convinced that he will adapt to any spot in the lineup, the new Ottawa Senators star forward has no intention of filling Daniel Alfredsson’s skates.
Ryan made an appearance in the nation’s capital Wednesday for the first time since being acquired in a July 5 trade from the Anaheim Ducks.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who’s going to take that place,” the 26-year-old Ryan said of the leadership role former captain Alfredsson had on the team.
“Especially with what he’s done in the community,” he added. “If anybody’s going to do that, it’s going to be (Jason Spezza).”
The Ryan trade was overshadowed by Alfredsson’s surprising decision to sign with Detroit as a free agent after 17 seasons in Ottawa.
Ryan said it will take some getting used to being in a hockey-mad market like Ottawa.
“It’s a completely different culture from what it’s been like the past six years,” he said. “(Being in Ottawa) is a completely different way of viewing hockey. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Ryan is expected to play on the Senators top line alongside Spezza and says in addition to getting to know the city, he needs to get to know his fellow teammates.
He says he’s spoken to Spezza a couple of times but they haven’t yet skated together, something Ryan said he needs to do so they can both get a feel for each other’s playing style.
“I know that we’ll probably skate together for two or three weeks before camp starts,” he said. “Playing with a guy like that is easy.”
The Senators gave up plenty to get Ryan, sending forward Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in 2014.
Ryan had 11 goals and 30 points last season in Anaheim, where he played in the shadow of teammates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
“Last year was kind of a write-off,” he said of the lockout-shortened season. “It just never really took off for me.”
Ryan said he’s happy to moving to the East Coast so he can be closer to his hometown of Collingswood, N.J., a suburb of Philadelphia.
“I get to be in Philly and play there, too,” said Ryan. “So I’m excited about that.”