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Ryan looks to rebound

September 13, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

The date Sept. 18, 2006, doesn't register in the annals of the Ducks but Bobby Ryan vividly remembers that night.

"We got slaughtered," Ryan recalled Wednesday. "It was a bad showing by everybody on the ice."

The Ducks' 7-1 exhibition loss to the Kings is long forgotten by most. But it was a low light in training camp for Ryan, the prized prospect who spent most of the night being knocked off his feet.

Underwhelming to say the least for the guy chosen immediately after Sidney Crosby in the 2005 draft. Ryan hopes for atonement in tonight's exhibition opener against the Kings at the Honda Center.

"I felt like I played it very casual and didn't do the things I needed to do," Ryan said. "I got away from what they're looking for in trying to make that big play all the time."

Things are changing for the 20-year-old power forward.

Ryan finished his fourth and final season of junior hockey at Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League, where he again put up big numbers -- 43 goals and 59 assists in 63 games.

His next stop likely will be at the Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine, unless he wins one of the Ducks' roster spots up for grabs, what with Teemu Selanne still thinking retirement and Dustin Penner now in Edmonton.

"You know that there's a pretty good number of guys that are set on this roster," Ryan said. "But there's a couple of spots and I want to be one of the guys they look to fill that void."

Ryan has been in Anaheim since August working out with such veterans as Todd Bertuzzi, Todd Marchant and Chris Pronger. Tonight he is scheduled to play on the top line with Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf.

It's certain that Ryan will get plenty of chances since Coach Randy Carlyle has already said the right wing will play in most of the exhibitions.

"With any young player, there is a learning curve," Carlyle said, adding that for Ryan, it's not a matter of "where is he going to play in the NHL. It's when is he going to play in the NHL?"

The Ducks renewed their radio deal with 830 for this season, although a club spokesman said there could be conflicts in the spring when the Angels come aboard the Arte Moreno-owned 50,000-watt station. The spokesman said they are working on alternate channels if a conflict does arise. . . . Radio analyst Brent Severyn was signed to a multiyear contract and will team again with play-by-play man Steve Carroll.


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