When the United States Olympic team was revealed following the Winter Classic on Wednesday afternoon, there was quite a bit of shock -- and even some disappointment -- that Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan was not on the initial roster.
Perhaps nobody was more shocked and disappointed than Ryan himself.
On Thursday, he spent some time talking about not only the decision to leave him off the roster, but also the discussion that led to it as chronicled by ESPN's Scott Burnside. During the discussion Brian Burke, currently the director of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, questioned Ryan's intensity, which came after it was revealed that several members of the staff had concerns about taking Ryan to Sochi and didn't trust him. The term "sleepy skater" was used at one point, and then a bunch of people raised their hands when asked if they had concerns taking Ryan on the team.
Ryan told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that he felt the intensity concerns from Burke were "gutless."
And he wasn't done there.
"They were direct quotes. It's unfortunate they feel that way. They've got to form a team," says Ryan. "I guess to a certain degree u (cont)— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 2, 2014
"have to respect it. You don't have to agree with it, right? I certainly don't. They could have just cut me (laughs). You didn't have to ...— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 2, 2014
"Actually I almost feel degraded when it comes out like that. It is what it is. That's their decison and that's how they feel about me ...— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 2, 2014
"I will remember it and use it as motivation. That's all you can really do," says Ryan. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) January 2, 2014
Ryan also said that Burke has attempted to reach out to him but that he has yet to return the call.
Where things could really get awkward is if there is an injury to another top forward prior to the Olympics, or if Zach Parise isn't healed in time.