During the 1990s, the Montreal canadiens has had misfires in the draft. Only player selected in the top 10 of this decade, Terry Ryan is part of a group of choices for the first round, who vanished despite the hopes based on them.
Drafted 21st overall in 1993, Saku Koivu is by far the most prolific of the band of players on which the CH has set his sights at the tower original, with 832 points in 1124 clashes in the circuit. On the other hand, Brent Bilodeau, a defender of the Western League (WHL), has never seen action at the top level.
In the case of Ryan, a marker of 50 goals that threw the gloves to repeat in the WHL, many still seek to understand how the experience failed, 25 years after his selection in the eighth level of the annual meeting. The jump to the professional ranks has not been as expected for the attacker newfoundland. And it began by his new head coach.
“It is a negative portrayal that has been drawn on my way in the organization, he told in an interview with the site TVASports.ca, Sunday. I had a tempestuous relationship with Michel Therrien. I didn’t love him very much.”
“And I’m sure he didn’t love me…”
When it doesn’t click
In his first full season with the club-school of Fredericton, in 1997-1998, the one who grew up in idolâtrant Chris Nilan concluded in the third row of counters of his own with 21 goals and 256 minutes in the dungeon were a summit in the workforce. Ryan was not afraid to demonstrate to decision makers what he had in his belly to prove his worth.
“This is the type of player that they wanted me to be. And it was hard to score goals, and fight every night in this section of the american League (AHL).”
Despite the statistics and the potential of him being accepted, he was not able to feel the man who was running it. In proper French, it clicks not, both on the ice and outside.
“It was a different era with manners that are different. Therrien was smoking in the bus. I thought it was ignorant on his part. I didn’t like it, he remembered. But I am only a player and it is he who guides the ship.”
And the captain of the cruise had, it seems, the judgment easy with respect to his young trooper. “It was the idea that I could go see a show and come back with a blue mohawk. I was an unpredictable character, and authentic. I don’t think he liked it.”
“He wanted soldiers who do not celebrate after each goal and who do not have a unique personality.”
A bit like a certain P. K. Subban, more than 10 years later? “Yes, totally! And I was in the organization seven years before him.”
It has required a transaction
At the dawn of its second season, knowing that he was not in the good graces of Therrien, Ryan required a transaction to the general manager Réjean Houle because it had become obvious that the marriage with the coach was unhealthy.
“It has been nice to me. He told me that he would like to see me with the new club-school of Quebec, and that he saw me as captain. I answered : “what? Why hast thou chosen in the first round? Me, I want to play with the club”. He said : “I have not selected in the first round”.”
Houle was telling the truth. In fact, Ryan was the last selection in the first round of the reign of 12 years of Serge Savard, sacked a few months after the auction amateur in 1995. The chief instructor Jacques Demers has also been shown the door. The team had suffered four defeats away to begin the season.
These disturbances on the side of administration did not affect in any way the objective of the young hope stubborn. But he understood that his career would depart not with the Blue-White-Red.
“I asked to be traded, I have shunned the camp, and then… I hurt with an ankle. The supporters have had to get used to the idea that I had abandoned. Me, I wanted to continue. It would have been awesome in Montreal, but I wanted to play elsewhere. Whether overseas or at another place.”
But things did not work out as well and Ryan has not seen his wish come true. After having refused the offers qualifying of the Habs in 1999, he rolled his hump between the AHL, the International Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League. It was again injured an ankle in the camp of the Dallas Stars in 2001.
After a short stint in the ECHL, he was miserably hung up his skates in 2002.
Five years later, the author of these lines had met on the occasion of a tournament of ball hockey in Villeray-Parc-Extension in Montreal. He came to know the glory in a reality tv show, in which he lost 50 pounds.
Already, discuss with Terry Ryan is the equivalent of interviewing a lecturer, a storyteller, or a comedian… all-in-one. Because it’s just a character! But the friendly stuntman and actor had to recover from a heavy feeling of failure when he has put an end to his career.
“I was depressed. I ate and drank constantly. I was frustrated against the whole world, because I wanted to know if (things would have been different). Do you leads to nowhere.
“At the end, I managed. I’ve played eight games and I’m happy to have played even a single match.”
In peace with the past
Ryan does not throw completely the blame on his former instructor Michel Therrien if he has not realized his dream of establishing himself in the NHL. He would have liked things to happen differently so that the two men are on the same wavelength.
“It was a learning curve. I was the first (hope side) that he has had to lead, as he is her first experience in the professional ranks, he conceded.
“I was doing my classes at the same time that Therrien and I didn’t really with him. But to hold it completely responsible for my career, this would be unfair. (…) If he had been promoted to Montreal and that I had been recalled while he was there, I would have played.”
His last match: with Dave Morissette
Terry Ryan has a story to tell about his former comrade, the host of the channel TVA Sports Dave Morissette.
The two players were often recalled at the same time by the big club. One evening, in the face of the Blackhawks of Chicago, as it was the usual, they have participated in the warm-up period – Ryan took the opportunity to pass on his phone number to ladies between the panes – and they sat at the bench thinking that they would do no presence at all.
“We looked at the clock and it said to me : “I will pledge 100 $ that time is going to stop at second.” The first period has passed without one having been used only once, which meant that we would play probably not.”
“Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain to the feet. I told the “Moose” that I had sore feet and my eyes started to burn. He answered me : “you do not know it? The guys have put the A535 in your helmet”. He told me to undo my skates, because it would not be thrown into the fray.”
A few moments later, Morissette has been sent on the ice by Alain Vigneault to hunt Bob Probert. A fight followed. Then, the trio of Ryan, Trent McCleary and Patrick Poulin has been requested.
“I fought against Cam Russell. It was a good fight, he reminded the subject of the current general manager of the Halifax Mooseheads. I didn’t know, but it was my last game in the national hockey League.”
Friendships that remain
In 1996-1997, Ryan has played in three meetings with the Canadian. He has spent a large part of the campaign in the area, since the Swell and the chief instructor Mario Tremblay wanted that he trains with the veterans. It is at this time that he forged life experiences and formed friendships that remain alive to this day.
“It does not appear on the match sheets, but you surround yourself with guys like Vincent Damphousse, Mark Recchi, Shayne Corson and Scott Thornton. I still speak to all of these guys. I talked to Corson two days ago, and Thornton would come and see me next fall to go hunting. All these guys I have learned so many things.”
“When you reach this high level of play in an organization extremely professional as the Montreal canadiens, you learn how to be human and how to give the next one.”