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Bobby Ryan is back in Ottawa and already facing questions about both his role with the Senators this season, and his long-term future with the club.
In regards to the latter, Ryan - who spent the summer in Idaho - reports contract talks between his agent and the Senators have been positive to date, adding he expects negotiations to pick up now that he's back in Ottawa.
Ryan told the Ottawa Citizen:
I was looking forward to getting back here to getting more involved than I have been [in negotiations], but as far as I knew, every discussion has been amicable and there haven’t been any breakdowns or anything like that. Everybody is confident that we’re going to start going with [serious negotiations] when everyone is in town.
In the meantime, Ryan and his Senators' teammates are preparing for a new season, and the 27-year-old is expected to be a more vocal leader, especially in light of the departure of Jason Spezza.
In my conversations with (Senators coach Paul MacLean) this summer, I know there will be a little more of a role for me to take on as a leader. Last year, he noticed that I didn’t talk a whole lot or become a more rah-rah guy because I was still learning my way and still trying to find my place in the room. I think [MacLean's] expectations have shifted for me to be more of a vocal leader in the room. And that’s fine. I can do that.
Ryan added he hopes his contract situation doesn't become a "distraction" if a deal isn't reached prior to the start of the new season.