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08-11-2006, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
It wouldn't have kept him out of the NHL, though. At least, not before the ankle injury. He was like Latendresse in that respect. Definite weakness, not enough to make you overlook his other abilties.

The real problem with Ryan is that he just didn't get it with respect to how the Habs wanted him to behave... or by contrast, the Habs just didn't get it that they weren't going to be able to rehabilitate Ryan into one of their fine upstanding young men. That he was picked by previous management never helped him either. Basically, I'd say it was a combination of the Habs dropping the ball on his development plus injuries. If there had been any willingness in the early days on the Habs part to make some exceptions for him, try a bit harder to get through to him, he might have made it through ok. But I never got the impression that the Habs really cared to invest the effort. He was their second choice from Day 1. Ryan might have thought that a couple of years in the minors wasn't necessary, and considering the dubious "quality" of the teams in those years, he might have had a point. He didn't look out of place in training camp. He could have stayed on. But he just never "got it", and never seemed to change his attitude or learn any discipline.

Guys with those knocks *do* make it into the NHL. Ryan was no worse than some. But the Habs gave up and loaned him out, then let him walk away, and his injury troubles just kept piling up so that he never really got another chance to have a new beginning with another team, like most other players in that situation do. Bad luck all around for him. And for the Habs too, really.

Picking Iginla instead probably wasn't a very realistic alternative. At the time, Iginla had been steadily climbing up the rankings through the season, and while he might have been everybody's favourite sleeper pick in the first round, it was still something of a surprise when Dallas took him #11. He really wasn't looked at as a top-10 pick IIRC. Ryan was an absolute no-brainer for the Habs after Doan was gone. It could be seen a mile away. Unlike, say, the Carey Price pick where the Maguires of the world were shaking their head and wondering what the heck the Habs were thinking, Ryan was the player everybody was going to say "the Habs will be taking Ryan next. Serge Savard wanted Shane Doan, but Ryan has all the same attributes that the team is looking for in a big skilled PF." It was just that obvious. And most of us fans on the boards were pretty thrilled too. Hey, look at those numbers. Why not be thrilled? He was like a Latendresse sweetheart pick super-legend draft party pick. But then it all went horribly awry...
Agreed, I always felt that he was ready for the big show considering we were such a mediocre team. He needed to play with the big boys, not in the minors. The injuries are a byproduct of that as in the minors, the play is real dirty.

Basically if he had the same doting attention the Canadiens are giving Latendresse right now; he'd be an nhler for sure. His numbers are pretty decent, even after the injuries.

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