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The news that Bobby Ryan is undergoing season-ending surgery did not come as a complete surprise. Joe Pavelski Jersey . Earlier this week, head coach Paul MacLean confirmed that Ryan had been dealing with a nagging injury since November – our first tangible clue that the winger has not been 100 per cent healthy all season. But for the past few weeks, the whispers had been growing louder and louder that Ryan was playing hurt. When the club returned to practice after the Olympic break, the winger took a couple of maintenance days that raised a few eyebrows. Now that the club has confirmed he was playing for the past four months with a sports hernia injury, it forces us to reassess our opinion of Ryans first season in Ottawa. In a strange twist, every player involved in the massive Ducks-Senators trade from last summer suffered a significant injury this season. Jakob Silfverberg had a broken hand, Stefan Noesen tore the ACL in his knee and now Ryan is done with the sports hernia injury. (The Ducks may want to order some bubble wrap to protect their first round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft that they will receive from Ottawa). When he was famously left off the Team USA roster for the Olympics, many suggested that Ryan was crushed by the bad news and went into a prolonged slump. He scored just two goals in 12 games in the month of January and looked like a shadow of himself at times. Certainly, the Team USA snub hurt him on a personal level, but its rather obvious that the physical pain of a sports hernia injury was the bigger factor for his declining numbers. Ryans limited ice time was also a source of controversy in this market, as fans and media openly questioned MacLeans deployment of his No. 1 sniper. He was taken off a unit with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur and was given third-line minutes instead. When the Sens were swept in Alberta earlier this month, Ryan played fewer than 15 minutes on each night – causing some to wonder aloud if there was a rift between star player and coach. In reality, the reduced ice time was likely the result of his nagging injury. In a statement to the media on Thursday, general manager Bryan Murray indicated that Ryan tried to play through the injury and doesnt appear to be concerned about how he was used by MacLean. "I know there were some times in games that he felt like he couldnt contribute very much but he stayed on the ice as required by the coaching staff and tried very hard to be a big factor for our team," Murray said. "I think he was and obviously we like that kind of person and want to treat him right in return." If you look at Ryans on-ice production from this season (time on ice to produce a point), you can see a significant drop-off once the calendar flipped to December: Month Time on ice/point October 20:32 November 16:17 December 24:42 January 33:10 February 46:40 March 41:47 Ryans struggles were a red flag for many Ottawa fans, who were concerned about his lack of productivity and compete level down the stretch. With a contract set to expire at the end of next season, there were more than a few fans who were suggesting it was time to move on from the 26-year-old winger. But now that we have a clear picture of Ryans health, its a little more accurate to say that his first season was not a complete disaster. The fact that he led this team in goal-scoring with 23 despite the injury is fairly impressive. Considering the recovery time from this injury is about six weeks, GM Bryan Murray says there is every reason to believe that Ryan will come into training camp next season ready to return to his 30-goal form. "Well, he certainly started very, very well. He shoots the puck awfully well, he scored some goals, his line obviously carried the team early on. He was a big part of that," Murray said. "I think after the hernia started to get aggravated a little bit, he seemed to shoot the puck a bit less. Overall, very happy and satisfied with his overall play and we know hell be a real contributor going forward." That last comment from the general manager seems like the one that carries the most weight moving into this summer. Nobody is certain if the Sens will lock up Ryan with a long-term extension in the coming months, but one thing is clear: this organization hasnt soured on him after a disappointing season in which he played hurt. Chris Tierney Jersey . As TSN reported Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is under intense pressure from the federal government to focus drug testing on athletes who compete in international events representing Canada. Since funding for the tests has been frozen and the cost of testing can eclipse $1,000 per test, university athletes in a number of sports are being tested less often. Paul Martin Jersey .A. remained bitter for Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers on the long flight back home to New York. http://www.cheapsharks...das-brenden-dillon-jersey .ca. The NHL Play of the Year showdown kicks off with some slick moves going head-to-head with a combination of soft hands and endless patience.ATLANTA -- As acting manager for the day, Angels bench coach Dino Ebel asked for a close game so he could make lots of moves. Ebel got his wish with a marathon game packed with momentum shifts. Kole Calhouns bases-loaded single in the 13th inning drove in the go-ahead run and the Los Angeles Angels recovered after blowing a four-run lead in the ninth to beat the Atlanta Braves 11-6 Saturday night. "That was fun," Ebel said, grinning after the game. "It was a roller-coaster ride, but it was good." Angels manager Mike Scioscia missed the game to attend the funeral of former Dodgers teammate Bob Welch in Arizona. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each had three hits, including back-to-back homers in the sixth inning, and drove in four runs. Evan Gattis homered for Atlanta. The Angels won despite blowing a 5-1 lead in the ninth and a 6-5 lead in the 10th. "We never quit and they never quit," Trout said. "Give them props. They scored four runs against us in the ninth. But we kept battling and put ourselves in position to win the game." Erick Aybar led off the 13th with his fourth hit, an infield single, and moved to second on catcher Gerald Lairds passed ball. David Hale (2-1) walked pinch-hitter C.J. Wilson and hit Chris Iannetta with a pitch to load the bases. Calhouns soft fly ball fell just in front of centre fielder B.J. Upton, who attempted a sliding catch, to give Los Angeles the lead. Trouts two-run double and Pujols two-run single pushed the lead to five runs. "I just cant walk people like that," Hale said. "That was the big problem." The teams combined to use 16 pitchers in a game that lasted nearly 5 hours. Fernando Salas (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings. Josh Hamilton drove in Pujols with a single off Craig Kimbrel in the 10th inning to give the Angels a 6-5 lead. The Braves pulled even on Jason Heywards run-scoring, broken-bat single off rookie Cam Bedrosian. The Braves trailed 5-1 before scoring four runs in the ninth on five straight hits off Ernesto Frieri, costing Garrett& Richards a win after he set a career high with 10 strikeouts in six scoreless innings. Timo Meier Jersey. B.J. Upton had a two-run triple and Freddie Freemans double drove in the tying run. Frieri gave up four runs without recording an out. "Ernie just got the ball up and they squared it up," Ebel said. "Hell get the ball again." Bedrosian faced immediate drama in the 10th. Tommy La Stella led off with a single and moved to second when Bedrosian dropped the ball on the mound for a balk. With his father, former Braves pitcher Steve Bedrosian, watching from a luxury suite, the young Bedrosian recorded one out before giving up an infield hit to pinch-hitter Ramiro Pena and Heywards tying single to right field. An intentional walk to Freeman loaded the bases before right fielder Calhoun charged toward the infield to make a diving catch on Justin Uptons fly ball, ending the inning. "Beautiful," said Ebel of the catch. "Awesome," added Trout. "It saved the game for sure." Richards allowed only four hits with three walks. He has allowed a combined 12 hits and one run in three dominant June starts. Pujols drove in the Angels first run off Gavin Floyd with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Ebel improved to 3-0 this season as Scioscias stand-in. Ebel was the acting manager for two wins when Scioscia was attending his daughters college graduation in May. Floyd allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. NOTES: Richards previous career high was nine strikeouts in two games this season -- May 3 against Texas and June 4 at Houston. ... B.J. Uptons two-base fielding error on Aybars single in the eighth set up an unearned run off Jordan Walden. ... LHP Alex Wood gave up two hits in 3 2-3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday night. It was Woods first appearance since he was sent down to be stretched out as a starter. ... Gattis extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor will face Angels LHP Hector Santiago when the three-game series ends on Sunday night. Santiago is 0-6. ' ' '

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