For the Love of the Game

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Updated: December 20, 2013
Terry Ryan | Clarenville Caribous | Newfoundland Hockey Talk

When Terry Ryan returned to Newfoundland Senior Hockey, fans were buzzing. He was considered one of the premier players who was dominant with the puck and played a very physical game. He had the pro experienced and the talent to make the difference in any lineup he was a part off.

Some have criticized Ryan, questioning his motivation and indicating that his play was at best mediocre. They point to the fact he hasn’t been a great goal scorer, tallying just 16 goals from the 2011-12 season to the 2013-14 season. Someone even pointed out that Darren Langdon’s numbers were better and that Langdon played 6 less games than Ryan.

Recently, Ryan was the subject of what was considered on of the biggest trades in the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League when he was traded from the Eastlink CeeBee Stars to the Mount Pearl Blades and subsequently to the Clarenville Caribous.

This fueled the rumour mill that the CeeBee Stars were about to fold. Some had indicated that Ryan wasn’t happy with the CeeBees play and simply wanted out and was looking at returning to the Blades, his hometown team. There is nothing to indicate either of these were true, in fact Ryan himself said “I’m thankful to have played in CBN and I understand completely that these things happen. The coaches and executive treated me top notch”.

That is one of the reasons teams seek a player like Terry Ryan. It isn’t entirely about what he does on the ice, it’s about the leadership that he shows off the ice. He sets a high standard for himself and this translates into strong leadership inside the dressing room and on the ice when it matters. In moving to the Caribous, Ryan has stepped into a role where he is expected to show leadership and Clarenville are banking on this when it comes time for them to host the 2015 Allan Cup.

Even though the stats may show that Ryan has come nowhere close to matching the 50-goal season he racked up with the Tri-City Americans in the 94-95 season, ask any player who they would hate to have staring them down in a faceoff circle or any goalie who they would hate to have stand in front of them, Terry Ryan’s name is at the top of the list.

The last few seasons have not been the greatest for Terry Ryan, bouncing from team to team. Ryan however takes it all in stride, and looks at his latest stop with the Clarenville Caribous as an opportunity to return to the Allan Cup. He’s said that returning to the Allan Cup was a goal for him and that he always wondered if he would ever return after making a run at the championship with the Bentley Generals in 2008.

While some may question Ryan’s motives as being self-serving, they forget to realize that he is a hockey player who wants to play and who wants to win. Regardless of the color of the jersey or the arena he calls home, Terry Ryan steps up time and time again to give his team the opportunity to win whether its winning a key faceoff, laying on a big body check or putting the puck in the back of the net. Ryan is a tough competitor with the experience, skill and leadership that any coach would love to have on the ice and in the dressing room.

Terry Ryan is the best at being a team player and forcing those around him to be that much better. He is there to win, he’s there to compete … he’s there for the love of the game.

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