Bobby Ryan is not happy with Brian Burke or USA Hockey after the Ottawa Senators forward was left off the United States’s Olympic roster Wednesday.
Ryan was especially ticked off with Burke’s comments that appeared in an all-access ESPN.com article Wednesday detailing the five-month selection process, one in which the Calgary Flames president of hockey operations and acting general manager
questioned the intensity of the 26-year-old.
“He is not intense. That word is not in his vocabulary,” Burke said during a USA personnel meeting. “It’s never going to be in his vocabulary. He can’t spell intense.”
“He’s a passive guy.”
The Senators forward fired back on Thursday, claiming Burke’s comments were “gutless.”
Ryan said he received a missed call from Burke when the U.S. team was announced, but learned about his omission from TV.
According to ESPN, the USA brass felt that if Ryan was not going to play on the team’s top two lines, he would be a poor fit on the third or fourth line due to his lack of speed and defensive prowess.
Burke, the director of player personnel for Team USA, has worked with Ryan extensively throughout his career. He was part of the staff in Anaheim that drafted Ryan with the second overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft.
Also in the ESPN article, Burke said he debated with scouts about whether to draft defenceman Jack Johnson instead of Ryan.
“I should have taken Jack,” Burke told ESPN.com.
In 42 games this season with Ottawa, Ryan has 18 goals and 18 assists in with a plus-10 rating.