Acquired just hours after the news broke that Daniel Alfredsson had decided to sign with the Red Wings following 17 seasons in Ottawa, Bobby Ryan said he's ready to hit the ground running with his new team north of the border.
Speaking with Bryan Hayes and Jeff O'Neill on Leafs Lunch on Monday, the newest Senator said replacing the long-time captain won't be easy, but is excited to come to a team and city he thinks is a "nicer fit" than his prior situation in Anaheim.
Although he wasn't traded for Alfredsson, Ryan knows he comes to Ottawa with lofty expectations, but says he is ready to assume a leading role, hopefully as the top winger on Jason Spezza's right side.
"There's enough players there. You look at 'Spez' who's probably going to take over that role if that's the decision that is made," Ryan said in reference to who he thought would take on more of a leadership role with Alfredsson moving on. "Hopefully I just get to jump in and play with him and he makes my job as easy as he's made it for other guys in the past."
Speaking with Spezza and Ryan Getzlaf after he was dealt, Ryan said he expects to establish an immediate chemistry that will hopefully help him regain the high-level scoring touch he displayed in the four seasons prior to 2012-13.
"I think I got lucky and I'm coming off playing with one of the other best in the west coast," Ryan said in reference to Getzlaf. "Talked to 'Spez' as well and he's certainly excited. We had a quick conversation with him about trying to get together a few weeks before the season starts just to start to try and figure each other out right away."
The 26-year-old who was the Ducks second overall selection in the 2005 NHL Draft is coming off an 11-goal, 30 point season, but had previously posted 30-plus markers in four straight seasons.
Ryan said part of the reason for his struggles was the trade speculation that made it seem like each time he stepped onto the ice could be his last in Anaheim.
"It changes things," Ryan said. "It makes it tougher to produce, makes it tougher to get your mind around things on the ice sometimes. I think this is going to be a blessing in disguise for me. Hopefully I can come in and be part of something pretty special like they have had going on in Ottawa for a while now."
The former OHL standout said he should have no problem adjusting to the climate change that comes from moving from California to north of the 49th, considering the four seasons he spent playing in Owen Sound.
"It's going to be something completely different, but I'm familiar with it obviously playing in Owen Sound. I understand the weather. I can't wait."
Moving to a more hockey-centric environment is something Ryan also sees as a positive, saying he is especially excited to participate against the Senators rivals in Monreal and Toronto.
"I guess mayhem is the best word for it," Ryan said. "I'm going to get to be part of a couple of pretty cool rivalries there. You got Anaheim and L.A. and Anaheim and San Jose, but I don't think it's going to be quite like anything we've ever seen, so I'm looking most forward to those games."