by Chet Sellers
Bobby Ryan had quite the busy day yesterday – radio interviews in the morning, meet and greets and photo ops in the afternoon, and even a little time to teach our future stars how it’s done, all while navigating through a maze of rabid Senators fans welcoming him to Ottawa on the most humid day of the year. It’s a wonder he still had the mental acuity to figure out how to get in and out of the Kanata Centrum parking lot. But did Bobby have the most action-packed day ever for a Senators player? Let’s look at some other contenders!
2013 – Erik Karlsson joins Twitter, telling his wife, “if my fans are going to take the time to tweet to me, the least I can do is read every single one.” After gaining almost 20,000 followers in the first few hours, Karlsson is awake for two straight days, quietly scrolling on his iPhone. Way to go, Erik!
2003 – Jason Spezza sees the movie “Shanghai Knights” and is unable to stop giggling for a period of 14 hours, which lasts through the night and into the next day; hilarity slowly gives way to terror as he realizes his spasms have become involuntary. Team doctors later diagnose him with two cracked ribs and vertigo, which he battles for several weeks. Stick to dramas, Jason!
1922 – Ed “Sweeps” Barleycorn takes home the hardest worker award at the Senators’ development camp, which at that time mostly consists of clearing brush on owner Tommy Gorman’s land in exchange for three squares, board, and a little bit of folding money on the weekend. Later that day he dies of polio. Quite the day, Ed!
1997 – Ron Tugnutt sets a team record for most lineup moves in one day when he is added, then removed, then added, then removed, then added, then removed, then definitely removed, then added, and then finally removed for good as that night’s starter by head coach Jacques Martin. Tugnutt makes 42 saves that night in a 2-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Attaboy, Ron!
2009 – Chris Phillips manages the impossible feat of leaving his Kanata home at 4 PM, buying two pairs of slacks and a polo shirt at the Rideau Centre, and still making it back home in time for a 6 PM dinner despite rush-hour traffic in both directions. When asked how he did it, Phillips replies, “Well, the 417 eastbound really only gets bad past Pinecrest, so I usually get off there and come in along the river parkway – I know everybody worries about the bottleneck around Tunney’s Pasture but it’s not that bad if you can get through before 4:30, and then on the way back I actually came across the Alexandra Bridge and along the Québec side before crossing back at Island Park, then took the parkway to Woodroffe and came down to the 417 westbound because it tends to unclog there, but got off at Moodie and came home across Carling because the highway gets bad again at Eagleson.” Got it! Congratulations, Big Rig!
1995 – Outperforming Alexandre Daigle but earning significantly less, Alexei Yashin demands a new contract 134 times in a 24-hour period. General manager Randy Sexton remarks, “After a while you don’t really hear it, like a water garden.” Hope you’re doing well, Alexei!
2006 – Ray Emery has a pretty typical day.
2012 – Thought to be in the twilight of his career, all-star weekend in Ottawa becomes a celebration of the career of the league’s longest-serving captain, hometown superstar Daniel Alfredsson. On the first day, Alfredsson makes appearances at a number of official fan events, pals around at the draft that evening before selecting his all-star team, and still finds time to sit down to half a dozen interviews, including this glowing TSN profile (TRIGGER WARNING: last minute or so - seriously, you’ve been warned). Flushed with pride, Alfredsson tells anyone who will listen, “I love this city. I plan to retire a Senator, live here the rest of my life, and hopefully be buried at centre ice in the downtown arena where this team will be playing in 2075. Those plans are written in stone as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t imagine any set of circumstances under which they’d change. You can write that down.” No one actually does write it down, because duh, that’s obviously what he’s going to do.
Welcome to the team, Bobby!