Persistent negative criticisms on social media have led to Bobby Ryan’s decision to quit Twitter
Rather than maintain his public account, Ryan has elected to abandon his verified account that had more than 250,000 followers for a new and private account that will allow him to follow his favourite accounts anonymously.
And just when you thought you could only expect diminished returns on the ice.
It’s not the first time that a Senators player has shut down their Twitter account.
Mark Borowiecki admitted to shutting down his account (@TheBoroCop) last season and Curtis Lazar did the same as he endured a goalless 2016-17 season before being dealt to the Calgary Flames at this year’s trade deadline.
For struggling or underappreciated players, social media can be mentally exhausting as these players are constantly bombarded with messages criticizing their respective talents or performances.
It’s just a shame that Ryan has made an effort to remain out of the public’s eye since he is one of the most engaging and candid personalities on the team.
Although Ryan admitted to TSN‘s Ian Mendes that there was no particular moment or tweet that led to his decision, some believed that his decision was a culmination of a discussion that happened on Twitter last night between myself, SensChirp and Shawn Simpson.
It began with a tweet by me that eventually was relayed to Ryan via a Sens fan who tagged Ryan in the conversation.
Whether it was the straw that broke the camel’s back is only known to Ryan, but any criticism of Ryan was isolated to his inconspicuous absence from the lineup and his relative on-ice performance this season.
“People ask about the negativity thing, but you can filter that as much as you want. I try not to engage because I’m never going to win an argument with a guy in his basement, so why bother?” Ryan explained. “You get nowhere with it. At a certain point, you can get it out of your life and not worry about it.”
Shitting on people who live in basements are Ryan’s forte however.
“I got Instagram in the summer. I chirped [Ryan] Dzingel on his account all summer long and he had no clue who it was until he moved into my basement and I told him it was me,” laughed Ryan. “And he told me, ‘Hey, I was losing sleep over those comments.’”
In Ryan’s case, as Ottawa’s highest-paid player, he has been a frequent source of criticism because he has one of the worst contracts in the NHL. His performance and production is not commensurate with the opportunity cost and contract extension that the Ottawa Senators gave him — seven years and $50.25-million ($7.25-million average annual value). (As an aside, Ryan has five more seasons remaining on his current deal.)
In fairness to Ryan, it’s not his fault that the Senators painted themselves into a corner by fucking up the Daniel Alfredsson contract negotiations and feeling like they had to make amends to their fan base after an improbable playoff run during the lockout shortened season. It never helped that the Senators acquired paid a handsome price for a player who had one-year remaining on his deal before unrestricted free agency and put the organization in a position where they felt compelled to hand Ryan a blank cheque to remain with the organization.
And here we are.
Say what you want about the biting criticisms, but I’ll give Shawn Simpson credit: he’s consistently open with his critiques from the moment that he took his job with TSN 1200.
Since day one, he’s been blatantly honest with his criticisms and more to the point, they’re pretty accurate. From calling out Bobby Ryan to Mika Zibanejad on their conditioning, he’s been bang on as more information comes to the light of day. I mean, there’s a reason why Bryan Murray refuses to let Simpson interview him whenever he make an appearance on ‘The Drive’ program. Dude’s brutally honest.