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GARRIOCH: Bobby Ryan opens up about his battles with alcohol and his determination to resume playing – Ottawa Sun



Bobby Ryan spoke from the heart Friday about the biggest battle he’s faced in his life.

Speaking at the Canadian Tire Centre for the first time since entering the NHL’s Players’ Assistance program in November, the 32-year-old winger told reporters he’s battling alcoholism and is determined to get his career back on track when he returns to the lineup next week.

When that happens, the 12-year veteran and 2015 all-star will be suiting up for the first time since Nov. 16 against the Buffalo Sabres. He had a goal and three assists in 14 games before shutting it down, but also a resume that included four 30-goal seasons with the Anaheim Ducks before being traded to the Senators to start the 2013-14 campaign.


Ryan indicated he’d been dealing with his alcoholism issue for years, and he sought help only when it finally got to the point where he realized he couldn’t do it on his own.

“I’m doing great,” said Ryan. “I’ve been back in some capacity since December and what the capacity is gets gradually updated. I’m doing very, very well. It’s been trying at times but everybody has been very supportive and my recovery has been a process and a learning thing for me, for sure. I’ve come a long way and I’ve just learned to get a little bit better each day.”

Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators returned to the ice at Canadian Tire Centre, February 21, 2020.

Jean Levac /

Postmedia News

Ryan said making this decision wasn’t easy because this is something he would have rather dealt with privately. And though he’d tried to quit drinking on his own, it wasn’t working.

“It’s been tough. It’s gotten a little easier every day as you get a little more integrated, just being around the guys,” he said. “The first month was very tough, and then you come back and you’re very isolated with what you’re doing and trying to make the baby steps to come back. You’re going through the protocol, but you’re not around the guys.

“Thankfully for me, I got the other affairs in order and I was able to come to the rink and get a little bit better and a little bit stronger every day. The guys have been great. Away from the rink, my wife (Danielle) has been an absolute rock star, allowing me to do this. She’s taken on more than she’s probably had to, but she’s been absolutely incredible.”

Ryan was at the point where his life was out of control and he had to make this step if he was going to have any chance at recovery. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing for him to do.

“It’s something I’ve been battling for a while. I’ve tried on my own and I was already getting help for it,” Ryan said. “What I was doing wasn’t enough, I was trying white knuckle things and do things the wrong way and I’d have 20 days of nothing and one really bad one and you just can’t get better without it.

Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators returned to the ice at Canadian Tire Centre, February 21, 2020.

Jean Levac /

Postmedia News

“There’s such a stigma around asking for help, and just trying to do it. I’ve done that for a long time and finally, I guess you could call it a panic attack, but it was more of a realization that the route I was going had no good end in sight. That’s not just professionally, but personally.

“I didn’t want to continue to do that. I had a lot of times when I woke up in the morning just over-ridden with guilt and shame and saying I would do something. I’d do it for 12 days then I’d be messing up again. It wasn’t going to lead … it had no good end.”

Doing this during the season wasn’t the route Ryan wanted to take but, in the end, he had no choice but to leave the team in Detroit to enter the program.

“That’s probably why it took me longer,” he said. “In a perfect world, I would have gone in June and just kind of done it quietly. I realized it happens when it happens and I spent two weeks agonizing over the fact it was going to be a media thing for me. I spent months and years before that trying to avoid that by just doing it on my own.

“I got to a point where I said enough is enough of this shame and the guilt and not being the person you need to be for your family. It happens when it happens. I’ve learned that and I’m starting to accept it a little bit. I’ve dreaded this day for the better part of three months but if you’re going to take time to try to heal yourself you’re going to have to face the music, right?”

A father of two, Ryan is pleased he took this step.

“I just needed to learn how to start,” the Cherry Hill, N.J. native said. “I don’t have any of the fear of missing out or the issue of not drinking. The issue for me was stopping. Unfortunately, I just never had a period of my life when there were people around me to help me really stop. It took me going somewhere to figure that out and giving myself a dry period to start.

“That was very, very beneficial for me. It helped immensely. As tough as it is personally to deal with, I’m immensely happy that I did it.”

Other players who have been through this have reached out to Ryan to help him.

“Everybody knows some of the guys who’ve been through the program and can be a little more vocal about it and I’ve talked to all of those guys. I’ve played with some of them and really leaned on them,” Ryan said. “Some guys reached out that I had no clue had already gone through it and they did it quietly and they did it in June and it worked for them.

“That kind of support within the NHL I found overwhelming. It was incredible how many guys reached out that I had no idea about and had no prior contact.”

Ryan is hoping that by sharing his message, he can help others and you have to believe that will be the case because of the details he used to describe his issue.

“In that sense, there’s a silver lining,” he said. “I’d like to be a role model for other reasons, but everything led me to here. I wish it hadn’t taken so long in the last three years to get to where I am, but I would urge anybody … I read so many articles about other players in certain capacities because I had a lot of time on my hands that I drew parallels with a lot of guys.

“So, if there’s anybody who hears it, and can recognize something and find a way to ask  for help, then I urge them do it.”

Ryan said he feels at peace with himself.

“A lot of what I’ve been through is very public, not just in this regard, but with familiar stuff,” Ryan said. “It’s not a catalyst for it, but it’s a lot of it. I think for a very long time, I just kind of put my head down and never dealt with any of it. Things just continued to escalate for the last three years. My therapy is going to continue. It’s not fun, but it’s something I need to let go and put in my past.

“I’ve started to do that but I feel great and at peace with a lot of it but I’ve still got to let go some more of it.”

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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Garnacho on target as United beats Crystal Palace in League Cup defence



MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Seven months after lifting the trophy, Manchester United made a successful start to its defense of the English League Cup on Tuesday by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.

Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro fired the holders into a 2-0 first-half lead at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial added a third after the break in the third-round match.

It is now back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag’s team, which has endured a disappointing start to the season.

The dominant performance against an understrength Palace followed Saturday’s narrow victory at Burnley and will give United fans hope the team has turned its form around.


“The mood is always good, but of course when you are not winning at United there is disappointment, and there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there,” Ten Hag said. “We know we are not now in the position where we want to be. So we have to build up, we have to catch up and then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. Don’t get too far ahead.”

The League Cup ranks fourth among English soccer’s most important trophies. But Ten Hag still savored last season’s success.

Victory against Newcastle in February’s final at Wembley Stadium ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and saw Ten Hag deliver silverware in his first season at the club. He went on to also reach the FA Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City, and also guided United back into the Champions League to mark an impressive campaign.

Things have not gone so well this term, with his team losing four out of five games before beating Burnley 1-0.

This latest victory was far more convincing, even if Palace benched regular starters Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Joachim Anderson and was also without forward Odsonne Edouard.

Ten Hag also made changes with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund on the bench and Christian Eriksen absent.

Mason Mount, however, made his first appearance since Aug. 19 after returning from an injury.

Garnacho fired United ahead in the 21st minute after converting Diogo Dalot’s cutback in the box.

His low shot had too much power for Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Dean Henderson.

Johnstone was tested again moments later when Dalot blasted an effort from an angle, which the keeper blocked.

He was beaten again, however, in the 27th, this time by Casemiro, who headed in Mount’s corner to double United’s lead.

Martial added a third 10 minutes into the second half when firing across goal after meeting Casemiro’s looping ball to the far post.

United plays Palace again in the Premier League on Saturday and the Londoners showed their threat when twice forcing saves from ‘keeper Andre Onana later in the match. But manager Roy Hodgson did not sound confident about securing a different outcome when the teams next meet.

“We are going to have to become a totally different team in the way we approach the game and the way we play the game,” he said.


Third-division Exeter produced a shock 1-0 win against Luton to knock the Premier League club out of the competition. Luton made 10 changes from the team that picked up its first topflight point of the season against Wolverhampton on Saturday, but the result will still go down as a big upset. Demetri Mitchell scored the winner in the 83rd, but Exeter had to see out the game with 10 men after he was sent off in the 88th.

Wolverhampton was also eliminated after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at second-division Ipswich. Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes had seemingly put the visitors on course for the next round after goals inside the first 15 minutes. But Omari Hutchinson, Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor sealed a comeback win for Ipswich.


Burnley is still waiting for its first win in the league this season, but it is powering on in the cup after a 4-0 win against Salford City, the fourth division club co-owned by Manchester United greats including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Bradford 2-0 and Port Vale won 2-1 against Sutton United.

Fourth-division Mansfield beat third-division Peterborough 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Lucas Akins’ penalty to even the score in the 93rd had sent the game to a shootout.


James Robson is at


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Matt Irwin Deserves a Spot on the Canucks’ NHL Roster, Right?



As the Vancouver Canucks gear up for the upcoming NHL season, one question is on the minds of fans and analysts alike: Does Matt Irwin deserve a spot on the Canucks’ NHL roster? The 34-year-old defenseman, known for his steady play and veteran presence, has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks, and there are compelling arguments in favor of giving him a roster spot.

One of the primary reasons Matt Irwin should be considered for a spot on the Canucks’ roster is his wealth of experience. Irwin has played over 400 games in the NHL, with stints on multiple teams, including the San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators, and most recently, the Buffalo Sabres. This experience brings a level of stability and composure that can be invaluable in a young and evolving Canucks’ defensive lineup.

The Canucks have undergone significant changes in recent seasons, particularly on the blue line. Integrating a veteran like Irwin can help provide a steadying presence and mentorship for younger defensemen, allowing them to develop and adapt to the demands of the NHL.

Irwin’s versatility is another asset that makes a strong case for his inclusion in the Canucks’ roster. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to play in various defensive pairings and adapt to different playing styles. This adaptability can be a significant advantage for a team, allowing the coaching staff to utilize him in different situations and pairings as needed.


Furthermore, Irwin is known for his reliability and consistency. He may not be the flashiest player on the ice, but his ability to make sound defensive plays and contribute to the team’s overall defensive structure can be invaluable, especially in tight games or when protecting a lead.

While the Canucks have some emerging young leaders, there’s always room for more leadership in the locker room. Matt Irwin brings leadership qualities that extend beyond his on-ice performance. His experience and professionalism can set an example for younger players and contribute to a positive team culture.

Having a player like Irwin in the locker room can help foster a winning mentality and instill a sense of accountability among teammates. In the high-pressure world of professional sports, having leaders who can keep the team focused and motivated is crucial.

Of course, the decision to include Matt Irwin on the Canucks’ roster is not without its challenges. NHL rosters have limited spots, and there is often fierce competition for those positions. Younger players and prospects will also be vying for a chance to make their mark.

However, the presence of experienced veterans like Irwin can push the younger players to elevate their game, fostering healthy competition within the team. Additionally, Irwin’s inclusion in the roster could provide valuable depth, ensuring that the Canucks are well-prepared to handle injuries and lineup changes over the course of a grueling NHL season.

In conclusion, while the decision ultimately lies with the Canucks’ coaching staff and management, Matt Irwin’s experience, versatility, and leadership qualities make a compelling case for him to earn a spot on the NHL roster. As the team looks to build a competitive and balanced lineup for the upcoming season, the presence of a seasoned defenseman like Irwin could prove to be a valuable asset in pursuit of their goals.

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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada



Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.

Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation

One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.

Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.

Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures

Security is paramount when it comes to online gambling. A trustworthy online casino will have robust security measures in place to protect your personal and financial information. Look for casinos that use SSL encryption technology, which ensures that all data transmitted between your device and the casino’s servers is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers. Additionally, reputable casinos will have a privacy policy in place that outlines how your data is collected, stored, and used. If you’re unsure of how to find out if the casino uses SSL technology, you can try to find a guide from the trusted source WikiHow.


Examining the Casino’s Game Selection

Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.

Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.

Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support

Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.

Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms

Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.

In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.

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