On Wednesday the Bruins announced they and forward Ryan Spooner have settled prior to their arbitration hearing on a one-year deal worth $2,825,000.
Ryan Spooner had a lackluster 2016 season where he played in 78 games and had just 39 points, which was 10 points short of his 2015 total. When looking at Spooner’s hockey reference page almost all of his numbers were worse compared to the season before. Lucky for him there aren’t any statistics available that judge a player’s defense efficiency but from my eye test it wasn’t a pretty sight. Not all the blame lies on Spooner though, he was thrown around the lineup in every way imaginable, that makes it quite difficult for a player to get comfortable and perform at their best ability.
During Ryan’s conference call he said a single word that gave all fans some hope and that word was “grit”. Maybe he is finally figuring out that in order to have success in all three zones Ryan will have to add some grit to his game, that was the reason he found himself in the press box multiple times during the Bruins lone playoff series vs Ottawa, his inability to handle the physical game that playoffs bring.
Good quotes from his conference call
On what he’s doing in the offseason to improve on the gritty parts of his game…
I think in terms of being more gritty and stuff like that, that’s just kind of a mental part of the game that I just have to go out there and do it, right? There’s not one specific thing I can work on that is going to make me play more gritty. That’s just kind of the makeup of my game, more of a mental thing. I’ve been working on my faceoffs, doing some wrist curls and all that kind of stuff. For other parts of my game, just strength wise, going to the gym, I’ve just been trying to do that. Skill sessions on the ice; I’ve been trying to work on my one-timer too and all that stuff too. Just some little parts of my game. I mean, saw some of my stats and some things I need to work on and some things I can bring to my game that’s going to make me more of a complete player. So, I think if I focus on those things, then I’m not going to say it’s going to make a huge difference, but it’s going to help me out for sure. And it’s going to help the team out. That’s the most important thing.
On if he feels like he is competing for a spot, position, and role this season…
I don’t think so. I mean, obviously there are some kids that are good and they’re going to be coming up and trying to take a spot. But, at the same time too, I have a lot of experience – not a lot of experience, but I have experience on top of them and I think for me, if I just go into camp and I just try to play more of a well-rounded game, I think that’s going to help me out. I think the coach [Bruce Cassidy] and I think Sweens kind of know what I’m capable of when I’m on top of my game and I think they know that when I am playing like I can play, I can help out and I’ve just got to be more of a consistent player and that’s what I need to find in my game. That’s just kind of part of the next step for me and that’s what I’m trying to find and what I want to show. So, that’s the hurdle for me that I’m, I guess, kind of chasing now. I’m just going to go to camp and show that I’ve matured as a player. I’m going to be 26 halfway through the year. So, a lot of people say your prime is at 26, 27, and 28. So, I’m going to be, I guess, just hitting that and I just want to show that I can be trusted and all that kind of stuff. Again, I’m just going to go into camp and just have fun with it and just show them there and show it’s my spot and compete with it and have fun with it too. So, yeah.