It was an emotional scene Thursday night at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Senators player Bobby Ryan made a triumphant return after going through alcohol rehab for 100 days. Ryan scored three goals and the Ottawa fans gave him a standing ovation and serenaded the young man with chants of “Bobby!”
Ryan was overcome with emotion and wiped tears from his face as the crowd showed their appreciation of his hat-trick performance and everything he has gone through.
Ryan went into the NHL’s assistance program on Nov. 20 after admitting to being an alcoholic.
“I knew Ottawa being the community that it is that the reception would be good,” Ryan told ESPN. “It just got harder to keep the emotions down throughout the game. It was incredible. They supported me and I got to contribute. You can’t write that, the way that went. It was just an incredible evening, so thank you to all of them.”
Ryan thanked his wife, Danielle, for all of her support as he worked to get sober and back on the ice.
“To have her support and not just have her support as a hockey player, but as a husband and everything it just means a ton,” he said.