Oilers veteran calls out the media for undeserved criticism towards teammate

Liam McCormick
January 18, 2024  (12:22)

Derek Ryan answering questions for the media.
Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers YouTube

Yesterday, the Oilers had just a practice day after keeping their 11 game win streak alive against the Leafs. During press availability after practice, Oilers veteran Derek Ryan took the opportunity to speak his mind on an issue that had clearly been bothering him - the Edmonton media's treatment of Ryan McLeod.

With McLeod now on a hot streak, Derek Ryan called out the Edmonton media for not believing in McLeod early this year. Ryan spoke about how much the media's treatment affected him mentally, and even relished the fact the McLeod is making them eat their words.
I think his game's looking great. I know that you guys were pretty hard on him early in the season, and that probably was hard on him mentally. It's really nice to see him kinda turn the corner and demand the praise from the people that have criticized him.

Early in the season, McLeod had been completely snake bitten and was unable to buy a goal. Plenty of Oilers media pundits identified McLeod as a player to move on from, and another player who couldn't give the Oilers some needed depth scoring. Luck seems to have caught up with him now, scoring 6 goals and 11 points in his last 10 games. If McLeod can keep up this rate of production, he'll be an invaluable piece to the Oilers this season and in the future.
This is also just another example of what Derek Ryan brings to the Oilers off the ice as well. As a veteran fourth line role player, Ryan can be a valuable mentor for some of the young guys emerging in similar bottom six roles, like McLeod. His experience dealing with the media in hockey hotbeds through his career is incredible to have in the locker room for the Oilers - especially so in the playoffs.
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Oilers veteran calls out the media for undeserved criticism towards teammate

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