The ex-NHL star was detained in indecent form. Ryan needs to take an example from Zherdev

Elena Kuznetsova

Elena Kuznetsova

Ex-NHL player arrested at the airport while drunk

Nikolai was able to overcome alcohol addiction and returned to hockey, although at some point they put an end to him even in the VHL.

Once Bobby Ryan was the second number in the NHL draft after Sidney Crosby, signed multi-million dollar contracts, scored 20-30 or more goals in a season, won Olympic silver with the US team. And all this time he was dragging behind him a huge baggage of family ups and downs, which eventually overtook him.

Ryan’s childhood cannot be called cloudless. When the boy was 10 years old, his father beat his mother half to death, and then, together with his family (the boy’s mother, in spite of everything, forgave her husband), went on the run to avoid justice. They moved to the other side of the country, lived under assumed names, but a few years later Bobby’s father was found and put in jail.

Mom single-handedly pulled the boy, who was predicted to have a great hockey future. His father was released from prison shortly before the 2005 draft, before which Bobby revealed his family history. Anaheim was not afraid of his past and chose him at number two, and a few years later the striker made his debut in the NHL. In his first full season with the Ducks, he scored 31 goals and finished second in Calder Trophy voting. He was a rising star in the NHL, got married, had children, but still could not get rid of the terrible past and regularly visited a psychologist.

Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

At some point, Ryan broke down. Perhaps the last straw was the death of his mother in 2016, which he took very hard. Mom was his main support and support, she gave him the path to life. “My life could have turned out differently, given what happened to me as a child. There were many moments when I could ruin everything, get on a slippery path. But instead, I made every single one of my dreams come true. And everything is thanks to you, ”he wrote in a farewell letter to his mother.

In the fall of 2019, Ryan sought help from the NHL due to a drinking problem. He spent several weeks in isolation in a special hospital, and then continued treatment with a psychotherapist. In February 2020, he returned to action, scoring a hat-trick in his second match after undergoing treatment. He won the Bill Masterton Trophy that year for his loyalty to hockey. Nevertheless, the Senators bought his contract the same year (he hadn’t played for more than seven million for a long time), but Detroit gave him another chance.



He was treated for alcoholism, made a hat-trick, cried on the bench.  Bobby Ryan back in hockey
He was treated for alcoholism, made a hat-trick, cried on the bench. Bobby Ryan back in hockey

Ryan had a great start to the season, scoring four goals in his first three games, but then his performance dropped dramatically, and in the spring he received another injury. He wanted to stay in Detroit, went through a review in the fall, but he was not offered a full-fledged contract. Officially, the striker did not end his career, but this season he did not play anywhere. And the alcohol problems are back.

The day before it became known that Ryan was arrested for being in a public place while intoxicated. At the Nashville airport, the hockey player first left the store without paying for the purchases, then left the stolen goods on the counter in another store and went to the bar.

The police report says that Ryan did not obey the requirements of the police, he strongly reeked of alcohol, his tongue was slurred, he could hardly stand on his feet and did not understand where he was. The police took him to the station and kept him there for several hours, but in the end the court dismissed the case, and the hockey player was released.

The next day, he turned to the fans on social networks, admitted that he had lost his temper, thanked the fans for their support and said that he was ashamed and he was starting his fight against alcohol addiction again.




“I was blessed in the temple.” Zherdev resumed his career and left to play in Europe

Alcoholism can be overcome, even in hockey you don’t have to look far for an example. Suffice it to recall Nikolai Zherdev – a man who could become a superstar, but ruined his career with alcohol. The attacker made countless attempts to get out of this quagmire. He was given many chances, and in rare moments of enlightenment, Zherdev’s hands were as magical as before, but systematic sprees spoiled everything every time.

Only when they finally put an end to Zherdev and even kicked him out of the VHL, he found strength in himself and took up his mind. Now Nikolai is sober as glass. Last season he returned to hockey and spent a year in Europe, and now he is being tested in Dynamo Minsk. Although he will never achieve in hockey what he could achieve with his talent, he has already won the main victory in his life. Overcame a destructive passion.

Bobby Ryan can take an example from him. Zherdev is proof that there is always a chance to pull yourself away from the brink, the main thing is not to stop trying and believe in yourself.

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