Ex-Ottawa Senators player Bobby Ryan cites fan support after arrest

NHL forward Bobby Ryan is thanking fans for their support after his arrest Monday at the Nashville, Tennessee, airport on public intoxication charges.

Ryan has publicly acknowledged that he has dealt with alcohol addiction. He entered the NHL's assistance program in November 2019. He returned later that year -- scoring a hat trick in his first game back -- and at the end of the campaign was awarded the Masterton Trophy. It honors perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey.

In Nashville, Ryan reportedly was caught on video camera trying to shoplift at an airport store. He left there and went to a bar in the airport. Authorities identified him, but police said he was not compliant and posed a danger to himself.

He was arrested and booked but, after being held for eight hours, was released after the charges were dismissed.

On Wednesday, Ryan made a series of Twitter posts about the incident.

"I've had so many incredible messages today. Thank you for all of them," he said. "Today is day 1 (again). Mostly embarrassed, but I shouldn't be. Today I'm waking up and choosing better."

He added: "If you're going to really relapse.. you might as well have to travel the next day as well. I hate this, never again."

Ryan has played 14 years in the league, most recently with the Red Wings in 2020-21. He had four straight 30-goal seasons for the Ducks 2008-09 through 2011-12 and played seven seasons for the Senators. He is currently a free agent.