May 17, 2007
Ryder carves out own path
By MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

Michael Ryder hasn't been pestering younger brother Daniel with heaps of advice this spring.

He hasn't had to.

Daniel Ryder, after all, is faring just fine these days as he prepares to play in the Memorial Cup for the second consecutive season.

Just 12 months after appearing in junior hockey's grand showcase with the Peterbrough Petes, Ryder is in the Cup tournament once again, this time as a member of the Ontario Hockey League champion Plymouth Whalers.

After coming up short in last year's tourney, has he received any tips whatsoever from Michael, a forward with the Montreal Canadiens?

"Not really," said Daniel, a native of Newfoundland. "We've talked every now and then.

"No big deal. We see enough of each other in the summer."

Michael and Daniel live together in St. John's during the off-season. And there is nothing Daniel would like more than to return home as a Memorial Cup champion.

Daniel and the Whalers begin their title quest tomorrow night against the host Giants in Vancouver. Medicine Hat and Lewiston (Maine) round out the field in the tournament.

Acquiring Daniel from the Petes in January paid instant dividends for the Whalers. The gifted forward scored 33 points in 28 games for Plymouth, then added 16 points in the playoffs.

"It's pretty exciting," said Ryder, a third-round pick in the 2005 entry draft of the Calgary Flames. "I'm just trying to enjoy the moment and have fun."

Whalers general manager/coach Mike Vellucci has enjoyed the way Ryder has adapted to his new surroundings.

He has been great," Vellucci said. "He's going to be a great player at the next level."


CANOE.CA SLAM!