SUN Hockey Pool

Habs star keeps eye on brother

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

His brother isn't the only connection Michael Ryder has to the Calgary Flames.

The Bonavista, Nfld., product -- who still sports the high-speed, melded-word eastern accent -- says sister Susan is dating Flames farmhand Adam Pardy, who shares their hometown.

But it's brother Dan Ryder demanding attention at the moment.

The Flames' third-round pick in 2005 is off and running in his fourth season with the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes. Ryder has eight goals and 14 assists through his first nine games and seems to be carrying over momentum from the team's Memorial Cup appearance after securing the OHL title last year.

Montreal Canadiens first-liner Michael Ryder couldn't be more proud. He would have told his brother just that days ago if he could have reached him.

"I haven't talked to him, actually. He lost his cellphone and I couldn't get ahold of him," said the laid-back Hab. "But I talked to my parents there a couple of days ago and he's got it back so I'm gonna give him a call and see what's up.

"I've been checking up on him. He's off to a good start. Hopefully he can improve this year and make the team in Calgary next year."

The two haven't had much opportunity to watch each other play thanks to busy schedules but the two did skate together back home this summer.

Michael, 26, also got a glimpse of his 19-year-old sibling's talent in the OHL championship series last spring.

"It was the first time I actually got to see him play in a long time and he's improved since last time," said Michael, whose bro claimed the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as OHL playoff MVP.

"I was impressed, I've got to say that, how good he was."

The elder Ryder scored 25 goals as a rookie before the lockout and 30 in his belated sophomore season.

He's playing on the Habs' top line with Saku Koivu and Chris Higgins and already has a pair in four games.

But Michael says his little brother has the potential to be a star, too.

"I think he's more talented than I was at that age," he said.


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