ATLANTA — Ryan Shannon is at a new position, developing a new identity.
But he plans on getting back to being his old self, too.
Shannon, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July, was moved from wing to centre during all the hullabaloo of the past week. In just a couple of games, he has looked comfortable and been effective.
“I know the knock on him is his size, especially defending down low in our zone, but we played against one of the most physical teams you can play against, and just his quickness, his intelligence and his body position allowed him to do a real good job in the D-zone,” coach Cory Clouston said of the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Shannon the day after the Senators’ 1-0 loss to Boston. “There was at least three or four times he was up against a much bigger player, whether it be (Milan) Lucic or (Nathan) Horton, and he did a very good job. I liked his game a lot down low.”
Shannon has been regarded as an offensive player through his college career and early NHL days, but in 2½ seasons as a Senator he has only scored 19 goals. Mind you, he has had to deal with concussion problems, too.
“I’ve had to adapt my game a little bit,” said Shannon, who was last a centre at Boston College. “The defensive side of the game is going to be important for me to stay in the league.
“I think I can be an offensive player. I’m not a big guy, I’m not going to fight many people, or anybody, we’ll see ... but I’m looking to get that (offensive) part of my game consistent and not just scoring in flurries.”
Making $625,000, Shannon hopes the Senators offer him a contract he likes.
“I’d love to fit in here. I love the city, I love the team,” the 28-year-old said. “It’s exciting for me because I get a chance to change my role, get a little more responsibility, and try to take advantage of the opportunity.”