Buffalo Sabres: Ryan O’Reilly Apologizes for Making a Bad First Impression


Ryan O’Reilly Appreciates the Support From the Buffalo Sabres After Drinking Driving Incident

Ryan O’Reilly arrived in Western New York last weekend, in preparation for his first season with the Buffalo Sabres. Understandably, he would have preferred to be just left alone.

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Unfortunately, when you’re a little under two months removed from being charged with impaired driving, that’s not going to happen. The Sabres number one center is due to appear at court on Thursday, in London, Ontario.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when you’re young. Heck, we’ve all been there.

However, there is never any excuse for drink driving. Plus, you’d think O’Reilly would have been a little smarter, especially less than a week after signing the richest contract in franchise history.

Regardless, it’s done now, and it’s up to the courts (and then the NHL) to decide what punishment is appropriate for the 24-year old. Under Canada’s Highway Traffic Act, penalties could include a maximum of six months in jail, a fine of $400-$2,000, seven demerit points on his license and a suspended license for up to two years.

As you can imagine, a lot of the media wanted to speak to O’Reilly about the incident on Tuesday. However, he is somewhat bound by the legal aspect.

Mar 8, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Buffalo Sabres new center Ryan O’Reilly (90) skates after the puck in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As O’Reilly told John Vogl of The Buffalo News: “After this week it’ll be sorted out and I can comment more on it, but it’s an unfortunate situation.

“I’m not going to say exactly what has happened – that’s going to come out in court. I’ll just be happy when it’s taken care of and I can just move on and start playing hockey.”

One thing the 2009 second round draft pick was able to do, was apologize for what happened: “With the way the Sabres have invested in me and seen light in me, to be involved in a situation like that it’s definitely unfortunate.

“I would never want to do that (again). So I definitely apologize to all the fans and just the kids that see the situation.”

O’Reilly has been in the fortunate position of having people within the Sabres organization on hand, to help him deal with the repercussions of what happened: “It can be a little difficult at times, but everyone here has been nice about it and supported me.

“To have that, it makes it much easier. I just focus on being here and let that thing take care of itself.”

The 2014 Lady Byng Trophy winner previously advised that he wants to take on a leadership role in Buffalo. For now though, especially after what’s happened, he’s just concentrating on trying to fit in with his new teammates.

Under the circumstances, O’Reilly has been a bit tentative, as he told Vogl: “I’m a little nervous coming in, meeting guys and getting settled.

“You don’t want to be the guy asking for things all the time, so it takes a little bit to get comfortable with everyone. But it’s a good group of people, and every day I feel more and more comfortable.”

Overall, the Clinton, Ontario native will be happy once the court case is out the way, and he can concentrate on playing hockey: “Once that gets taken care of, (it’ll be) nice to be able to focus on the hockey and focus on winning hockey games.”

Next: Cody Franson firmly on the Sabres radar

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