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Heritage Classic blog: Derek Ryan

Derek Ryan is writing a blog for as the Edmonton Oilers prepare to host the Calgary Flames in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday 7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, TBS, MAX.In the first installment, the forward discusses a 3 0 loss to the New York Rangers at Rogers Place on Thursday in the final tune up before the Heritage Classic, which is a celebration of the first regular season NHL outdoor game here 20 years ago between the Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens, and the frustrations of opening the season 1 5 1.He also talked about playing in the 2019 Heritage Classic in Regina, Saskatchewan, when he was a member of the Flames.It's tough right now. We are not playing the way we want to as we head into the game Sunday. It's been a struggle at times but we've gone through this a few times here at the start of the season in the past. It's been frustrating for everybody.I think that everybody in the dressing room just needs to start looking for some solutions and looking themselves in the mirror, taking care of their game. There's no finger pointing. There's no blame game in this dressing room. We need to figure it out, and figure it out on our own. Collectively, we know what we're capable of. I think we've shown that here in the past couple of years. It's not a whole different group. We just got to kind of get it together.We just want to get back at it and work our way out of this. We don't want time to sit over it and think about it.Usually in this League you're getting right back at it after a loss. We just have to focus on playing one great game Sunday. We know this team can get hot. We know how we can play if we play one great game, and focus on that. We have to let everything else go to the side and focus on one great game. If we do that Sunday we can get things going in the right direction.That said, these outdoor games are huge. It's a really special moment. The NHL does a great job. It's a really cool atmosphere, great for the city. This is going to be a special moment for my family to be able to do that and participate. We are looking forward to the family skate Saturday. I have kids now, our son Zane is 9 and our daughter August is 7, and they will remember this for the rest of their lives. It's special for each of us.It's special for me as a player. I had a pretty unique path to the NHL. These are the moments that you try to cherish.I played in the outdoor game with the Flames in Regina in 2019. But now that I have kids, and they're older, these NHL outdoor moments, if you will, are pretty cool for them too.The one in Regina Kris Russell Jersey, it was really cold, and the kids had to leave after the second period because it was so cold. Hopefully we'll have a little better weather this time and they can stick it out the whole game.The game is really cool. The family skate is extra cool for them. My son plays hockey minor hockey here in Edmonton, so it'll be a really cool moment for everybody. We all are looking forward to it.

- coming soon