He saw bad influences on the fringes where no one else did. Bob Stevenson knew another Bob: Bob Clarke, the Flyers’ Hall of Famer, owned the gym where Bob worked out. 29, 1997, father and son had second-row seats at the Core States Center with the Blues in the house. Bob took his son home, put him to bed and then slipped out for a couple of beers with the boys. He’d had charges from a bar fight dismissed a few months earlier. Bob says he still loved Melody, still felt that his son needed him.He saw them around Melody’s life, around his son’s. Bob was pulling for Clarkey’s Flyers, Bobby likewise, even though Brett Hull was his favourite player. The Stevensons’ lives were shattered when Bob got home at , Bob doing the shattering. The idea of public shame, of a trial, of going to jail, of being separated from his wife and, most of all, he’ll say, not being there for his son, was too much for Bob. Ryan told Bobby that going forward his last name was Ryan too, that the other name was never to be mentioned. People whom the Ryans met through youth hockey had questions about Shane’s background, thought something wasn’t flush about the family’s story.They knew he would have liked to have stayed in Owen Sound and skate with the team and work out in the gym and drink in the fan worship, just like the other guys. At 26, he’s entering year four of a five-year contract that will pay him .5 million over its term, and his best earning years are still ahead of him. That’s what people who don’t know Bobby Ryan think. He was drafted there in 2005, but he’s been back to the city only once, with the Ducks, scoring the winner in a shootout a couple of years ago. That’s what he told his mother when she picked him up from a neighbour’s house after her four-day stay in hospital for treatment of a fractured skull and internal bleeding.
He pushed himself, pushed his son, wanted the absolute best, took control of everything within the bounds of family and still couldn’t be satisfied. Bob had rigged a tape recorder to the home phone, and when he checked it that night, he found out that Melody had made a call. Today, she says she still loved Bob, still thought Bobby needed his father.
Clarke told them that Owen Sound would be a good fit, that a former Flyer, Mike Stothers, was the coach there.
The Attack brought Bobby up the shores of Georgian Bay, showed him around town, something just short of wining and dining.
And a lot of people in their neighbourhood knew little Bobby Stevenson, a precocious hockey talent on the ice or on Rollerblades. He was released on ,000 bail and skipped it a few weeks later, landing in El Segundo, Calif. Ryan was his wife’s maiden name, so it was no stretch for Melody to use it again when she drove across the country with Bobby to rejoin her husband and try to stitch the family back together. “They were serious, so I only had to be told once,” Bobby says. They had their suspicions, thinking that he seemed a lot like a kid from Philly whom they’d seen in national tournaments, though no one pushed it, simply because they wanted to protect Bobby.
Given the risks he was taking, it was fitting that Shane Ryan supported his family as a professional gambler. The Ryans lived day-to-day for a couple of years in L. Eventually he’d slip up, and the Feds would come knocking. marshals broke down the door of the apartment, and he watched as they hauled his father away.