There wasn’t a dry eye in the room in Rexall Place Friday afternoon when Ryan Smyth officially announced he would be retiring when the season comes to a close on Sunday. GM Craig Mactavish sat beside Smyth at a table in front of a large group of reporters and teammates as Smyth made his announcement.
Ryan Smyth has been a warrior in the NHL for many years, he was always ready to answer the call for Team Canada and because of this he earned the nickname “Captain Canada”. Smyth won Gold Medals for Team Canada at the 1995 World Junior Championships, 2002 Winter Olympics, 2003 and 2004 World Hockey Championships, and at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Smyth never got the opportunity to live in the glory of a Stanley Cup Championship; falling just short in the Oilers magical run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.
Smyth will play his final game Saturday night when the Oilers play host to the Vancouver Canucks. The fans in Rexall are sure to give Smyth the salute he deserves. Smyth sits tied with Glenn Anderson for most power play goals in Oiler history, it would be a fitting end if he could bounce one last puck off his butt and in the net tonight, the same way he’s been doing it since 1994.