GDB 82.0: CURTAIN CALL

ThankYouSmytty

Tonight marks the end of an era. Ryan Smyth will play his 1270th NHL game in what will no doubt be an emotional night at Rexall Place. For those of us that were raised on Ryan Smyth, it’s definitely going to be weird to watch. I can’t imagine there will be a dry eye in the house when Smytty’s tribute is played, the only question is whether or not we’ll be able to see it at home. We’re looking at you, CBC…

It’s a strange feeling knowing that tonight will be Ryan Smyth’s last game in the NHL. I remember watching the trade deadline, in 2007, thinking that it was only a matter of time before they would announce that he had signed another contract – we all know how that turned out. After of the shock of seeing him wear other uniforms had worn off, our hometown hero came back in the summer of 2011. At the time, the rebuild was supposed to be well underway and the Oilers should have been making a push towards the playoffs. It never happened and we’re still stuck in the basement.

Ryan Smyth wanted to be here. He wanted to be traded back to the city where he started his career so that he could raise his family and retire as an Oiler. I can only imagine what it was like for him to watch the Kings win the Stanley Cup after finishing dead last on the year. I always admired Ryan Smyth for his love of the Oilers franchise and the city we call home. I’m sure the last 3 years of his professional career haven’t been easy, but he never complained. He worked hard and praised the franchise for giving him an opportunity to come home. Tonight we say farewell to the man with the flowing mop.

Enjoy It…

Take It All In

I’m not really sure how these GDB’s are supposed to go, I’ve never written one before. All I can tell you is, the thing that’s been on my mind all day is when next season starts Ryan Smyth won’t be parked in front of the net – we’ll never see it again. That’s weird to me and it bums me out.  Even though Ryan Smyth isn’t the player he was when he made his tearful goodbye at the airport, I hope everyone really pays attention to him tonight. Even though it’s been another shitacular season, I hope that everyone enjoys, for the last time, one of the greatest players to ever pull on an Oilers sweater. 

Lineup…

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Tonight…

ShowMeYourLove

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Smytty’s last game as an Oiler ends up in a blowout as the Oilers crush the Canucks 5-1. He scores 2 power play goals to claim the record.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The opening tribute to Ryan Smyth makes everyone at Rexall tear up. Allergies are blamed, onions are banned, and Dallas Eakins’ hair remains fantastic.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Mark Fraser goes coast-to-coast, beating Dan Hamhuis wide for his 2nd goal of the season. The goal is called back due to Fraser finding a way to put himself offside even though he had the puck the entire time.

  • As a Flames fan who tunes into some of the Oilers game, couldn’t be happier to see Smyth don the “C” tonight. Consummate professional. When he announced his retirement, it even made me (a diehard Flames fan) a little sad. Sail on Smytty, your attitude, heart and drive, reached many fans far and wide.

    Crossing my fingers for a PP marker for him.

  • Rocket

    I haven’t been on here in a while. Stopped watching games before Christmas but it’s the last game of the season and 94 is retiring.

    Here’s to going out with a bang.

    • Dave "Killer" Carlson

      While I still have tuned in from time to time when I’ve had time, I wouldn’t miss watching the game tonight for anything. 100% final exam on Monday be damned.

      I remember walking around heartbroken when he was traded in 2007. Then my heart became whole again watching the first game in 2011. The fact that he was back didn’t sink in till I saw it.

      Heart and soul #94. Thank you Smytty.

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    Lose and lock up 29th.

    Win and pick 3rd (probably).

    How does an Oiler fan cope with such stresses? He watches guys like Ryan Smyth play. Man, I’m gonna miss him.

  • vetinari

    Is it me or is klefbom been amazing tonight? This guy is for real. He has to be a lock for next year. The guy is calm and has had a few good offensive chances as well.

  • Johnnydapunk

    I’m surprised to say it but I also think that no one else should ever put on his 94, I would be happy to see it up there.

    Like everyone else, I will be a bit sad to see him go, but I think it was a good move. Also a classy touch to give him the “C” for the game.

    If Al Hamilton’s Number 3 can hang up there, surely Smytty’s 94 can.

  • Alsker

    This is the saddest Oilers season ever.

    It all started with the firing of Ralf Krueger in one of the most classless moves ever. Then, there was the uber tragic death of Kristians Pelss. Followed by losing and lots of it. Our Calgary nemesis, with an inferior line up finished ahead of us. There was the departures of Smid and Hemsky, two players I would qualify as good guys. And now Smythy retires. We could call the 2013-14 season, the season of tears.

    • vetinari

      Not necessarily… finishing 28th still gives us a 14.4% chance of getting the first overall pick and we can’t pick lower than fourth overall (if someone else below us wins the lotto)… if we stay at #3 overall, Buffalo and Florida both need scoring and I can’t see them using the pick on a defensive prospect who won’t be able to run the backend for a few years, especially when they need scoring forwards.

        • vetinari

          Well, it can’t hurt, can it? If I was MacT and we won the pick, I would be talking to Buffalo about possibly swapping picks with us getting something else in return because I would be fairly certain that they would use it on a forward, and then take Ekblad with the pick. No matter what, in the top 4, we are either going to get Ekblad or a new #2 centre.

  • Sevenseven

    Highlight of the oilers season. Even with the record breaking performance of ben scrivens. It was a rough year as an Oiler fan, but that made it a lot better. Glad I watched. Smytty was my Gretzky. One of my favourite moments in sports history.

  • Serious Gord

    Let’s see – greatest Oilers (argue the order but the point is…):
    Gretz, Mess, Coffey, Fuhr, Anderson, Kurri, Ranford, Weight. Then Ryan?
    I was sitting here all day thinking “no way would I retire his jersey, he represents a lunch pail generation of losing Oilers teams”. Then I realized that he’s 6th career Oil scoring (ahead of Weight), came back to finish up here, and took a beating while here. A serious beating. Had he not been traded, he’d be 5th Oil career pts ahead of Coffey, without ever playing with the big guns.

    I’d put his # up ahead of Weight. Ahead of Lowe. Ahead of Ranford. He won’t make the HHoF – but that’s the point. Raise it.

    • Alsker

      I know its all about the emotion of the event and all, but ahead of Mr. Doug Weight, really. The guy who went to the board and said he’ll sign for what they can afford(home town discount anyways) and they traded him. Sorry after Dougie yes or maybe together(saves face for Klown)!!!!!