Today it was announced that Edmonton Oilers legend and all around beauty, Ryan Smyth, will be honoured with Hockey Canada’s Order of Hockey in Canada.
Ryan Smyth, known as Captain Canada to anyone with a working brain box, gets a much deserved nomination for the Hockey Canada initiative that looks to celebrate individuals for their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of hockey. With that in mind, Smyth’s nomination seems like a no-brainer. I mean, is there any player that gave more to their country than Ryan Smyth?
Smytty served as Team Canada’s captain at the world championships six times, won two world titles, had two Olympic appearances (gold in 2002), won a World Junior gold, World Cup gold, and a Spengler Cup title. Needless to say, Ryan Smyth is as deserving of this recognition as anyone.
He earned the nickname Captain Canada, having captained the red-and-white at six IIHF World Championships, winning two gold medals and one silver over that span. He is an Olympic and IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medallist, and a Spengler Cup and World Cup of Hockey champion.
Smyth is the all-time leader for games played by a Canadian at the IIHF World Championship. And when he wasn’t wearing the Team Canada jersey, Smyth also managed to log 842 points in 1,270 NHL games over 19 seasons with Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Colorado, and Los Angeles.
Over the course of his 1270 NHL games, Smyth collected 842 points (386G, 456A) with four NHL clubs (one that matters) and left his mark on anyone that was lucky enough to watch him play. That, in itself, is an impressive career that doesn’t even take into account all of the time spent with a maple leaf on his chest. Smyth played the game with the kind of heart and determination that made in a fan favourite everywhere he played, and it makes all kinds of sense for him to be nominated for this award.
The Order of Hockey in Canada was founded in 2012 by Hockey Canada and nominees are selected by a committee of 12 members. To date, the Order of Hockey in Canada has recognized 21 legends, including Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Pat Quinn, and Mario Lemieux which puts Ryan Smyth in some amazing company. Other nominees for this year’s award go to, Mike Babcock and Danielle Goyette.
Ryan Smyth, we speak your name. Congratulations.