Smyth says he's going "from one historic franchise to another"
Ryan Smyth landed on Long Island at 11:00 pm this evening.
"I'm very excited to be an Islander," Smyth said tonight. "I think people can understand that when you're in one place as long as I was in Edmonton, the news would take some time to sink in. But I'm very excited to make my debut as an Islander tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to it."
Smyth was greeted at the airport by Islanders staffers and then taken in a limousine to Long Island, where he will be welcomed by Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. When he arrives at the Coliseum on Thursday morning, he'll meet the full coaching staff, get prepped by equipment manager Scott Boggs and meet his new teammates.
After about 30 minutes on the ice in the morning, Smyth will do his first round of interviews as an Islander.
Asked about the shock of going from one team to the next, Smyth said, "It hit me today like, 'wow...Edmonton and now the Islanders.' The Oilers have an amazing tradition, but the Islanders' tradition is just as strong. So I look at it as going from one historic franchise to another.
"I'm very proud to be an Islander."
NOTES: Newsday's Greg Logan got an exclusive interview with Smyth during his flight layover early this evening. Check newsday.com tonight for details and full coverage in tomorrow's editions of Newsday.