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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders' new all-star acquisition arrives tonight, will join team for Thursday's morning skate

For hockey fans in both countries, it will likely evoke memories of the day Wayne Gretzky traveled from Edmonton to Los Angeles.

Ryan Smyth, class act that he is, made the decision not to speak publicly yesterday about his trade to the Islanders for understandable reasons. The Oilers were retiring Mark Messier's number last night, and Smyth wanted to limit distractions.

So before boarding a plan for New York this morning, Smyth will hold a farewell press conference before what is expected to be a huge gathering of reporters at Edmonton International Airport. Check and the other major Canadian sports websites for coverage of what should be an emotional scene.

With the time difference, Smyth's plane will not land in New York until tonight. Canadian reporters who jumped on airplanes within moments of the announcement of the trade making it to the Coliseum in time to see Trent Hunter's overtime goal were a bit disappointed to learn they will not get a shot of Smyth at practice today.

After a proper night's sleep on Long Island tonight, Smyth will step on the ice of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at approximately 10:30 am on Thursday. About an hour later, Ryan Smyth will be formally introduced as a member of the New York Islanders.

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