Oilers veteran forward Ryan Smyth has enjoyed a long successful career. After being drafted sixth overall in 1994, Smyth has played 15 seasons with the Oilers (1994-2007, 2011-2014).
With a power play goal last night against Columbus, Smyth moved just two back of Wayne Gretzky and three back of Glen Anderson for the number one spot on the Oilers' all-time career power play goals list.
Smyth said when he came into the league, he had no idea he would be mentioned with players of that calibre.
"No, not at all," said Smyth. "Obviously I've played more years here than they had but they're phenomenal hockey players and it's quite an honour to be mentioned with those names."
"I knew he was up high on the list," said Smyth's teammate Sam Gagner. "I didn't know how close but he's unbelievable at it, getting in front of the net and making sure that he's big and he's tipping pucks and just winning battles and he's been great at it for a number of years. It helps our power play. Hopefully he can get a couple of more here throughout the rest of the year and keep moving up the list."
Smyth said he was told last night how close he was and is honoured by the recognition.
"I've always thought it's been an honour and a privilege to play the game itself," said Smyth. "To contribute is one thing, but when you're with the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Glen Anderson and the list goes on-and-on, to be mentioned with those names is quite an honour. It's a lot of fun and… we'll see what happens."
"We all have a lot of respect for Smytty in here and the way he's approached the game," said Gagner. "Just how hard he competes. You don't have the type of career he's had, the numbers he's put up, without a huge level of commitment and compete level and the way he brings it every night. That's amazing to watch."
Smyth now has 123 power play goals with the Oilers. He needs 126 to tie Glen Anderson's club record.