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by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Smyth’s return to the Oilers brought smiles across Oil Country. It’s a renaissance, fueled by No. 94’s passion to the game, rivaled only by the commitment of Edmonton’s avid and exceptionally loyal fanbase.

Captain Canada wore Oilers colours for 12 NHL seasons before being traded to New York. In his rookie campaign, Smyth donned the orange and royal blue style that has recently been brought back in a full-time role. Since then, excluding 2003’s Heritage Classic, his memorable moments have been captured with the team’s phased-out copper and blue colours.

While some chose to open their closet and reveal the uniform they’d tucked away so many years ago, others elected to start a new chapter, complementing Smyth’s triumphant return with a fresh look.

Jaise and Lindsay Pieper, longtime Oilers fans from Saskatchewan, were the first to purchase Smyth’s jersey from the Oilers Store at Kingsway Mall. Expecting demand to be high, the couple raced down early to secure this historical item.

"We thought we better get down here as soon as we could and get our jersey before they were all sold out," Lindsay said. "We have one from the last time he was here, so we thought we better get one now that he's back as well."

Jaise added: "It feels pretty good."

Both Jaise and Lindsay have been fans since the 80s. They’ve had the opportunity to see some of the team’s greatest performers skate on surface at Rexall Place, but Smyth brought something special to the City of Champions.

"Probably the heart," Jaise said. "He was a digger, big in the dressing and everyone liked him. It’s the leadership role. He's here to mold the young guys. Hopefully it all works out to another Cup.

"We're excited; glad to see him come back."

While the current stock of Smyth jerseys are currently flying off the shelves, the Oilers Store will be accepting pre-orders via telephone. Call toll-free: 1-866-442-6966 to order yours today.
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