For some Oilers alumni, it’s hard to pinpoint some of the small memories among the larger and more celebrated ones, but for Ryan Smyth, who retired from the game just two seasons ago, there are too many memories to count.
“There’s so many great moments,” he said. “Game 6 [of the] Stanley Cup Final, against Carolina, was probably our best game. The fans were electrifying, the stadium was — I thought the roof was going to come off!”
From the 2006 Stanley Cup run, where Smyth lost three of his teeth in Game 3 during the second round against the San Jose Sharks, to fans tossing steaks onto the ice, the 40-year-old is flooded with nostalgia.
“Not too long ago I saw the goal that [Ales Hemsky] scored with seconds left with [Jarrett Stoll] making the play to me on the blueline and just chipping it out,” he said, recalling the game-tying goal on January 4, 2007 after Dallas Stars forward Patrik Stefan misfired on the empty Edmonton net. “It’s little things along the way that you pick up and remember.”
When it comes time to say farewell to Rexall Place on April 6, Smyth recognizes the wave of emotions that will consume much of Oil Country.
“A lot of tears,” he said. “It’s more than just a hockey rink. There’s history with the old Oilers, the guys that paved the way for us, that have won Cups for these guys that are on the ice now. For sure it’s mixed emotions.”