SMYTH TO SPENGLER

Faced with lunatics and lawyers playing the most boring game of chicken in human memory, Ryan Smyth did the only rational thing available to him: packed up the family, inlaws, dogs and cats and took off to Europe to represent his country.

In a hockey world gone mad, Ryan Smyth has been working hard on the ice with the Edmonton Oil Kings (reportedly helping Mitch Moroz with his work in front of the net–it paid off the other night with a nice goal) and is taking a job with the Canadian entry at the Spengler Cup. Gene Principe’s story on Captain Canada is here.

Ryan Smyth’s NHL career is dwindling with each passing day, and his approach to the lockout appears to be mature and rational. I pray God others in his industry notice.

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13 Responses to "SMYTH TO SPENGLER"

  1. JohnnyRocket says:

    Bless his heart.

  2. Lucinius says:

    Damnit, LT…

    For a moment, when I saw this headline.. all I saw was “Smyth to” and was transported back in time and it felt like getting the gut punched all over again.

    Thankfully I then recalled the lockout and saw “Spengler”, but god damn.

  3. Woodguy says:

    If 94 didn’t play hockey, he’d be loading trucks witha forklift, or re-stocking shelves at night.

    He’d be great at either of those.

    Probably be the lead hand.

    But he doesn’t do either of those.

    He plays hockey.

    He great at that too.

    Play hockey.

  4. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    If 94 didn’t play hockey, he’d be loading trucks witha forklift, or re-stocking shelves at night.

    He’d be great at either of those.

    Probably be the lead hand.

    But he doesn’t do either of those.

    He plays hockey.

    He great at that too.

    Play hockey.

    Ride Zamboni nights and weekends.

  5. Rocknrolla says:

    Woodguy,

    If anyone didn’t catch the interview of Schmitty by Strudwick there were some good jems in there. Likely available own podcast and I know he transcribed part of it on ON.

    The thing I felt after hearing the interview was, “Man, this guy is such a heart and soul player. We are lucky to have him back. Wouldn’t it be just great if he could hang in there with the right workout and supplements and hoist that cup with our young crew before he hangs em up.”

    Lets go kids…time to help someone live the dream they deserve..

  6. Radman says:

    Remember well that night in 2006 when he took Pronger’s clearing attempt in the chops. They scraped his chicklets off the ice, and sent him for repairs. Might have missed a shift. Was at the game with my son who was 7 at the time. That’s what warriors do, son. We still talk about it.

    Well done Smitty. In many ways, you’re the face of this town.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Radman:
    Remember well that night in 2006 when he took Pronger’s clearing attempt in the chops. They scraped his chicklets off the ice, and sent him for repairs. Might have missed a shift. Was at the game with my son who was 7 at the time. That’s what warriors do, son. We still talk about it.

    Well done Smitty. In many ways, you’re the face of this town.

    The guy is legend for overcoming pain. I don’t remember the year, but he got clipped against the Hawks and had an ankle injury (this was maybe a decade ago, I think the D man was Alexander Karpovtsev) but found a way to get back in time for the Olys/WJ’s (I honestly can’t recall the year or this would be a much better post). :-)

  8. russ99 says:

    Awesome – great choice, the Spengler Cup is a quality tournament.

    Plus Davos this time of year is a really fun town, even if you don’t ski.

  9. blackdog says:

    That was Salt Lake LT. He was injured in fall of 2001 and got back in time to play and help win that Gold. Played on a pretty effective line with Lindros and Nolan iirc.

    This is the thing that Hockey Canada gets right sometimes and sometimes not. You can play top guys in bottom six roles. They’ll adapt and then when you need that goal (which you invariably do) there’s a lot better chance of getting it when your ‘checkers’ are guys like Nieuwendyk or Toews than when its Rob Zamuner. Plus these guys can drive the play.

    I know in juniors a lot of the stars don’t play a lot of defensive hockey but it still makes me crazy when they say a kid who is a fantastic player gets cut because he’s not a fit for the bottom six.

    Dumb.

  10. DeadmanWaking says:

    You want excitement?

    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    Human Hands Evolved for Punching

    Guys and gals with glass jaws nervously eye the exit as the burly men tighten the belts on the woodchippers of justice.

    “It can be argued that modern man exists in a world devoid of the evolutionary and selective pressures to which aggression was a beneficial trait,” Morgan said. “Our aggressive behavior remains, but no longer serves an evolutionary purpose.”

    No, it remains the reason why we haven’t actually killed all the lawyers in the most hedonistic bloodletting of all time. Really, that’s the dumbest concluding paragraph I’ve read in a long time. It makes one wonder whether teleology serves any further evolutionary purpose, and how it ever arose in the first place. The fitness function moves in mysterious ways.

    Boredom, is it? Let’s talk about boredom. Even when I reread that sentence, my eyes see “boredom” but my mind hears “barren”. Normally that doesn’t happen when I read Lowetide. In regular chicken, the argument is whether the yellow line runs down the middle or off to the side. In iterated chicken, the argument is whether the line runs parallel to the shoulder, or at a diagonal cant. Back when humans first rubbed up against the Neanderthals and settled on some tentative boundary lines, the Neanderthals had no Neanderthal Archimedes to point out the subtle distinction between a perpendicular line and a diagonal line. End of the road for Mr and Mrs Neanderthal. Should have paid more attention in math class. Boring, but deadly.

    Boredom is the root of all evil–the despairing refusal to be oneself.
        –Soren Kierkegaard

    Boredom is my personal Rosebud. It set me off on a pair of skis as a young child to greet my destiny. Everything right with my life has resulted from one of those skis. Everything wrong with my life results from the other. Both skis are the same.

    My horrific premonition concerning the human condition arrived in the first week of my grade two school year. To my shock and horror, the teacher was repeating yet again what had nearly killed me in its repetitiveness the previous school year. “How is this possible?” I asked myself. It seemed to me that if the system has been designed to slow me down, they could not have done a better job. I went home and blubbered to my mother, “How is this possible? It’s soooo boring. You told me it would get better next year. It’s not better, it’s worse.” My mother was at that time completing her degree in Education, and sided rather firmly with my beleaguered teachers. “Not every child finds these lessons as easy as you do. The teacher needs to pay attention to your classmates who find this more difficult. She doesn’t have time for you.” I don’t know if my mother said the last part, or if I heard it out of thin air.

    I reasoned “If she has no time for me, then why do I waste time on her? I can educate myself better by paying no attention at all.” And so I did, with little thought to the ramifications further along. I played with numbers. I played with words. I lived in a rich yet fatally cloistered universe of my own creation, and rarely had much of a clue about institutional expectations. There was a lesson I missed. Something about success, and the striving therefor. My notion of success was to see how little I could pay attention and not catch so much hell it disturbed drawing my circles.

    The last words attributed to Archimedes are “Do not disturb my circles”, a reference to the circles in the mathematical drawing that he was supposedly studying when disturbed by the Roman soldier.

    What angers me so much now about libertarianism is that I was already a functional libertarian as a nine year old. Only later I grew up. It’s no way to live.

    Not for me “the despairing refusal to be oneself”. For me instead “the despairing refusal to not be oneself”. Identical skis, same game of chicken with the immobile tree. Having named my poison, I rarely set finger to keyboard without at least one toe edging into the danger zone, if not my entire tail plumage. Win some, lose some. I pump up the volume until I can’t tell if people are laughing with me or at me, then I scurry off to my books and podcasts and movies to distract myself from the aghast feeling inside until I’m foolish enough to do it over again. Being yourself feels very exposed.

    I’m not at this point on a first name basis with the word “boredom”. I have other issues. Exposed. There’s that one. Universal cure for boredom: leave the house wearing no pants.

    For twenty years I refused to watch Jurassic Park. I read the reviews, and knew its flaws: it’s a charismatic yet thin gruel. Another movie on my no-fly list: Gladiator. Nice fight sequences (I’ve seen a few in passing) and paper thin romance, to be excessively kind.

    Just last week I solved my Jurassic Park problem. I sandwiched it between District 9 and Tree of Life. What an amazing slab of sandwich meat that turned out to be. Princess of Mars was not my favorite tale, but until I read it, I was somewhat blind to the course of the river in the SF genre. I didn’t know there was a dinosaur scene in Tree of Life though it’s the focus of much complaint. I loved it. Many people leave Tree thinking it’s either the most boring movie ever made or the most philosophically pompous (or both). I got into it, well enough. It’s the kind of movie where the viewer needs to do a lot of work. It doesn’t bore a viewer who doesn’t know boredom within.

    Someday I’ll have to find two slabs of inspired sandwich bread to finally wade through Gladiator. I like spectacle. I like Crowe. But not enough to suffer through a cardboard love triangle, without something out-of-band to cast it into a more amusing light.

    So, too, with the NHL lockout. Of itself, Lowetide is entirely right. But I have other loaves in the oven to smush it between. Such as the tragically fleeting nature of authenticity in all things human (it seems to be our nature to destroy what we most revere). I dimly recall describing myself concerning that idea as a one-trick pony with many zippers. Oh, god. Did I really write that? There must be something on my desk I can brown-nose until this, too, recedes.

  11. jp says:

    Rocknrolla:
    Woodguy,

    The thing I felt after hearing the interview was, “Man, this guy is such a heart and soul player. We are lucky to have him back. Wouldn’t it be just great if he could hang in there with the right workout and supplements and hoist that cup with our young crew before he hangs em up.”

    Lets go kids…time to help someone live the dream they deserve..

    Would be great to get something done while he’s still playing, but I imagine he’ll be behind the bench (or around in some capacity) even after he’s officially retired.

  12. cmcousine says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I normally don’t read such extensive posts, but for some strange reason yours sucked me in. A number of thoughts jumped out at me while reading this.
    1) my experience with lawyers lately has me convinced that they aren’t as smart as I thought they were. What does this mean for my generalization of how smart medical doctors are supposed to be?
    2) your post made me think of Calvin (as in Calvin and Hobbes), racing down a hill on a toboggan contemplating philosophical topics. I call it ‘mental masterbation’.
    3) some contemplate that the bible cannot be correct because Adam and Eve’s children would’ve been guilty of incest. From an evolutionary aspect, this problem doesn’t go away. As far as I can tell, the first two homo sapiens’ children would’ve had to breed as well, or else they may have had to copulate with homo erectus, possibly producing a humanized version of a mule. Either way, I don’t think the problem goes away.
    4) did anyone really take Jurassic Park as anything other than mindless entertainment? You don’t watch movies or tv for the quality of thought do you? If yes, my advise is to stop banging your head against a wall, you’ll feel better.
    5) I have a latch hook rug to make for my son for Christmas. What am I doing wasting time on the computer?

    Merry Christmas.

  13. B S says:

    cmcousine,

    A response to #3, evolution occurs through populations, not individuals. When there is environmental pressures (e.g. drought or predation or aggression from within the population) those individuals in the population that have heritable (i.e passed on to the next generation) traits that give them an advantage over other individuals will pass those on. This selection of traits (natural selection) will accumulate specific traits within the population until that population has changed enough to be a new species. In other words: there weren’t two original homo sapiens, rather there was an original population (or multiple populations if both the selected traits and environmental pressures are widespread).

    @radman, that story is legendary in my circle of friends, and most of them aren’t even big Oilers fans. Since I’m just old enough to remember the last Stanley Cup win, Smyth has always been my favourite Oiler growing up. He’s just too great a guy not to cheer for him.

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