SAIL ON, MOOSE JAW WARRIOR

If the idea of watching grown men and women cry has little appeal, you’ll want to avoid Edmonton today. Ryan Smyth will cry, and so will we, in our sports cars, in our pickups, in our SUVs, in our offices and in our basements. Ryan Smyth, the kid from Banff who became both icon and every man, is leaving the game forever—and that’s a long, long time.

He takes with him the last wooden hockey stick in captivity, a glorious mullet history, fewer than half of his original teeth, and our hearts. Whatever the skills and elements required to win this city over, Ryan Smyth did that and more moons ago.

Smyth’s association with the Oilers goes back many miles. When he was just a kid, he worked at the Banff Springs Hotel, and in 1987 Team Canada stayed there while training for the upcoming Canada Cup. A car in the parking lot driven by the Edmonton Oilers Glenn Anderson hit him. Smyth was hospitalized but would be alright. The two would play together briefly as Oilers in 1995-96, one generation passing the torch to the next.

  • Member of the 2006 Stanley Cup finalist Edmonton Oilers
  • Olympic Gold Medal (2002)
  • A six-time member of Canada’s World Championship team (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005)
  • Gold medalist at the Word Championships (2003, 2004)
  • Played a key role in Canada’s victory at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Represented Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin
  • Smyth has represented his homeland so often that he has been referred to as “Captain Canada”.
  • Smyth is the all-time leader in GP by a Canadian at the World Championships.
  • Smyth is tied for 1st all-time on the Oilers power-play goal list (with Glenn Anderson) and has one night to score another.

smyth moose jaw cropI’ll remember Ryan Smyth as a champion. The modern NHL houses 30 teams, so the odds of winning a Stanley Cup are very low—especially for a man who played most of his career on a middling or lower team. In the opportunities he had to play on competitive teams, Smyth’s Oilers got great results. In 1997, 1998, in 2006. The Oilers won the 2006 pennant, and I think that success should be honored as the last generation would have celebrated a Stanley Cup in the six-team league. Ryan Smyth played in 68 playoff games as an Edmonton Oiler, scoring 21-21-42 in those games.

One suspects the Oilers will offer him employment in the organization, and I hope he takes the job. Power-play coach? Physical winger coach? It is a major irony that the Oilers say goodbye to our Smytty today and will spend another summer looking for a modern version of Smytty yesterday.

Sail on, Banff Blazer. Sail on, Caronport Cougar, sail on Lethbridge Titan, sail on Moose Jaw Warrior. Sail on, Edmonton Oiler.

We knew this day would come, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

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156 Responses to "SAIL ON, MOOSE JAW WARRIOR"

  1. Simmer24 says:

    Thank you for your post LT. It is late at night in Australia and I have been continually hitting refresh on your page, waiting for this post before I could cry myself to sleep.

    I remember being a kid and watching many Warriors games during Smytty’s Jr career. Felt like yesterday that I saw him retrieve pucks from the corner and begin the cycle with ease. Absolutely dominate at the WHL level when it came to board play. There wasn’t a player that he couldn’t keep the puck away from.

    I still have Darryl Laplante’s game worn MJ Warriors jersey from 1994 . . . I had Darryl sign the corner of the jersey that year, but caught Ryan coming out of the rink one day and made sure he signed the middle of the crest.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oh man… so many sads.

    Cape Breton Oilers too! 9 games!

    you may actually want to add member of Spengler Cup winner during the lock out year. Weird event, but it had a lot of good players during the lockout and he was there and they won.

  3. wunderbar says:

    Damn near ready to cry already. I think everyone knows and understands that it is time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want the 2006 Ryan Smyth to play hockey forever.

    If the Oilers have any good sense he’ll be wearing the C Saturday night, and when The Oilers come out at pregame, Smyth should lead them out, and then the rest of the team bail to the bench and give Smyth the ice.

    I don’t know if there is a more revered Edmonton Oiler since the 80′s teams. He should be treated as such by the organization and fans tomorrow.

  4. icecastles says:

    I don’t feel bad admitting I went online and watching Ryan Smyth highlight reels and tribute videos last night, and I may have shed a quiet tear or two. 94 has been my favourite for a long, long time.

    There are some folks who won’t easily be replaced. he won’t be replaced at all.

  5. Simmer24 says:

    Bohologo,

    Wow, as you look at that list, aside from Smyth, it was a poor draft year for Edmonton and I am not even talking about Bonsignore.

  6. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: you may actually want to add member of Spengler Cup winner during the lock out year. Weird event, but it had a lot of good players during the lockout and he was there and they won.

    He was there in Davos as captain of the team. Little known fact: Smytty is the only player in hockey to win gold in all of Olympics, World Cup, World Seniors, World Juniors, and Spengler Cup. I always felt the reason he kept getting invited to those teams was simply how well his game translated anywhere from the first line to the fourth; simply put, a player who could be trusted to play whether ahead or behind by a goal. Grind it out, get the puck moving in the right direction, put it on a teammate’s stick and head for the goal mouth. It’s a fundamental formula, but it’s been an effective one his whole career.

  7. 719 says:

    An absolute gem, I will miss him. Karma dictates he should beat Anderson’s record as revenge for being hit by his car.

  8. wordbird says:

    Smyth is the guy who left it all out on the ice (including the aforementioned teeth). Blood, sweat and teeth. :P

    All the best #94. This retirement feels different somehow… it’s one thing when a childhood idol exits the stage, but many of us were grown (wo)men during this man’s career, so… maybe just a different perspective this time.

    I hope there’s a job waiting for him with the Oilers as well (sorry Bucky).

    Gotta run, something in my eye…

  9. rich says:

    Sad day on the one hand, but at least he’s leaving as an Oiler and not as a member of LA, or Colorado or anyone else. That is appropriate.

    Right up to the end he was the guy setting the example for the kids to follow. Loved how in last night’s game, he’s on the bench, one of the coaches is saying something to the player next to him and Smyth is the guy who pokes the his teammate to get his attention.

    He doesn’t have the legs anymore, but he’s always had the heart and desire and that’s something this team lacks big time right now.

    Godspeed Ryan Smyth. And Godspeed to you as well MacT because we need to find more character players on this team or we’ll continue to wander in the wilderness.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: He was there in Davos as captain of the team. Little known fact: Smytty is the only player in hockey to win gold in all of Olympics, World Cup, World Seniors, World Juniors, and Spengler Cup. I always felt the reason he kept getting invited to those teams was simply how well his game translated anywhere from the first line to the fourth; simply put, a player who could be trusted to play whether ahead or behind by a goal. Grind it out, get the puck moving in the right direction, put it on a teammate’s stick and head for the goal mouth. It’s a fundamental formula, but it’s been an effective one his whole career.

    He played pretty well too.

    3 goals in 4 games!

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/league.php?leagueid=Spengler%20Cup&season=2012

    not bad, not bad at all.

  11. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I’ve always thought what if the current Oilers players played with Smyth’s detrmination, recklessness, and will to win? How much better would their record be? They wouldn’t look as fancy and they’d have less teeth, but they’d be a hell of alot harder to play against. Frustrating. I just don’t see these qualities in many of the current Oilers. I see lots of quitting on the play hoping the other guy does it.
    Sad day.

  12. jimmers2 says:

    Good bye and thank you #94!

    But not for long I’d guess. If Ryan Smyth can find a way to effectively teach to the current and coming youth what he knows in his bones about the boards and the front of the net and perseverance and simple hard work, he will have a second career in hockey. A longer and even more valuable career to the Oilers than the first in fact.

    Retire his number.

  13. frjohnk says:

    I remember watching the last game of the season he had 39 goals, the team tried so hard so he could get 40, but he didn’t get 40. I hope he gets the a PP goal in the last game. Hopefully a super greasy one. Pure Smytty

  14. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: He played pretty well too.

    3 goals in 4 games!

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/league.php?leagueid=Spengler%20Cup&season=2012

    not bad, not bad at all.

    Including the game winner in the gold medal game! Here’s the piece I wrote that day, the only time I had the privilege of covering one of Captain Canada’s gold medals.
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/12/31/ryan-smyth-leads-the-charge-as-canada-rolls-to-spengler-cup/

  15. icecastles says:

    When (not if) they retire his jersey, I hope Horc and Hemsky are standing on the ice to celebrate the moment with him.

    And if one person boos, I’ll knock their fucking teeth out myself.

  16. Alpine says:

    I hate the idea of a team hiring former players for coaching and/or management roles, but I’d be okay with Smyth getting a job just for sentimental reasons on my part.

    I was originally sour when he didn’t re-sign seven years ago, but I understood his reasons. But he came back. He left what turned into a Cup-winning team in 2012 to come home. The Oilers have had a wide array of terrific players play their the best years here only to leave for greener pastures, but of them, only Ryan Smyth came back. He could have spent his last three seasons chasing a Cup, but he chose to play out his career with a sad sack franchise that he really didn’t owe anything to, all because of a love and passion for the team and the city.

    To me, despite his four years away, he’s kind of Edmonton’s version of Steven Gerrard. Smytty was the face of the club for many years and although he was gone for a little while, in the end, loyalty to a team and fanbase who mutually reflected his feelings won out. Thank you, Ryan Smyth.

  17. icecastles says:

    I am glad to see I’m not the only one who shed a tear about the retirement of Ryan Smyth. Perhaps sports stars are silly people to hold up as heroes, and I would normally chastise people for doing so. But heroes are so very rare in our world that it behooves us to acknowledge them wherever we find them.

    Not many people can be transcendent in any field: when we finally find one, we pin our hopes on them and think to ourselves that if they can bring grace and profundity to their corner of the world, perhaps we can bring some to ours as well and the shitty things that make up our lives can be just a little bit brighter in that reflected light.

  18. Clarence Oveur says:

    You’re the best, Smytty.

    You always will be.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Including the game winner in the gold medal game! Here’s the piece I wrote that day, the only time I had the privilege of covering one of Captain Canada’s gold medals.
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/12/31/ryan-smyth-leads-the-charge-as-canada-rolls-to-spengler-cup/

    The thing I remember most about that X-mas was going from near zero hockey… ie., the odd AHL game and the rare update from Europe to suddenly wall-to-wall hockey with both the WJC and the Spengler on.

    It was like going from single teen to girlfriended teen… radical change in how life is experienced.

  20. Pouzar says:

    My fav post dynasty Oiler which makes him Top 5 overall anyway.

    I just remember the early days thinking too myself “This guy literally gives it 100% every shift”.
    That’s what he brought to those teams and it trickled down. We weren’t the most talented but always gave a supreme effort and I like to think he was responsible for that culture.

  21. hags9k says:

    They don’t make em like 94 anymore. Sail on Smytty, we love you and there will be many tears shed tomorrow night right across the country. Had a chance to chase the cup for a few years but decided where you were going to raise your kids was most important. I’ll always remember you for your burning passion and love for the game. Always played the right way, clean, hard and with your heart in plain sight. You sir are a hockey and Oiler legend. I’ll be looking forward to you taking a job with the club (head coach has a nice ring to it) and having Hall hand the cup to you in a few years.

  22. Radman says:

    My son and I were at that playoff game in 2006 when Smytty took Pronger’s clearing attempt in the mug. He picked himself up and skated off while they scraped his teeth from the ice. Looked at my son and said, that’s what warriors do . We still talk about that.

    He is a living example of how far courage, heart, and hard work can take a guy. Thanks Ryan.

    My son and I will be at the game Saturday night.

  23. bendelson says:

    There was something incredibly sad about Smytty and last night’s game… he derserves better.
    Talk about going out with a whimper.

    Hopefully, his teammates have some modicum of pride and don’t roll over in his final farewell this weekend.

    Get that PP goal Smytty and walk away with your head held high.

    94 forever.

  24. icecastles says:

    We need to frame this thread and give it to him. You jerks are getting me all choked up at work.

  25. flyfish1168 says:

    I will never forget this play, Shows how tough hockey players are.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UBMiCcDlnc

  26. Zangetsu says:

    I’m gonna miss him. I keep hoping he is gonna pull a brett favre.

  27. hags9k says:

    icecastles,

    Well and you know I have been a jerk and been hard on him these last couple years saying it was time, and boy do I feel like an ass now. I take it back, play 20 more years if you want Ryan! Don’t take the good things for granted. Never.

  28. Dan the Man says:

    Gonna have a drink for Smytty tomorrow night and then I’ll have another.

  29. Bushed says:

    Character with a capital “C”. The definition of heart and soul.

    Captain Canada, but never the Oilers captain.

    Would be fitting if he got to wear the C for his last game.

    I’ll be there. I will likely cry watching the puck toss over the glass for the last time…

  30. Bag of Pucks says:

    Well Smytty, I hope you’re happy. You’ve forced me to go and buy a ducat this morning to watch this horrible hockey team stumble across the finish line.

    In all seriousness, should be an amazing atmosphere in the old barn tomorrow night. Ryan Smyth was a gladiator in every sense of the word. I will raise a pint (or three) in his honour and cajole my pals along in some mangled Latin.

    Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The thing I remember most about that X-mas was going from near zero hockey… ie., the odd AHL game and the rare update from Europe to suddenly wall-to-wall hockey with both the WJC and the Spengler on.

    It was like going from single teen to girlfriended teen… radical change in how life is experienced.

    It was like going from single teen to teen with 3 girlfriends who know one another but don’t know ABOUT one another, if you catch my drift. One of the busiest weeks of my life! Spent vicariously via Internet in Ufa, Davos, and Oklahoma City. Literally, hockey “morning, noon, and night” as my mum used to say. And by “morning” I’m talking about 2 a.m. puck drops.

  32. jfry says:

    Funny to see big laraque on the ice with weight and Smyth. How things have changed.

  33. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Just one more bit of bad news in a terrible season.

    He was our best forward last night by a country mile and THAT is what I’m going to miss about Smytty. He was always working, always dedicated.

    The half-assed effort from the kids last night, and if true, the alleged demand that if they go to the WHCs they want to play together… sigh. They may be faster and more talented, but they’re missing a lot of what makes a guy like Ryan Smyth tick.

  34. su_dhillon says:

    I’m 2 years younger than Smitty, grew up about an hour away from him and had lots of friends who grew up playing against him. I remember after the draft all of those guys saying he was nothing special, no way he would do anything in NHL even if he made it. I guess at that age you expect a guy who is going to play in NHL to be a 1 man circus or something but never trust he opinion of jealous 17 year olds.

    Im pretty sure it was Smytty’s first training camp that was actually held in Banff, I skipped first day of school to go watch the Oilers with a couple of buddies. It seemed crazy to me be that close all these hockey guys, the rink was tiny and they were everywhere, Slats, Ron Low, Ted Green, I remember one of my buddies, a Canuck fan, being really excited that he saw Bob Macammon walk out of the shitter.

    Anyways I remember a couple of things most from that camp. One, Billy Ranford, he was the last link to the 90 cup and he was awesome. Two, was just how god damn talented Bonsignore seemed, he was big, could skate and had unbelievable puck skills. I cant even imagine what HF Boards would have been like for him. I was sure with him and Arnott we were set for a long, long time. I have been worng a lot in my times as an Oiler fan. A lot.

    The thing I remember most was, Bryan Marchment almost decapitating Smytty. Being that this was in Banff, there were a lot of his friends and family there, cheering every time he touched the puck, I don’t know if that pissed Marchment off or he hit him just because he was Marchment and he was a lunatic. Smytty crumpled and was helped off the ice and Marchment had this goofy smile and laugh and was like whats the big deal?

    Everyone around the team was pissed, we sat as close as we could to Slats and could see he was losing his shit cussing Marchment out. We are all pretty sure that was the last we would see of him that day and probably for a while but wouldn’t you know it about 10 minutes later there’s that skinny kid skating around and doing drills (concussion protocols were a lot looser in those days… and we wore onion belts). Instantly I was a fan.

    Lost in all of the Smytty, heart, desire, work ethic talk that will dominate the talking points this week will be that he was a really really good hockey player. Underrated as a playmaker but he really saw the ice and was a very good passer. He had great hands, not only shown by his in close goals but the way he could take a pass, he knew where to go on the ice played with some terrific playmakers Weight and Hemmer probably at the top and they never had a problem getting him the puck.

    I will always have so many great memories of 94, the SCF run, the Dallas and Colorado upsets, the mullet. In a lot of ways he has been the link to my Oiler fandom as a kid, he was the last link to Slats, to Arnott, to Weight, to the Todd Marchant goal and the last link to that unbelievable spring in 06. Sail on Smytty, you were damn near the perfect Oiler.

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, some bitter irony in the fact that we’re bidding farewell to Captain Canada at the same time our new wave of supposed patriots is blowing off a WC invite.

    Perron’s stock rises with every passing day.

  36. RexLibris says:

    What a season.

    Losing Hemsky and Smyth in a single year and taking another gut-punch in the standings when everyone thought this team might take a turn North.

    Watching that Smyth clip in the article made the hair on my skin stand up. I miss those teams. It wasn’t pretty hockey, but by heaven it was beautiful to watch.

    I’ll miss watching Smyth on the ice, but I’m thankful for the fact that he gets to retire on his own terms in a city that loves him.

    I’d like to see Weight at his eventual jersey retirement, and on a night when Hemsky’s new team is in town, also.

  37. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: Btw, some bitter irony in the fact that we’re bidding farewell to Captain Canada at the same time our new wave of supposed patriots is blowing off a WC invite.

    I know some of the guys on here are pooh-poohing the fact that the young guys are turning down the WC. I get that they’re beat up and bummed out. I totally understand why they don’t want to go.I don’t blame them for not wanting to. But I do blame them for not being able to get past it and going anyway.

    But being a man means doing things even when you don’t feel like it, because it’s the right thing to do. They are where they are today because of the opportunities Hockey Canada gave them to excel, to develop, and to showcase their skills. The time comes to give back, and when you’re asked, the correct answer is not, “I don’t feel like it.” The correct answer is to be grateful for what you were given and to show that gratitude by giving something back.

    That debt doesn’t expire simply because you’re now making an obscene amount of money, or because you’re sad, or because your ankle hurts too much to play in some games, but not too much to play in others..

    The culture of entitlement in professional sports is such that these kind of things don’t even phase us anymore, but I believe they should. If all this reflection on Smytty’s career and pending retirement should illuminate anything, it’s that being a great hockey player – hell being a man – means sucking it up once in a while, manning up and showing up when you’re called upon.

    I’m hopefully heading back to Ukraine in a bit over a month to serve as a monitor on the pending elections. It’s time away from work where I will lose money. the living conditions will likely be cramped and shitty, and if I’m sent to the East, it’s entirely possible that I and my polling station get blown the fuck up. It isn’t going to be much fun, or very exciting. I’m sure as hell not going to make any money. But I am proud to come from a democracy like Canada, to have a background that allows me to help out in this way, and I’ll be damned if I am going to turn my back on serving something larger than myself and trying in my small way to repay the debt I owe the world for the opportunities I’ve been given.

    It’s no wonder this team has been so bad for so long and has so many nights where the problem isn’t the guys we don’t have, but the lack of compete from the guys we do have. The really sad thing is that we’ve gotten so used to it that it doesn’t even phase us.

  38. Gerta Rauss says:

    Sail on Smytty

    I hope Florida has the game won early so we can cheer for a win against the godless Canucks, and Smytty scores a pair on the PP

  39. thejonrmcleod says:

    su_dhillon,

    Those were some good recollections. Thanks.

  40. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: I know some of the guys on here are pooh-poohing the fact that the young guys are turning down the WC. I get that they’re beat up and bummed out. I totally understand why they don’t want to go.I don’t blame them for not wanting to. But I do blame them for not being able to get past it and going anyway.

    But being a man means doing things even when you don’t feel like it, because it’s the right thing to do.

    Kind of like back-checking.

    And really, their reason – that they want to play together as a line – is terrible. It’s such a spoiled little shit entitled thing to say.

  41. GriffCity says:

    Sad day to hear Smytty announce his retirement. I suppose that it was inevitable, he could not play forever and was pretty clear to most his best days were behind him. A part of me was absolutely hoping that he might come back for one more year as a fourth line player but I suppose his will is as beaten and broken as ours after so many dismal seasons.

    Here’s hoping one of the greatest Oilers of all time gets that PP goal to take sole possession of the #1 all-time Oilers PP goals list – he deserves it. Honestly, bank one off his skate, just make it happen and have rexall explode one last time in honor of Smyth.

    On an aside, brutal game last night, pathetic effort. To have 7, count em, 7! shutouts on home ice this season and many more games scoring only 1 goal its little surprise so many fans could care less about going to a game. We suck, we understand but ho about a little entertainment value? How about some effort before golf season you overpaid, underachieving turds. I had a friend offer me tickets to the game last night and i politely declined because I would rather watch from the comfort of my couch than have to witness such sucky hockey without the ability to change channel. Sad days.

  42. jake70 says:

    Greatest OILER of all time? Up there with Lowe, MacT? (greatest not meaning most prolific scorer).

  43. FastOil says:

    icecastles:
    When (not if) they retire his jersey, I hope Horc and Hemsky are standing on the ice to celebrate the moment with him.

    And if one person boos, I’ll knock their fucking teeth out myself.

    The Oilers need a player with your attitude!

    Edit: Or five

  44. Bag of Pucks says:

    I must be the only Oiler fan today that’s ok with Smytty not breaking the PP record tomorrow. To be honest, I’d rather he get an even strength GW.

    Messier and Anderson were my two favourite players from the Dynasty, and I’m very ok with Glenn and Ryan sharing that record. Smytty did it with heart, grit and longevity. Andy did it with speed and utter lunacy.

  45. Radman says:

    icecastles: I know some of the guys on here are pooh-poohing the fact that the young guys are turning down the WC. I get that they’re beat up and bummed out. I totally understand why they don’t want to go.I don’t blame them for not wanting to. But I do blame them for not being able to get past it and going anyway.But being a man means doing things even when you don’t feel like it, because it’s the right thing to do. They are where they are today because of the opportunities Hockey Canada gave them to excel, to develop, and to showcase their skills. The time comes to give back, and when you’re asked, the correct answer is not, “I don’t feel like it.” The correct answer is to be grateful for what you were given and to show that gratitude by giving something back. That debt doesn’t expire simply because you’re now making an obscene amount of money, or because you’re sad, or because your ankle hurts too much to play in some games, but not too much to play in others..The culture of entitlement in professional sports is such that these kind of things don’t even phase us anymore, but I believe they should. If all this reflection on Smytty’s career and pending retirement should illuminate anything, it’s that being a great hockey player – hell being a man – means sucking it up once in a while, manning up and showing up when you’re called upon. I’m hopefully heading back to Ukraine in a bit over a month to serve as a monitor on the pending elections. It’s time away from work where I will lose money. the living conditions will likely be cramped and shitty, and if I’m sent to the East, it’s entirely possible that I and my polling station get blown the fuck up. It isn’t going to be much fun, or very exciting. I’m sure as hell not going to make any money. But I am proud to come from a democracy like Canada, to have a background that allows me to help out in this way, and I’ll be damned if I am going to turn my back on serving something larger than myself and trying in my small way to repay the debt I owe the world for the opportunities I’ve been given.It’s no wonder this team has been so bad for so long and has so many nights where the problem isn’t the guys we don’t have, but the lack of compete from the guys we do have. The really sad thing is that we’ve gotten so used to it that it doesn’t even phase us.

    Thanks for this. I really couldn’t agree more.

  46. su_dhillon says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Thanks Jon

  47. misfit says:

    I love Smytty and all that he’s done for, and meant to, this team over the years. I thought he should come back next year, and despite the overall view from the fans and media, I think he had at least one more year in him.

    With that said, I really don’t think he should be added to the coaching staff simply because he’s been a “good soldier” and a “true Oiler” (which he definitely is, on both accounts). Keep him in the organization as a scout, or with some sort of figure head role, by all means. Just make sure the guys you have standing on the bench, leading practices, and directing the players on the ice are qualified for THAT job.

    Also, I said it at the time, but the contract dispute that lead to his trade in 2007 probably cost him the chance to be the only ever non-HHOF inductee to have his jersey retired in Edmonton. They’ve had the rule in place for a long time, but I truly believe if Smyth had played his entire career here, that they would’ve one day put his number in the rafters. When he left (and showed no interest in returning as a UFA), I stopped thinking that.

  48. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    719:
    An absolute gem, I will miss him.Karma dictates he should beat Anderson’s record as revenge for being hit by his car.

    Just a whiff of John Connors in that story.

  49. wunderbar says:

    On the young guys not comitting to the WHC, remember that Hall got jerked around pretty badly by Lindy Ruff last year and spent most of the tournament glued to the bench in lieu of clearly inferior players because Lindy Ruff straight up said he didn’t know players from the west very well.

    I can understand the hesitation to go based on how last year went. My guess is that they are waiting to hear who the coach is before they say yes or no.

  50. denny33 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    He was there in Davos as captain of the team. Little known fact: Smytty is the only player in hockey to win gold in all of Olympics, World Cup, World Seniors, World Juniors, and Spengler Cup. I always felt the reason he kept getting invited to those teams was simply how well his game translated anywhere from the first line to the fourth; simply put, a player who could be trusted to play whether ahead or behind by a goal. Grind it out, get the puck moving in the right direction, put it on a teammate’s stick and head for the goal mouth. It’s a fundamental formula, but it’s been an effective one his whole career.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Great Post….I have forever etched in my memory the video clip of hated former Flame Lanny Mcdonald -passionately arguing for selecting Ryan Smyth to be on the Oly team.

    Lanny was extremely adamant….he had to be on the team….at least I believe it was the Oly team.

    Passion, determination, character, intensity – *pure had work*

    Going to suggest – the team we now have is nearly devoid of all the characteristics of Ryan Smyth.

  51. frjohnk says:

    RE: the young guys and the WC. Wait until there is a yes or no answer and if its a no, lets hear the reason before jumping to conclusions.

    Everybody knows that Eberle is pretty banged up. Rishaug even said that if Eberle said no, he can see why as he is nursing a few injuries.

    As for Hall, we should remember that is wearing a knee brace, maybe he needs some time to rest the knee and strengthen it properly. And he may feel choked about not even being in the discussion about the Olympic team. Is RNH healthy? who knows.

    If they are healthy ( Eberle isn’t) and they say no, lets hear the reason before everybody gets bent out of shape.

    They wouldn’t be the first healthy guys who turned down an invitation ( Crosby, Iginla come to mind, Crosby was even called out by the IIHF, hockey canada came out and said sometimes these guys need rest, even if they are not injured)
    So even if they decline for what some would determine not a good reason, it does not mean these kids are selfish and they are a problem on this team.

    How many here watch the WC like the Stanley Cup playoffs, Olympics or even the WJC? Exactly. The WC is a second tier, at best, tournament for NA guys. Whether or not they go, is really “meh.”

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    I always thought that it’s an honour to play for your country, and if you’re healthy enough to play for your club team, you’re healthy enough to play for Canada.

    I guess that’s an old fashioned way of thinking in this day and age.

  53. icecastles says:

    wunderbar: On the young guys not comitting to the WHC, remember that Hall got jerked around pretty badly by Lindy Ruff last year and spent most of the tournament glued to the bench in lieu of clearly inferior players because Lindy Ruff straight up said he didn’t know players from the west very well.
    I can understand the hesitation to go based on how last year went. My guess is that they are waiting to hear who the coach is before they say yes or no.

    My dad had a great word for this.

    Pouting.

  54. frjohnk says:

    RE: the kids and the WC. Lowetide on your radio show, you said it best. Hands down totally agree with you.

  55. Caramel Obvious says:

    frjohnk:
    RE: the kids and the WC. Lowetide on your radio show, you said it best.Hands down totally agree with you.

    What did he say?

    My view is that the idea that there is some kind of moral imperative to play in a second rate international tournament that takes a month out of your life and detracts from rest, recreation, and training, is absurd.

    I’d probably go because I’d think it would be fun. However, if I had already gone and the experience wasn’t a positive one because I was jerked around by the coach, I wouldn’t go either.

    Volunteerism is a good thing. However, when the volunteer is treated with disrespect (and I absolutely think Hockey Canada routinely disrespects players with its selection processes) then that organization doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

  56. frjohnk says:

    Something to keep an eye on. MEDVEDEV: OVECHKIN CAN JOIN KHL IF HE GETS OUT OF NHL CONTRACT http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=449013

  57. Marcus Oilerius says:

    frjohnk,

    At this point, I’m sure the Capitals would love to be rid of that boat anchor of a contract.

  58. book¡je says:

    Here’s the thing about the playing in the World Championships.

    It doesn’t matter what it actually is – A. Meaningful opportunity to play high quality competitive hockey, B. Chance to play on world stage for your country, C.Opportunity to ‘return something’ to Canadian fans who support you, D. Meaningless tournament that you could get injured at.

    What matter is the following – How would not going to the tournament be perceived by Fans and even media? If the answer is that not going is going to harm your reputation tremendously, then it is stupid for players to not go.

  59. frjohnk says:

    Caramel Obvious: What did he say?

    For anybody wanting to know what LT said its best to listen to the podcast 2nd hour about 10 minutes in. It is usually is put up a few hours after the show is done.

  60. book¡je says:

    Also on Smyth – Its really really hard to capture the contribution he has made and the relationship he has built with the fans. The guy is an Oiler hero. I think they should retire his sweater. He is so much more than his numbers.

  61. frjohnk says:

    book¡je:
    Here’s the thing about the playing in the World Championships.

    It doesn’t matter what it actually is – A. Meaningful opportunity to play high quality competitive hockey, B. Chance to play on world stage for your country, C.Opportunity to ‘return something’ to Canadian fans who support you, D. Meaningless tournament that you could get injured at.

    What matter is the following – How would not going to the tournament be perceived by Fans and even media?If the answer is that not going is going to harm your reputation tremendously, then it is stupid for players to not go.

    How many times has Iginla gone? Once in 1997. How many times was he asked? Lots. Has that tarnished his image? Nope

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    This WC digression really reinforces what an unselfish player Ryan Smyth was.

    There was never any of this type of discussion for Smytty. There was never a question of whether he’d go. It was just never an issue.

    Very fitting that’s he getting his final curtain on Hockey Night in Canada. Looking forward to hearing Ron MacLean’s thoughts on a very memorable hockey player and patriot.

  63. icecastles says:

    Caramel Obvious: My view is that the idea that there is some kind of moral imperative to play in a second rate international tournament that takes a month out of your life and detracts from rest, recreation, and training, is absurd.

    Yeah. Rest and recreation is much more important than giving a few weeks of hockey to the organization that helped make you a millionaire.

    Couching it in hyperbole like “some kind of moral imperative” and “a second rate international tournament” doesn’t strengthen the argument. As long as players blow it off, yes, it will be second rate.

    On the international stage, most nations see this tournament as a significant one.

    As to whether there is a moral imperative: here’s the thing for me. Hockey players are role models for Canadian kids. HUGE role models. Argue the validity or rightness of it all you want, but in our culture, we put enormous importance on this fact. All the charity work, the autograph signings, the public appearances, etc are because the hockey community WANTS these guys to be role models, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be. They are the upper echelon, they’ve worked hard to get where they are, they are very public faces, and they are paid handsomely.

    They are paid handsomely in large part BECAUSE they are role models. they are the public face of the game. They ARE its image. When you enter this lifestyle accept the handsome salary, there is indeed a moral imperative. Kids look up to their heroes and model themselves after them. they take their cues from the actions of those larger than life figures.

    So like I said earlier, when you are called, you man up. You don’t pout, you don’t make excuses that you’re too injured for some games but not others. You don’t blow it off because you’ve already got your money. You accept that like it or not, you’re a role model. You acknowledge there is something more important than your own pride. And it’s sure as hell more important than your goddamn jetski.

  64. FastOil says:

    Congrats to Smyth for a really great career. I’ll miss him, although I think he’s a lock for a job. He really embodies the post dynasty Oilers. A player a fan could admire for his heart and feel proud about with his guts and efforts for his country, no matter the state of the team.

    Glad he hung em up where he should have. He should coach the PP. It needs a bit of help.

  65. icecastles says:

    book¡je: Also on Smyth – Its really really hard to capture the contribution he has made and the relationship he has built with the fans. The guy is an Oiler hero. I think they should retire his sweater. He is so much more than his numbers.

    On Overtime Open Line last night the boys were saying it’s not entirely unlikely that 94 gets retired. Don’t know if that was pure speculation or the result of conversation with people that matter, but I was surprised and happy to hear them say it.

  66. Radman says:

    Maybe the reports aren’t accurate and there are no doubt very practical/cynical reasons not to go.

    Can’t help but look upon decisions like these as a bit of a character biopsy. Maybe, just maybe a player should from time to time do something beyond themselves. I imagine there are fans here that support this team through thick and thin, that want their premier players to carry the flag and represent the team. Hokey perhaps, but still an honor ? How do you want to be perceived or does it matter ?

    One of the many reasons Smytty will be getting a richly deserved standing ovation, and why I will be cheering more loudly for Perron.

  67. icecastles says:

    frjohnk: How many times has Iginla gone? Once in 1997. How many times was he asked? Lots. Has that tarnished his image? Nope

    In fairness, there were a number of years he didn’t go because he was in the playoffs.

    As to whether that tarnished his image, I have two thigns to say to that:

    1) As MacT said, “if you have to ask the question…”

    2) If the only factor by which to decide something is “how does this affect my image,” then I would argue that from a moral perspective, you’ve lost the thread of selflessness and repaying a debt so completely you’re lost before you begin.

  68. Hammers says:

    Personally I would like to suggest and hopefully see the # 94 raised to the rafters . I’m more than aware they have a new policy of having to be in the hall but he is the only exception I can think of who would deserve that honor . Considering he has been a member of all levels of Canadian awards junior , gold medals through to his Captain Canada name he has in my opinion been the main Oiler that the current fan base has recognized for years and in the most disappointing period of Oiler hockey history .Some of us were lucky enough to see this team from its inception but I know my sons look at Smyth as a true leader for there team win or loose ( mainly loosing ) . We the fans need to push for this even though it may take years , much like our rebuild .

  69. Lois Lowe says:

    Ryan Smyth is my favourite Oiler bar none. I knew this day was coming but I kind of hoped that he play one more year. I wish him all the best.

    As far as the WC go, I am not a very patriotic person so I don’t think anyone has the obligation to “play for their country”. It’s up to the individual to choose if they want to take part. That said, not playing at the WC usually means that you’re not going to be on the national team come Olympics/World Cup/Canada Cup, so these players reap what they sow.

    I also think that players wanting time off after the season is over is okay. They deserve a break as much as anyone else who works.

  70. frjohnk says:

    icecastles: In fairness, there were a number of years he didn’t go because he was in the playoffs.

    As to whether that tarnished his image, I have two thigns to say to that:

    1) As MacT said, “if you have to ask the question…”

    2) If the only factor by which to decide something is “how does this affect my image,” then I would argue that from a moral perspective, you’ve lost the thread of selflessness and repaying a debt so completely you’re lost before you begin.

    Iginlas first 7 years in the league they missed the playoffs 7 times. He went once to the WC in 1997.
    In 2003-04 they went to the finals, so he couldn’t go then. But from 05-06 to 08-09, Calgary flamed out in the first round. from 09-10 to 11-12 he was out of the playoffs.

    I believe he has been asked every year except last year and the cup run. So his track record is 1 for 13. Iginlas image is almost impeccable. Turning down the WC year after year did not sour his image to the fans or Hockey Canada.

    I am a huge Iginla fan, and I have hated the flames since 86. Him not going to the WC has had not negative affect on me.

    Like I said before, lets wait for the kids decision and if it is no, lets hear it why before everybody gets bent out of shape.

  71. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: How many here watch the WC like the Stanley Cup playoffs, Olympics or even the WJC? Exactly. The WC is a second tier, at best, tournament for NA guys. Whether or not they go, is really “meh.”

    I do. Every single year since Canada returned in 1977.

    The WC is the biggest tournament in Europe outside of the Olympics. To call it second tier (“at best”!?) is off base.

  72. Doomoil says:

    icecastles,

    “They are paid handsomely in large part BECAUSE they are role models.”

    No, they really aren’t.

    You’ve gone completely off the rails here.

  73. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    “Oilers forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle have all been asked to join the team and are still determining if they will participate in the tournament.”

    Actually I like the idea that they’re giving each other a bit of cover here and some time perhaps for one or more of them to get independent assessment when they’re done with the season.

  74. Showerhead says:

    He was the one star who I ever tried to play like. (He was probably the only NHL star whose style it was realistic for me to try to play like, but that’s beside the point.) All guts and broken teeth, bruised shins and a huge heart, not a slick dangle to be found in his entire 1200 game career. He controlled the wall, he drove the front of the net, he parked in front of goalies and got to the puck first time and time again. He could pass too, but no one remembers him for that.

    In 1997 and 1998, when I was rediscovering how much fun hockey could be, it was #94 alongside Weight and Marchant and all of those guys who somehow took a team with pennies for a payroll and carried them through powerhouses like Dallas and Colorado. In 2006 when my team went to within one game of winning it all, it was #94 whose line was out against Lidstrom in round 1, who lost half his teeth to a Chris Pronger slapshot before setting up the most important goal of round 2 (in triple overtime!), and who scored Edmonton’s first game winning goal of the Stanley Cup Finals when all hope looked lost. He came to play every single night, which is something fans of any sport can respect, and he was one of the last Oilers who was definitely playing for the crest on the front of his jersey and not the name on the back.

    Ryan Smyth, you are perhaps the only sports hero I have ever had, and when you play your last game tomorrow I will be cheering for you like the wide eyed kid I was when I first saw you play. Sail on, #94.

  75. justDOit says:

    So does Smyth replace Bucky next year? With Nelson in for Smith (because we can’t have Smith n Smyth )?

  76. 106 and 106 says:

    Showerhead,

    I had one of those ancient 90′s posters on my wall with Ryan Smyth skating around the moon or something similarly ridiculous.

    I also fashioned my entire hockey career out of the ‘Ryan Smyth playbook’ – never the biggest or fastest but jamming the net and getting sticked by the goalie and taking awful slap shots from the side walls that once in a blue moon found their way behind the line.

    He signed a player card at WEM, he flipped pucks to kids, he taught me how to love the game. Hell, I was just as sad for Smytty in 06′ as I was for the whole team because you knew that this was where the man should have won.

    I think the childhood heroes that you have stay with you for the rest of your life, and tomorrow night, there won’t be a dry eye in all of LT’s land as we say goodbye to the one and only. Sail on, Smytty.

  77. russ99 says:

    Smytty rules.

    Gonna miss the mullet.

    Seems like yesterday when we saw the apex of the Smyth – Horcoff – Hemsky line, and now they’re all gone. :(

  78. russ99 says:

    As for the kid line in the world championships, there has to be some stigma attached to it for these guys, since only players on non-playoff teams are invited.

    So if could be construed as a consolation tournament for guys on bad teams and if these guys are utterly sick of not being in the playoffs, I can see how that could be their reasoning to skip it.

  79. justDOit says:

    russ99:
    As for the kid line in the world championships, there has to be some stigma attached to it for these guys, since only players on non-playoff teams are invited.

    So if could be construed as a consolation tournament for guys on bad teams and if these guys are utterly sick of not being in the playoffs, I can see how that could be their reasoning to skip it.

    I could also see that playing meaningful games in the spring, on a good team, would be reason enough to go.

  80. icecastles says:

    Doomoil: No, they really aren’t.
    You’ve gone completely off the rails here.

    Yeah, Doomoil, they really are. There are even fucking TROPHIES for it at the NHL awards. Just because it’s not important for you, doesn’t mean it’s not a massive part of the business. And if you think the hockey business isn’t 90% a PR business, you’ve got your head in the sand.

    Edit: If you don’t believe me, google “Masterton” and “Lady Byng.”

  81. G Money says:

    I don’t think less of Iginla because he didn’t go to many WC’s when asked.

    I do think more of Smyth because he did go to every WC he was asked.

    Sail on O Mullet Who Skates Like a Man. Thanks for *wanting* to come back and play here, and giving us a chance to bid you a fond farewell.

  82. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit:
    So does Smyth replace Bucky next year? With Nelson in for Smith (because we can’t have Smith n Smyth )?

    Wow, that’s awesome. We get the Red Green show down here on PBS, but I never looked into the actors. Seeing that skit, I immediately said “Hey that’s Red Green!” Good ‘ole Steve Smith. How many of them are there, anyway?

  83. PDO says:

    wunderbar:
    On the young guys not comitting to the WHC, remember that Hall got jerked around pretty badly by Lindy Ruff last year and spent most of the tournament glued to the bench in lieu of clearly inferior players because Lindy Ruff straight up said he didn’t know players from the west very well.

    I can understand the hesitation to go based on how last year went. My guess is that they are waiting to hear who the coach is before they say yes or no.

    Exactly.

    Why should Hall go back to TC if that’s what he can expect? Why would his buddies want to go after watching that happen to him?

    “So, I can go to Vegas, or I can go play for a coach who doesn’t know anything about me and get glued to the bench and publicly ripped for a couple turnovers.”

    Tough call.

    Maybe it’ll wake Hockey Canada up to stop with the bullshit politics.

  84. PDO says:

    On Smyth:

    Warrior. Was underrated in so many facets because talking heads simply talked about what he did in front of the net, but this was a guy who won every 50/50 battle, would play through any amount of pain, and was the definition of “leaning” on guys. Never threw a big hit, but didn’t have to. Tough as nails, and a wonderful passer.

    I’ll miss groaning every time he tried that clapper down the wing, as odd as that sounds. It was just so Smytty.

    I’ll always wonder if he would’ve had a half decent shot with a real stick.

    Really hoping Ference gives up the C for tomorrow night.

    And for a 94 game winner late in the third on the PP.

    A man can dream.

  85. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I do. Every single year since Canada returned in 1977.

    The WC is the biggest tournament in Europe outside of the Olympics. To call it second tier (“at best”!?) is off base.

    I do know the world championships for some European players that play in the NHL are more important than the Stanley Cup. Not all, but for some it is. But for North American players it is a different story, look at all the healthy players that have declined the invite over the years.

    For most hockey fans in NA, the WC tournament is an after thought. The IIHF has even been called to entice to tournament to NA players and fans if they want a bigger following. Maybe calling it “second tier” is off base but it is not all the same level as the Stanley Cup.

  86. Showerhead says:

    106 and 106:
    Showerhead,

    I had one of those ancient 90′s posters on my wall with Ryan Smyth skating around the moon or something similarly ridiculous.

    I also fashioned my entire hockey career out of the ‘Ryan Smyth playbook’ – never the biggest or fastest but jamming the net and getting sticked by the goalie and taking awful slap shots from the side walls that once in a blue moon found their way behind the line.

    He signed a player card at WEM, he flipped pucks to kids, he taught me how to love the game. Hell, I was just as sad for Smytty in 06′ as I was for the whole team because you knew that this was where the man should have won.

    I think the childhood heroes that you have stay with you for the rest of your life, and tomorrow night, there won’t be a dry eye in all of LT’s land as we say goodbye to the one and only. Sail on, Smytty.

    Well said!

    I am really enjoying reading everyone’s tributes here amidst the discussion. LT, thank you for creating a place where we can do this!

  87. icecastles says:

    PDO: Why should Hall go back to TC if that’s what he can expect? Why would his buddies want to go after watching that happen to him?

    Because they’re not 11 years old.

  88. Derek says:

    I don’t remember the specifics, but there was a game during the 2006 run when a deflected Pronger shot hit Smyth in the grill and knocked out a good number of his teeth. During a player interview later that player talked about Smytty trying to talk to him on the bench but he couldn’t understand him because his mouth was frozen and he couldn’t make a lick of sense.

    Anyone remember that interview? I’d like to re-watch it but I can’t track it down on youtube. Horcoff maybe?

  89. cc says:

    Simmer24,

    Those were good days, weren’t they. I remember them well.

  90. Doomoil says:

    icecastles: Yeah, Doomoil, they really are. There are even fucking TROPHIES for it at the NHL awards. Just because it’s not important for you, doesn’t mean it’s not a massive part of the business. And if you think the hockey business isn’t 90% a PR business, you’ve got your head in the sand.

    Edit: If you don’t believe me, google “Masterton” and “Lady Byng.”

    Alright, since you’re apparently frothing at the mouth over nothing, go ahead and believe that NHL executives put “Is he a good role model” right next to “Can he score me a ton of goals” and “Is he a good playmaker.”

  91. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Well, many Oiler fans would argue that there’s one too many Steve Smiths.

    What I do know, is that it’s a good thing Red switched from singing to comedy!

  92. Caramel Obvious says:

    I don’t accept the idea that going to the WHC is some kind of noble act of service. Going benefits no one, and likewise, not going harms no one. The connotations of virtue seem entirely misplaced to me.

    Players should go if they want to. If they think playing in the tournament is worthwhile. They shouldn’t, if they don’t. I don’t understand why it is any more complicated than that.

    I also disagree that somehow professional hockey players owe hockey canada. I don’t understand that at all.

  93. Nuckout says:

    Dear LT,

    Your article just made a grown man tear up. Not much makes me do that.

    Thanks, jerk.

  94. "Steve Smith" says:

    justDOit:
    theres oil in virginia,

    Well, many Oiler fans would argue that there’s one too many Steve Smiths.

    Those who read this blog might say it’s more than that.

  95. frjohnk says:

    OK, one more comment on the kids and WC.

    These kids have always answered the bell for Team Canada unless they were injured.
    Eberle every year since 2010.

    Personally, Id like to see all the young kids on the oilers that are healthy to play in the WC. I think it would be good for their development, but if they don’t go, it is not the end of the world.

    Eberle, RNH and Hall have never been healthy scratched because of self entitlement/ attitude problem (Evander Kane) or had a DUI ( Big Buff) or got into fights at the bars ( Staal brothers) or got traded because of where there was some kind of problem ( Sequin)

    Eberle, RNH and Hall are stand up kids but not without warts, but my problem is that people are jumping all over them and some are being pretty harsh, not only on this blog, for something that has not happened yet ( saying no to hockey Canada)
    WE HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD THE REASON TO AN ANSWER THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN YET.

    When players are questioned about what they may or may not do without hearing an explanation,
    I now know why there are many players that do not want to get traded or play in cities with fans like this. Fans may look at the players, coaches and management for the failures of the team, there is one more place to the look. The mirror.

  96. Ducey says:

    The thing I will always remember about Smyth is the way that he had time for fans, especially kids. He was very aware of the fact that he could make an impact in people’s lives with more than his skates.

    My son’s hockey team showed up for a morning practice about 6 yrs ago at a local arena. The team on the ice was the Oilers. All the kids (who were about 8 yrs old) rushed to get their equipment on and sat on the bench to watch the Oilers. The vast majority of the players just kind of ignored the kids.

    Smyth went down the whole bench and made sure to high-five and say hello every one of them. .

    A little thing that was huge for all the kids and parents.

    He showed heart when playing but was all heart when dealing with the fans.

  97. Ribs says:

    He’ll get some help in that regard not only from Hextall, Treliving and Pascall, but former NHL defenceman Steve Staios, who is the team’s director of player development. Staios is then expected to assist the coaching staff on and off the ice in Minsk, perhaps similar to what Krueger’s job was in the Olympics. -TSN

    Neat.

  98. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    justDOit:
    theres oil in virginia,

    Well, many Oiler fans would argue that there’s one too many Steve Smiths.

    What I do know, is that it’s a good thing Red switched from singing to comedy!

    Lots of comedy sketches on that show, most without singing, and a recurring character by the name of Red Green who in the end retired Morag to the off-screen role of Bernice.

  99. icecastles says:

    Doomoil: Alright, since you’re apparently frothing at the mouth over nothing, go ahead and believe that NHL executives put “Is he a good role model” right next to “Can he score me a ton of goals” and “Is he a good playmaker.”

    When I’m hiring someone, I don’t ask “can he put his pants on properly? How good is he at putting his pants on?” I just assume he knows how to do it. If he doesn’t, he sure as hell isn’t coming to work for me but I assume its a question I shouldn’t have to ask.

    Yet curiously enough, it absolutely is a question that gets asked. Or maybe you thought Strudwick was an Oiler because of his elite defensive abilities and all that talk from the coach and GM about the importance of having him as a role model and mentor was just a really good inside joke.

    You can debate whether one thing or another makes a good role model, but utterly failing to understand how a PR-driven business works is a different story. I’m starting to get abrasive and Smyth’s thread deserves better than that. Sorry all for getting pissed off. It’s just that this kind of obliviousness really gets my goat. I’m done with this topic. Going back to happy thoughts where I pretend altruism still exists.

  100. icecastles says:

    frjohnk: Eberle, RNH and Hall are stand up kids but not without warts, but my problem is that people are jumping all over them and some are being pretty harsh, not only on this blog, for something that has not happened yet ( saying no to hockey Canada)
    WE HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD THE REASON TO AN ANSWER THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN YET.

    Now where’s the fun in that? We’ve got all these pitchforks just sitting here….

    Seriously though, I think a lot of the debate (at least my part in it) has been more in the hypothetical of “if a player says/does X then are we right or wrong to conclude Y.” I don’t think (or at least I hope) that anyone has really thrown them under the bus on the basis of rumor yet.

  101. icecastles says:

    Ribs:
    Also neat…. http://www.iihfworlds2014.com/en/news/spacek-named-assistant-coach/

    Kid I knew was once trying to learn what the different hockey terms meant, and he’d written a bunch down. He was wondering what a back check, forecheck, and a spot check were. Took me forever to figure out he was hearing “Spacek” as “spot check.”

  102. Marcus Oilerius says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3I5YfeQfAw

    Press conference going live.

  103. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Now that’s a surprise. It’s the mental side of the game that got to him.

    All the losing?

  104. denny33 says:

    su_dhillon,

    Great story…..

  105. denny33 says:

    icecastles,

    Bloody good post….

  106. stevezie says:

    I get the impression that I am in the minority, but Moreau’s King Clancy Trophy bought him a lot of credit with me. Speak for yourselves here, but I don’t want to just cheer for the laundry.

    That said, I won’t be that heartbroken if the young’ns don’t go to Team Canada. I’m more bothered by some of the bar stories I’ve heard. I watching international games, but if some people want to go straight to vacation, I get that.

  107. icecastles says:

    stevezie,

    Can we gift Smytty with an honourary Team Zissou cap on his last game?

  108. stevezie says:

    Doomoil: “They are paid handsomely in large part BECAUSE they are role models.”

    No, they really aren’t.

    In a roundabout way, they are. They get paid because fans are willing to pay to see them, and this willingness is far from guaranteed.

    The NBA worked hard to clean up their image in the 90s because they felt the players’ image was hurting their business, and the NFL has made it clear that, unless you’re Ben Roethlisberger, your off-field conduct is a part of your job.

    ——

    I remember skipping school to hear Gretz’s retirement announcement. I don’t have time to watch Smytty right now, but I’m doing it anyway. He was more than laundry.

  109. stevezie says:

    icecastles,

    And speedo. It’s in the mail.

  110. Marcus Oilerius says:

    stevezie:
    That said, I won’t be that heartbroken if the young’ns don’t go to Team Canada. I’m more bothered by some of the bar stories I’ve heard. I watching international games, but if some people want to go straight to vacation, I get that.

    I haven’t heard a bar story since 2012…

  111. stevezie says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I’m willing to cut teenagers some slack for that stuff anyway.

    Did Anderson really hospitalize him? I feel like that should be a bigger hilarious story.

  112. oliveoilers says:

    When I was young, I, indeed all of us boys, would dream of representing England at any sport that we we’re currently playing at the time. Football, Rugby, Cricket, MFing tiddly-winks, it didn’t matter. Any, I repeat ANY sport that pitted us against another country sells out instantly. For instance, Beckham played every game he could, even when in LA against teams like Moldova EVEN IF THAT FIXTURE WAS A MEANINGLESS FRIENDLY. It is like that in Europe, South America, Asia, pretty much the rest of the world. I couldn’t imagine the fall out if any player ever refused an ‘invitation’.

    It is an honour, privilege and obligation to represent your homeland/adopted homeland AT ANY LEVEL. To refuse for anything less than medical/personal grounds is churlish and asks questions of your character and why, exactly, are you even playing the sport.

    They weren’t asked to go on patrol in downtown Kabul, living little better than the natives. They were asked to represent their country at a sport they supposedly love, staying in luxury. And if they’re tired of losing, well, they’ll be top seeds and might even learn a thing or two about winning that Kevin wasn’t able to pass on.

    Humility. That’s the word. I would have thought that after their careers to date, these guys would be just about as humble as can be. But, let’s hear their side of the story before we try to find out if they weigh the same as a duck…….

  113. icecastles says:

    oliveoilers,

    Fantastic post… for a FRENCHMAN.

  114. Ca$h-Money! says:

    All I want to see is Smitty carry the puck in over the blue line and fire a slow slapper at an unscreened goalie… but this time I want it to go in. That would be the highlight of the year for me.

    The Smitty Muffin… the stuff of legends.

  115. B S says:

    Favourite Oiler just retired. Tomorrow night is going to be emotional. Smyth has been all class from start to finish. No-one in the game is classier.

    Next time the Oilers have a shot at a cup they should give him one day contracts, dig him up and wheel him onto the ice with a wood hockey stick on his decayed lap.

  116. oliveoilers says:

    icecastles:
    oliveoilers,

    Fantastic post… for a FRENCHMAN.

    Sir, you have insulted my honour! Prepare to die like the dog you are. EN GARDE!

  117. oliveoilers says:

    icecastles:
    oliveoilers,

    Fantastic post… for a FRENCHMAN.

    oliveoilers: Sir, you have insulted my honour!Prepare to die like the dog you are.EN GARDE!

    I’m sorry, that was pretty rude. What I meant to say was:

    You’re pretty funny……..FOR A RUSSIAN!

  118. FastOil says:

    Perhaps the young trio are pretty banged up and are thinking already of next year, willing to take the criticism for the benefit of the team. Probably more that than lacking Canadian spirit.

  119. icecastles says:

    oliveoilers: I’m sorry, that was pretty rude. What I meant to say was:
    You’re pretty funny……..FOR A RUSSIAN!

    You and all your silly English kinnigits.

  120. spoiler says:

    Found this gem in the comments section of TSN’s Smyth Announces Retirement article. Who knew he was such a softie?

    art vandelay
    1 hour ago

    Perhaps his NHL numbers alone are not enough to be considered worthy of the HHOF. But, when combined with what he accomplished playing for Canada at all different levels a well-deserved place in the Hall should be afforded him, along with Paul Henderson, who should already be there for much the same reasons. If Tretiak and Kharlamov are in, with the majority of the hockey world having only seen them play at World Championships and Olympics with the other Soviet ‘amateurs’, then surely there is room for Smytty

  121. Lois Lowe says:

    oliveoilers,

    I understand that you served in the military so you have a different view of nationalism/patriotism than I do, but I simply cannot agree that declining to play for your country says anything about your character. The very idea that players “owe” Hockey Canada something is farcical. They play the games, they risk the concussions, they are the ones who get paid, and they are the ones who get time off.

    There is nothing about declining to keep playing after an 8 month season that smacks of a lack of humility. That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.

  122. icecastles says:

    Lois Lowe,

    I’m with Olive on this one, 100%.

  123. spoiler says:

    Country-shmountry. Outside of sports there is very little of which to be proud. If you want to play for your country, that’s fine with me. If you don’t, that’s fine with me too.

    Hall has a knee to rehab. I suspect Ebs and Nuge are hiding some hurts. I’d rather everyone got healthy and then hit the gym and the buffet table.

    If Marincin said he didn’t feel like playing in the WHCs, would we be caring this much?

  124. Surly says:

    Thanks for so many great memories Smytty….sail on indeed.

    Looking forward to seeing how the Canucks handle him on the PP. Do they cover as normal or do they focus on him a bit knowing the same info we all know.

    In non-Oiler news, hoping for a Dallas loss tonight so it keeps the possibility of the final PHX/DAL game being a win-to-get-in tilt.

  125. G Money says:

    Lois Lowe,

    There’s an important distinction to keep in mind here.

    Hockey Canada is merely the umbrella organization used to organize the team that goes to play in the World Cup (among others).

    You are absolutely right, players owe nothing to Hockey Canada. But the point is – when they decline an invitation from Hockey Canada, they are declining to play for their country, too. And that assuredly means a lot to most people.

    The parallel is the IOC and the Olympic Team. Surely no one doubts that the IOC, despite the fact that it is the umbrella organization that puts the Olympics together at a high level every two years, is one of the skeeziest and most corrupt organizations in the entire sporting world. No athlete owes the IOC anything, and I suspect most have some degree of contempt for it.

    Yet playing for the Canadian Olympic Team is an enormous and highly prized honour, as it should be. F*** the IOC. And f*** Hockey Canada too. It’s your country you’re playing for, or declining to play for, and that does mean something.

  126. bendelson says:

    Firstly, I love the idea of Smytty wearing the ‘C’ tomorrow night. This should happen.

    Secondly, I will agree with Art (doesn’t happen often) that Smytty deserves HoF honours (with the jersey retirement in Edmonton being an absolute no-brainer IMHO). Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

    Lastly, I wonder aloud: Does the Tavares injury over the Olympics change anything in regards to this notion that players are somehow ‘obligated’ to say yes to Team Canada? Are the NYI sending anyone to the WHC?

  127. FastOil says:

    Lois Lowe:
    oliveoilers,

    I understand that you served in the military so you have a different view of nationalism/patriotism than I do, but I simply cannot agree that declining to play for your country says anything about your character. The very idea that players “owe” Hockey Canada something is farcical. They play the games, they risk the concussions, they are the ones who get paid, and they are the ones who get time off.

    There is nothing about declining to keep playing after an 8 month season that smacks of a lack of humility. That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.

    International play serves the same role for the average fan as team play does. It’s an extension of self, the reason most fans want their team to win the games, their city or country to be victorious.

    It’s base but it’s human nature, and having a natural inclination to value circles of commonality has it’s roots in personal security in places where that can’t be taken for granted. It’s why we had city states and why we have countries at all. To a very many people it matters on an emotional level at least.

    Not wanting to play out disinterest or selfishness speaks to people at least subconsciously of being a turncoat, rightly or wrongly. Everyone should pull their weight for the greater good, the fans pay up and the players play when there are games to be in, especially on the big stage.

    If everyone had a dry or dispassionate view on the subject of country and hockey all that would be left is the ugliness of the big business of pro sport. I think that is also reason why Europeans get into reputation difficulties here, because they sometimes come off as lacking passion about the game and their role, perhaps being more about the fat pay cheque than love of NHL hockey and the Stanley Cup.

    If the players can’t be seen as having passion for the game or their country, some ‘common man’ still in them, with their lavish lifestyles so very different from most of ours and overflowing bank accounts, I don’t think as many people could stomach watching. I find it at my outer limits often enough. Fans are naive perhaps, but it keeps the relationship working.

    It’s still their choice but perhaps even as business people they should be thinking about their brand. I am convinced it causes harm to their reputations.

  128. icecastles says:

    G Money,

    Nicely put.

  129. G Money says:

    spoiler: Hall has a knee to rehab. I suspect Ebs and Nuge are hiding some hurts.

    If any of the three are injured and decline to play for that reason, I (and almost certainly every other proud Canadian) will have no issue at all.

    If Lindy Ruff is coaching the team and Hall decides not to play, I’ll find that a bit immature, but I totally understand. As someone pointed out earlier, if you treat a volunteer shabbily, they are unlikely to volunteer for you again, no matter how noble the cause.

    But if all three are healthy and decline to play because they’d rather hit the beach or the links early … hmmm, yeah, can’t speak for others, but my estimation of the character of these young gentlemen will fall, and it will fall precipitously.

  130. G Money says:

    icecastles,

    Thanks, although I have a suspicion that your compliment is … ENIGMATIC!

  131. Lois Lowe says:

    G Money:
    Lois Lowe,

    You are absolutely right, players owe nothing to Hockey Canada.But the point is – when they decline an invitation from Hockey Canada, they are declining to play for their country, too.And that assuredly means a lot to most people.

    It’s your country you’re playing for, or declining to play for, and that does mean something.

    You can’t keep repeating that in the hopes that it suddenly becomes objectively true.

    FastOil:
    Not wanting to play out disinterest or selfishness speaks to people at least subconsciously of being a turncoat, rightly or wrongly. Everyone should pull their weight for the greater good, the fans pay up and the players play when there are games to be in, especially on the big stage.

    You’re ascribing meaning to their choice not to play by putting it in terms of disinterest or selfishness. The choice is theirs and they live with the consequences, not you. There is any number of reasons to choose not to play and I simply put no moral weight on something that I grossly lack information about. Further, there is no obligation on their part to “pull their weight”. If they pay their taxes and vote, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve done their civic duty.

  132. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lois is i. 100% correct, and ii. certain to wind up regretting it.

  133. Ribs says:

    I find it hard to really care about the Worlds too much as they are designed to be played when the majority of the best players in the world are busy doing other things. The inclusion of top tier talent on any given team can be very random. I enjoy watching the games and cheer for my country, but I won’t get too worked up about players not showing up to what is greatly a revenue generating tournament.

  134. Lowetide says:

    Lois is my hero.

  135. stevezie says:

    I like how divisive this issue is turning out to be. Many traditional allies find themselves lining up on opposite sides- old rivals making strange, exciting bedfellows.

    Bendelsjon and Ari Vandelay! Who would have thought we’d see the day?

  136. docweb says:

    Thanks LT for the tribute to my favourite Oiler of the past 15 years. He is the perfect example of what made the old Oiler teams that never won anything, so easy to cheer for… no money, hard to play against, small market, hit everything that moved, stitches in the hallway, etc.

    In other words…everything we are now……..not

    I respected and admired Ryan.

    My daughter loved Ryan.

    She was born in 1986 and so Ryan was the star when she was becoming of age The 2006 run was a Edmonton moment, but it was a family moment for us…0ur whole family was able to attend eyery home game. Magic

    The next spring, on the way to the Mark Messier ceremony, we were listening on the radio as first Ryan was going to be signed, essentially, to be an Oiler for life, but ultimately was traded thanks to “you now who”.

    She has since married, and moved to Burlington Ontario

    Last fall, we moved her remaining items out of our house to Burlington.

    Among them….a live size Ryan Smyth Promo poster and a signed stick from the Mullet.

    First hockey love….always the sweetest

  137. bendelson says:

    stevezie:
    I like how divisive this issue is turning out to be. Many traditional allies find themselves lining up on opposite sides- old rivals making strange, exciting bedfellows.

    Bendelsjon and Ari Vandelay! Who would have thought we’d see the day?

    It is a reflection on just how great this site is…
    A debate about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship on a math-centric hockey blog?

    Awesome.

  138. theres oil in virginia says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lois is i. 100% correct, and ii. certain to wind up regretting it.

    I’ll throw my lot in with Lois. Of course, I’m a citizen of the USA, so it doesn’t count as much. That’s one of those nasty little consequences of nationalism. Is the concept of voluntarism dead?

    stevezie: Bendelsjon and Ari Vandelay!

    Wow, a Nordic and a Jew. Neat. I guess a lot of Jews did flee there during the holocaust, so it stands to reason.

  139. oliveoilers says:

    Lois Lowe:
    oliveoilers,

    I understand that you served in the military so you have a different view of nationalism/patriotism than I do, but I simply cannot agree that declining to play for your country says anything about your character. The very idea that players “owe” Hockey Canada something is farcical. They play the games, they risk the concussions, they are the ones who get paid, and they are the ones who get time off.

    There is nothing about declining to keep playing after an 8 month season that smacks of a lack of humility. That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.

    Thank you for your reply, I truly appreciate an argument put in the right spirit and respectfully presented.

    To answer your points, I would first turn one directly around: “That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.” Well, that’s you projecting your point of view and what it means on to others. Were both guilty of the same crime.

    You are 100% right: “they are the ones who get paid”. I would ask you; what does this mean to you? That they only play for the money? Is the narrative “for the love of the game” still alive? As you are aware, loyalty can NEVER be brought. It must be earned through a two way process. The term is ‘mercenary’.

    If anything, they should be going just to learn more of their ‘trade’ through different mediums. These aren’t perfect hockey players and from a hockey perspective, they should be learning all they can from anybody willing to teach. The merits of the lessons can be argued afterwards.

    The bottom line is that they DO owe. They owe the fans who pay their wages. I get that from a business point of view, the WCs and the Olympics are just not viable. But, I beg you to think again on my point of other sports in EVERY other part of the world: The player or team who turns down their country is committing professional and fiscal suicide. The fans won’t stand for it.

    This all being said, I do believe that the WCs should be every four years, like most other sports world cups. The North American attitude of a tournament only mattering when they say it does has to stop. See the ‘World’ series vs the soccer world cup viewing figures.

  140. FastOil says:

    Lowetide: Fast

    Steve Smith is mine.

  141. FastOil says:

    Lois Lowe,

    “You’re ascribing meaning to their choice not to play by putting it in terms of disinterest or selfishness. The choice is theirs and they live with the consequences, not you. There is any number of reasons to choose not to play and I simply put no moral weight on something that I grossly lack information about. Further, there is no obligation on their part to “pull their weight”. If they pay their taxes and vote, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve done their civic duty.”

    What other reasons would there be? Not interested or don’t want to – self.

    They do live with the consequences, and I certainly didn’t say otherwise. Like you, I don’t really care what these millionaires do with their potential free time. If I wasn’t physically compromised (as I think the top line is) I would LOVE to play for my country and win it a GOLD medal. I don’t play world championship sports to lose, what’s the point?

    This does however hurt a player’s ‘brand’ and marketability. If I had a season of Iginla traitor’s salary I’d do whatever I want as well. University is over my friend. Unless you are still there of course

  142. FastOil says:

    oliveoilers: Thank you for your reply, I truly appreciate an argument put in the right spirit and respectfully presented.

    To answer your points, I would first turn one directly around:“That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.”Well, that’s you projecting your point of view and what it means on to others.Were both guilty of the same crime.

    You are 100% right:“they are the ones who get paid”.I would ask you; what does this mean to you?That they only play for the money?Is the narrative “for the love of the game” still alive?As you are aware, loyalty can NEVER be brought.It must be earned through a two way process.The term is ‘mercenary’.

    If anything, they should be going just to learn more of their ‘trade’ through different mediums.These aren’t perfect hockey players and from a hockey perspective, they should be learning all they can from anybody willing to teach.The merits of the lessons can be argued afterwards.

    The bottom line is that they DO owe.They owe the fans who pay their wages.I get that from a business point of view, the WCs and the Olympics are just not viable.But, I beg you to think again on my point of other sports in EVERY other part of the world:The player or team who turns down their country is committing professional and fiscal suicide.The fans won’t stand for it.

    This all being said, I do believe that the WCs should be every four years, like most other sports world cups.The North American attitude of a tournament only mattering when they say it does has to stop.See the ‘World’ series vs the soccer world cup viewing figures.

    Thank you for being rational, fair and not politically correct, which bores the crap out of me.

  143. theres oil in virginia says:

    oliveoilers: To answer your points, I would first turn one directly around: “That’s simply you projecting your version of what it means to be a citizen on to others.” Well, that’s you projecting your point of view and what it means on to others. Were both guilty of the same crime.

    Not exactly, man. Lois’ version includes no requirement from others. Your’s does include a requirement from others. I think that’s the stark difference.

    FastOil: This does however hurt a player’s ‘brand’ and marketability.

    I think so too, but it doesn’t make their choice morally wrong, or mean that they have an obligation to someone/something. It just means that people think they have this obligation and may punish them for it.

  144. oliveoilers says:

    FastOil: Thank you for being rational, fair and not politically correct, which bores the crap out of me. ;-)

    Oh? In what way was I not politically correct? I don’t mind boring the crap out of you, fast, just a little pay back for all the times you’ve cured my insomnia. ;-)

  145. FastOil says:

    oliveoilers: Fast

    I think you have that bass ackward. Being politically correct is boring. I thought you were the other. It is mentally easy to go with the flow, right or wrong. Typically I have felt it’s wrong. Perhaps I’m contrarian.

  146. oliveoilers says:

    FastOil: I think you have that bass ackward. Being politically correct is boring. I thought you were the other. It is mentally easy to go with the flow, right or wrong. Typically I have felt it’s wrong. Perhaps I’m contrarian.

    People think I’m argumentative. I’ve never agreed with them.

  147. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: For most hockey fans in NA, the WC tournament is an after thought. The IIHF has even been called to entice to tournament to NA players and fans if they want a bigger following. Maybe calling it “second tier” is off base but it is not all the same level as the Stanley Cup.

    I agree, WC has a stigma because folks are all focussed on the Stanley Cup. I’m different because a) I’m just “different”, b) I’m an Oilers fan & there are always more Oilers in Europe in May than there are in the Stanley Cup playoffs; c) I’m a Canada fan through and through, and d) because it’s an international hockey festival, and I love how the game has taken off elsewhere in the world. It’s always a good tourney, every year some countries get short-changed by who’s unavailable and some countries get lucky, and every year Canada has a fighting chance even if they wind up with their “C” team just because we got so much depth in this country.

    It’s not the Olympics, but neither is the World Curling Championships or the World Figure Skating Championships the Olympics either, but I watch them every year all the same, even as interest gets ramped up on the fourth year.

    One thing I will say unequivocally is that the World Senior Championship is a much bigger deal than the World Junior Championship. The former is the biggest tourney of the year in Europe, whereas the latter’s popularity is primarily a North American phenomenon built on the hype machine that is TSN. There are always top juniors missing every year because they are in the NHL, but people are happy to hand wave that away as a fact of life while the same problem is somehow a spoiler for the World Seniors. I’m not buying. Each is as good as they can be under their particular circumstances each year.

  148. Lois Lowe says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lois is i. 100% correct, and ii. certain to wind up regretting it.

    I am really not sure about ii. I try not to get very political on LT’s site, but I very much doubt that I’ll regret it. Patriotism/nationalism isn’t something that I can really get behind for a number of reasons that aren’t worth getting into here.

    oliveoilers: I would ask you; what does this mean to you? That they only play for the money? Is the narrative “for the love of the game” still alive? As you are aware, loyalty can NEVER be brought. It must be earned through a two way process. The term is ‘mercenary’.

    If anything, they should be going just to learn more of their ‘trade’ through different mediums.These aren’t perfect hockey players and from a hockey perspective, they should be learning all they can from anybody willing to teach.The merits of the lessons can be argued afterwards.

    Again, all I can say is that you’re making an emotional argument to someone who just isn’t buying it. Of course NHL players play for money, just the same as you and I both do our jobs for money. We don’t (and I apologize if you’re still in the military) simply do our jobs “for love of the profession”; we expect to get paid. Loyalty can, and is bought, we need to look no further than Ryan Smyth. After all, he played for other teams than the Oilers.

    As far as any argument that the young Oilers can/need to learn something from international play; I think we can both agree that that is at best a wash. The young Oilers need to learn how to win in the NHL, and nothing else is going to give them that lesson.

    The bottom line is that they DO owe.They owe the fans who pay their wages.I get that from a business point of view, the WCs and the Olympics are just not viable.But, I beg you to think again on my point of other sports in EVERY other part of the world:The player or team who turns down their country is committing professional and fiscal suicide.The fans won’t stand for it.

    The reality is that these players are not committing fiscal suicide. Jerome Iginla would have been done long ago were this the case. The fans pay to see their favourite players. Period. It just so happens that most fans care more about the NHL than they do about other tournaments.

  149. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A random thought.

    Without a hint of imperative, I feel very comfortable saying WC hockey is very entertaining and is hockey played a very high level. You shouldn’t watch it if you don’t agree with those things, but you can’t convince me otherwise.

  150. Lois Lowe says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I LOVE World Championship hockey. That should be very clear. I think international hockey is great fun. I just don’t put any nationalistic/patriotic pride into it aside from having a team to cheer for. I want Canada to win, it’s just that I find myself ashamed for the multitude of other things that ‘Canada’ stands for, and as a result, it’s not ‘Canada’ I’m cheering for, but the team who is representing them.

    NB – LT’s site is not the place to debate my particular political leanings, and as such, just respect that I have very legitimate reasons for being a conscientious objector to Canadian nationalism.

  151. stevezie says:

    Lois Lowe: I LOVE World Championship hockey. That should be very clear. I think international hockey is great fun. I just don’t put any nationalistic/patriotic pride into it aside from having a team to cheer for.

    Preach it.

  152. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lois Lowe,

    hey,

    my comment was targeted at you or even at someone holding your beliefs.

    I could care less about your stance on national pride. I’m the last one you’ll find waving the flag in other people’s faces.

    My comment was more about those chiding the level of hockey and entertainment available at this and other international championships, regardless of who you are cheering for.

    I’m with Bruce. I think these tourneys are a lot of fun. And, a lot of the fun is just in watching players you’ve never seen before, or whom you see infrequently, i.e., from far away lands.

  153. Ryan Smyth – The Generational Player | The SuperFan says:

    […] Sail on, Moose Jaw Warrior – Lowetide […]

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