Thursday, March 01, 2007

FAREWELL TO 94!!!

I know a lot of you have no clue what my title to this post means and I know a lot of you couldn't care less. Those of you who do know what I am talking about perhaps you feel the same sadness I do today.

As most of you know I am a very very passionate hockey fan. I love everything about the game of hockey. You also probably know that even more than being a passionate fan of the sport in general I am a passionate Oilers fan through and through. All the years of not making the playoffs and all the years of watching great players leave and I am still crazy about the Oilers and that will never change.

On August 9 1988 the Oilers traded "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings. I was not old enough to really remember how it felt when that happened. What I do know is that a city was devastated by the loss of the greatest player to ever play the game of hockey. The Oilers did win one more Stanley cup in 1990 without Gretzky but it was essentially the beginning of the end of the "glory years" for the Oilers and their fans.

In 1994 the Oilers drafted a hockey player by the name of Ryan Smyth. Before 3 pm EST on Tuesday he was the the longest serving Oiler on the roster. For over 12 years he was the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers. He bled copper and blue and he gave his heart and soul to the team and the city every night. He doesn't score the prettiest goals but since when did how they go in matter? He is perhaps one of the best in the game at what he does on the ice. Not only was Smyth an Oiler and a great hockey player but he IS my favorite hockey player and that will not change.

I think back to what it felt like for me and all the other Oiler fans out there when we lost game 7 of the Stanley Cup final last year. It was heart wrenching. Such joy turned into devastation as we got to watch the Carolina Hurricanes parade around with the Stanley Cup. It was a crappy time to be an Oilers fan and the offseason and the way this current season has gone didn't help matters. And then Tuesday was the punch in the gut I never saw coming. The Oilers traded the face of their franchise Ryan Smyth in the final hour leading up to the NHL trade deadline because they couldn't agree on a contract extension and the Oilers didn't want to lose him for nothing as a free agent this summer.

I am shocked and I am sad. I will miss what he brings to the Oilers, I will miss his mullet but most of all I will just miss him being on the ice every night for my favorite team.

Before he boarded a plane yesterday headed for New York Ryan Smyth held a press conference at the Edmonton International Airport. It was hard to watch and the tears were a plenty. Ryan struggled through the press conference choking back tears and you could see his devastation and shock to be leaving. In the end it doesn't matter who was right or wrong or why they couldn't agree to an extension. No matter which way you slice it, the Oilers lost a great person and a great hockey player this week. It will be hard to see him wear anything but the Oil drop on his chest. One of the things he said in his press conference.......

"I'm going to go there and do my best to make the playoffs and win that cup so I can bring it down here to Edmonton because that's where my heart is." You gotta love the guy!!

The only good news for me is that he got traded to the New York Islanders and its only about a three hour drive. Chris and I will be heading to New York in late March to see him play in Long Island.

So farewell to Ryan Smyth the Edmonton Oiler. It will be weird to see him in anything but an Oilers uniform but the player Ryan Smyth is my favorite player not Ryan Smyth the Oiler. And it could have been worse he could have went to the Canucks, the Flames or the Red Wings.

9 comments:

Kirst said...

I know it's a sad time for Oiler fans but really would it be that bad if he became a Flame.

Evey said...

Yes my friend, yes it would!

Tammy & Jeremy said...

Don't worry Kirsten, we (the Flames) don't need him...haha.

Sorry to hear the news but happy that you get to see him in NY.

Andrea said...

Ahhhh...I'm so sorry! You know I'm no hockey fan, but I DO feel your pain!

ChaCha said...

It was a very sad day for all Canadians, we all thought for sure that it would be the end of hockey in Canada

Kelley said...

I felt the same when that asshole Keenan managed to get Trevor Linden traded away from the Canucks. Yeah I know he was only the coach, but us fans hold him totally responsible for wrecking a perfectly good team. Thank God Linden came back though. Number 16 will hang in the rafters of GM Place some day. Maybe Smyth will come back one day.

Shelley said...

Hang in there girl! At least you get to see him in NY. I am not a hockey fan, but I feel for you.

I'm back to blogging by the way...lol, that break lasted not too long!

Zoe said...

I feel your sorrow . . . as much as I can for a non-hockey person. I saw the word "farewell" and I thought that you were going to stop blogging!!!

The Oultons said...

Farewell to 94 is what I'm going to be saying when the Canucks win the cup. 1994 was our last failed attempt. I'm sorry about the Ryan Smyth thing, but maybe he goes back and signs for 5 mil a season next year, and they're up 3 1st round draft picks for it. You never know.

It's so sad seeing Petr Nedved out there trying to go to the net (like Smyth did) to keep a job. He's the suck!