Ryan Smyth returned to Edmonton for the first time since being traded last season at the deadline. He was traded to the New York Islanders for prospect Ryan O'Marra, Robert Nilsson and the Islander's first round draft pick for the 07 draft (Alex Plante).
Before the game began a tribute to Ryan Smyth was shown over the video display board of his contributions to the Edmonton Oilers club. His 12 seasons as an oiler were not forgotten by fans as they cheered loudly as the display was shown. Ryan who mostly kept his head down during the presentation was teary-eyed as he skated to center ice saluting the fans he entertained for 12 seasons.
Ryan Smyth played the entire game, as he touched the punk a faint cheer of boo's were followed. Common to happen when your captain has a minor disagreement about pay (offered - 27 mil, asking price- 27.5).
Smyth, though not logging a point in his return played 21:25. Smyth had this to say after the game "It was obviously very emotional. It's quite an honor to come back to the city where you started your NHL career and be recognized like I was. The fans were great."
The Avs narrowly escaped with a victory, winning 4-2 (empty net goal at 19:42). Ryan Smyth to me, will always be remembered as captain of the Oilers (although he was not). He played with grit, heart and soul and always has and always will give 110%.