Pretty memorable night this past weekend. In case you missed it, here’s the highlight from the game.
I’ve never experienced anything like that and I don’t suspect many other have. Almost makes you forget about the disastrous season.
The funny thing is, Smyth has been on the team for three years since his return. Yet we didn’t pay much attention to him, mainly because he was playing a reduced role. We knew he was on the team, but I don’t think anyone really, truly appreciated his accomplishments until this past weekend.
Smyth really did define an entire era for the Oilers. For me personally, he was the face of the franchise, that generational player every team desperately searches for. Around the time I really started following the Oilers was when Smyth was just starting his legacy. Losing him is losing a big part of the Oilers fan experience.
Reflecting on his career and following the #94memories discussion on Twitter, it’s crazy to think that every significant event I’ve experienced as an Oiler fan, he was there.
He was on the team when the Oilers upset the Stars in 1997 and when they upset the Avalanche in 1998. He was there when Edmonton hosted the Heritage Classic. And he was there when the team went to the Cup finals in 2006.
The Oilers did a very nice job making Smyth’s retirement into a very memorable event. A lot of little details were in place to ensure the memory of Smyth’s last game would resonate with fans for a long time. I honestly cant think of the last memorable event at Northlands since 2006. It’s sad to think that the club hasn’t experienced a real memorable event since the last playoff experience. Gagner’s 8-point night stands out, but nothing really as big as a playoff run.
One final thought on Smyth’s retirement. I agree that it’s great for the young players on the roster to experience the event and see how much Smyth mattered to the city. But I also hope some of the players who left for more money, especially those that departed during the lean years, tuned it for the event.
Sail on, Moose Jaw Warrior – Lowetide
Smyth and Yakupov – mc79hockey
Smytty’s Last Game – reflection on a great Edmonton Oiler’s career – Cult of Hockey
There Goes Our Hero – The Oilers Rig