Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Oilers legend retires

From where I sit it looks like the Oilers are losing a piece of their heart...


With Ryan Smyth retiring Edmonton has lost it's last link to the 2006 Cup Final. It's also lost a leader in the dressing room and on the ice. At some point the Oilers need find a way to replace it, and not just on the third line, but on the top line where Smyth spent a good chunk of his time in Edmonton. For all the current crop can be exciting to watch, when they feel like it, the battle intensity of players like Smyth is severely lacking. This has also created a question over the possibility of retiring Smyth's familiar 94. Quite frankly, I don't see why not. Smyth has made a measurable difference both to the team and the community. His statistics can't be over looked. On a team famous for it's scoring prowess in the 1980s Smyth stands in the top tier in every offensive category. Nor should his contributions to Team Canada be cast aside. Gold at every major level. There are a good number of fans who feel the honour of jersey retirement should be reserved only for Cup champions. That's a noble goal to be certain, but tragically unrealistic. The Oilers are a long way away from even being a playoff contender, never mind a Cup winner. Get off the high horse and come to grips with the fact that there will never be another team like the old Oilers, but that doesn't mean the accomplishments of the new Oilers should be cast aside.
At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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