The Edmonton Oilers have re-acquired winger, Ryan Smyth, and on behalf of Oilers fans everywhere I’d like to welcome him back with open arms. The Oilers now have their leader that they so desperately needed both on and off the ice, and have a great mentor for it’s young players to learn how to be professional hockey players. There’s no player in the league that could have been a better acquisition for the Oilers than Captain Canada.
Smyth was traded to the New York Islanders in 2007 during arguably the best season of his career. Despite coming off a Stanley Cup run the previous season, the Oilers were clearly a rebuilding team rather than a legitimate contender. There just wasn’t any chance of bringing Smyth back for a reasonable price, so they were forced to cut their ties and moved on.
Since then, Smyth has enjoyed two seasons where he’s scored over 20 goals, and put up over 50 points. But Smyth will definitely be taking a back seat to the youth movement, as it’s expected that he’ll reunite with other lifetime Oilers, Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. That line, better than any other collection of players in the league, will show what it truly means to be an Oiler, and should help pave the way for the influx of youth expected to join Edmonton in the upcoming years. With a recent history of players stating their disdain for the city, this collection of players will look to buck that trend and show the youngsters their passion for Edmonton, which will hopefully rub off. If that’s able to be achieved, we may be looking at a young, talented group of players reminiscent of the Oilers of the 80’s, and what will definitely be the best collection of talent the Oilers have had since the 1995-96 season.
So lead the way, Captain Canada. Welcome home, Ryan. Welcome home.