After scoring 386 regular season goals – probably at least 80 percent of them from the “dirty areas” of the ice – in more than 1,200 games, Ryan Smyth is expected to announce his retirement from the NHL on Saturday, according to various sources including TSN’s Bob McKenzie and the Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones.
Smyth, 38, is currently representing the team he’ll be associated with (the Edmonton Oilers) against the team he played his second-most games for (the Los Angeles Kings) on Thursday. He’s played 969 games (and counting) for the Oilers, 149 for the Kings, 132 with the Colorado Avalanche and 18 with the New York Islanders. Those 18 games don’t seem like much, yet his trade from the Oilers to the Islanders prompted a tearful response that’s often cited when the rugged veteran is discussed.
The winger is probably “an old 38” considering all the abuse he likely takes on a game-by-game basis, yet there’s always the chance that he might have second thoughts or get an offer that inspires him to play a little longer. If not, it will be the end of an era for a mulleted man known to many as “Captain Canada.”