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PASSIONATE ABOUT THE GAME

Thursday, 03.01.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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PASSIONATE ABOUT THE GAME
Smyth honored and flattered by Islanders fans' reactions to his arrival

After a brief morning skate and a number of introductions, Ryan Smyth was handed his new No. 94 New York Islanders sweater by general manager Garth Snow and head coach Ted Nolan, in front of dozens of cameras and reporters from the United States and Canada.

Smyth grew up in Alberta an avid Edmonton fan during their heyday in the mid-1980s when they won five Stanley Cups. After reflecting on his time in Edmonton, he continued by discussing his new home Long Island.

"I look forward to this new chapter with the Islanders and making a run for the Cup," said Smyth. "I'm just one player and that doesn't make a team, but hopefully, I'll be a piece to the puzzle that gives this team an opportunity to win the Cup."

When Smyth arrived at the arena this morning around 11 am, he had little time to dress and get on the ice before the Islanders' morning skate ended, but he still had time to talk to some of the players and personnel.

"Everyone here has been so welcoming," said Smyth. "The first guys I talked to were Silli and Hunts. I know Silli from way back, and Hunts as well. I met some guys in the locker room and on the ice as well. The atmosphere has been really good."

A student of the game, Smyth certainly knows the Oilers dynasty that he grew up following closely, but he also talked about the dynasty the preceded the Oilers', the Islanders' four Stanley Cup run. 

"I really appreciate the history of this organization. Just looking up at the banners, it's a lot like the history of the Oilers. The names of Trottier, Bossy go on and on."

One reporter asked how Smyth would respond now that he's not playing for the team he grew up idolizing.

"Every day I'm proud to be playing in the National Hockey League," said Smyth. "When I get onto that ice, I think about nothing but being at the rink and doing whatever it takes to help the team win. I'll do whatever Ted wants me to do even if it means putting my teeth in front of a shot."

The four-time 30 goal scorer said he was "honored and flattered" by the Islanders' fans responses to his arrival on Long Island.

Smyth also talked about how is older brother, Kevin, played under Nolan, when he was an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers. When asked what his brother thought of Nolan, Smyth jokingly said "no comment," smiling and looking towards Nolan. He continued "No, everyone I've spoken to has said Ted is such a great guy, who's easy to get along with. I look forward to playing under him."

A mainstay on Team Canada in international competition Smyth surprised when he received a call from Islanders legend Mike Bossy this morning.

"It was an honor for me that he took time out of his day to give me a call," said Smyth. He was a legend on those Islanders teams when I was growing up. So it was awesome to get a phone call from Bossy."

Check Islanders TV this afternoon to watch this morning™s press briefing with Ryan Smyth.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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