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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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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