With intense physicals and endless drills, training camp is always a rough time of year for hockey players, so much so that even elite players like Ryan Smyth and Joe Sackic can end up looking like hobos with serious Lysol addictions. But never mind that, apparently the two new linemates for the Colorado Avalanche are fast friends, with Sakic acting as Smyth's "chaperone," giving the mulleted one the city tour along with daily rides to camp.
Meanwhile, the web boards are all a-bluster about Ryan Smyth's new turncoat allegiance with the Avs, and his supposed anti-Oilers comment: “Well, hopefully, I can be an Oiler killer.”
Anyone bored enough to watch the tape from that interview — I work a 12-hour shift on Saturdays — will see that Smyth was clearly making a joke, but it's funny to see what kind of ridiculous vitriol this inspires from some Oilers fans (my personal HF Board favourite: "He could have dated my sister and dumped her for her best friend and I wouldn't hate him any more than I do now.")
Ever since that horrible trade, some Oilers fans have tripping over themselves to diminish Smyth's decade-plus contributions for the team, spinning the story as one of yet another player's "greed," as if batting away nagging, subconscious doubts about upper management's stated rationale for the deadline deal.
There's even been chatter about booing Smyth when he comes back to Rexall on October 23, which, upon reflection, makes me want to fly home and punch my hometown in the face.
Hopefully, this dink contingent is a minority restricted to web boards and call-in shows and real, sentient Edmontonians will give Smyth the polite ovation that he deserves upon returning in October. Then as Oilers luck will have it, he'll promptly score 7 straight goals and knock Dwayne Roloson out for the season, sending our season into a tailspin, forcing me to drive my head through the TV screen.
Kris Russell, A Molehill.
3 weeks ago