For richer or poorer ...

MIKE JENKINSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

LIVING IN Calgary, at first I thought I would be elated that Ryan Smyth was traded from the Oilers. But I was saddened and feel for the Oiler fans. I want the battles to be competitive. Perhaps your fans felt the same way when the Flames were mired in mediocrity in the 1990s. If the Flames can afford Alex Tanguay, who has approximately the same point totals as Smyth, but is not the heart and soul of the team, why could the Oilers not afford to keep Smyth?

Darryl Elvers

Calgary

FOR YEARS I thought that Alberta, with all its riches, should be able to contribute to a good hockey franchise by getting at least two bonafide hockey players. Invest a little from the Alberta Heritage Fund - you know you've got to think outside the box once in awhile.

Joachim P. Bonnetrouge

Fort Providence, N.W.T.

THIS STORY is making me want to puke! The tears and emotional farewell by Ryan Smyth is total crap! Smyth could have very easily stayed if he was willing to accept $5.4 million instead of the $5.5 million he wanted. It'll cost him more than that $100,000 a year to live in Long Island instead of Edmonton. His greed got the better of him, pure and simple. He certainly won't get any sympathy from me. And if you fans who do support him had half a brain, you wouldn't be feeling sorry for him either.

Ed Nichiporick

I CAN'T wait for this Saturday's Coach's Corner to see if Don Cherry rips Ryan's wimpy sissy display. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. What he should have done is stomp his feet and snarl that he's fired his greedy agent. If it meant so much to Ryan to remain an Oiler he would have taken the offer.

Wayne Cowley

Ottawa

I WATCHED Wayne Gretzky get sold. I have seen a lot of great hockey players leave Edmonton. I cried for the first time over hockey. The fans and city rallied behind the Oilers and did everything possible to keep the Oilers here. Wasn't the theory that in letting Chris Pronger go we had the money to sign Ryan Smyth?

A. Richards

I AM disgusted as well as shocked at the recent trade of Ryan Smyth. Ryan was everything that we were looking for in Edmonton and everything that other teams were hoping to find in a player. Ryan played with the most heart of anyone seen today in the league and was an incredible leader on and off the ice.

Pete Vander Veen

OH BOO-hoo. Poor little Ryan has to leave the Oilers. We all know the reason, don't we? It's called MONEY! He would love to be an Oiler if, and only if, the money was right. All that blubbering and whining at the airport was all a big sham and embarrassing.

B. Chown

Calgary

AM I unhappy that Ryan Smyth is leaving Edmonton? Yes. Would I have liked to see him play his entire career in Edmonton? Yes. Did he do a lot for Edmonton outside of hockey? Yes. But to all those fans who are dumping on Kevin Lowe for trading him, get over it. If Ryan Smyth really wanted to remain an Oiler, he, or his agent, would have accepted their latest offer. Honestly, $5.4 million per year is not exactly chump change.

Gerry Sinkler

TO ALL the ranting Ryan Smyth fans: Kevin Lowe did everything he could as a general manager to keep Ryan here. So just for one moment, people, could we consider the slim possibility that no matter what Kevin did, Ryan was going to test the markets as a free agent?

Brian Ilkuf

IF THE Edmonton Investors Group doesn't increase the payroll by $5 million, the Oilers will miss the playoffs next season. They will keep missing the playoffs until EIG decides to spend enough to compete. If they simply plan on continuing to pocket the money they should be spending on the payroll, then their greed will have cost us our heart and soul.

Rupinder Thind

THAT SURE was crafty how the Oilers organization used Mark Messier's retirement ceremony to soften the blow of Ryan Smyth's trade. I truly believe the fans would have destroyed Rexall Place had it been any other night.

Mona Hill

WHAT ANGERS me now is the attitude of so-called Oilers fans. Without knowing what went wrong in negotiations you all go off and blame Kevin Lowe. The ignorance in this town is amazing. Just months after Lowe and his staff put together a team that took us on such a great playoff run, you all want to run him out of town. Unbelievable!

D. Bakke

I UNDERSTAND that hockey is a big thing in this city. But people are putting way too much emphasis on the Smyth trade. News people have been talking about this like someone has died. I think that this city needs to get a grip on reality and realize that hockey is just a game. Players are traded all the time. People should realize that they have been lucky that they had Smyth for as long as they did.

Michelle Hall

MAKE NO mistake - no one is cheering here in Cowtown. Calgarians cannot believe what transpired with the heart and soul of your franchise. We sat in disbelief watching this debacle unfold. We have lost the opportunity to watch a true competitor who not only plays with his heart, but proudly wears the colours of his team on his sleeves. I can only hope that Ryan sees through this incredibly difficult time and comes back to play for your team in the near future.

T. Graden

Calgary

WE ARE entering another dark age of hockey here in Edmonton. Just when we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel with a new CBA and the prospect of equality throughout the league with regard to salaries, Kevin Lowe does the unfathomable - he trades the face, the heart, and soul of the Oilers. And for what? For some more unproven kids?

Chris Faucher

SOMEONE PLEASE explain to me how trading our top player, face of the franchise and heart and soul of the team makes us a better team? I heard that story after we traded Wayne Gretzky and every other truly exceptional player who has ever worn our beloved crest. We were building for the future. What future?

P. McFarlane

IF THE hockey pundits are right, the Smyth trade came down to the paltry sum (at least among pro athletes) of $100,000. Hockey insiders have been saying that Smyth wanted $100,000 more per season than Lowe and the owners were willing to pay him. If this was indeed the deal breaker, Kevin Lowe should not have to shoulder all the blame for Smyth's departure.

John Baillieul

Sydney, N.S.

KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... KEVIN LOWE MUST GO ... That's all I have to say.

C. Lawrence

FINALLY THE Oilers have a chance to shed the image they had throughout the 1990s and can now move on. It's sad to see Ryan Smyth go but it was his choice to leave. The difference reported on his contract offer is enough money for most folks to live a rich life. Not good enough for Mr. Smyth? Bye.

Mike Lalonde

I WOULD like to applaud the management of the Oilers for letting Ryan Smyth go. In this day where there are many doing without, I don't feel sorry that Ryan couldn't live with the paltry amount that the Oilers were offering him. My heroes have never been the sports players, as they demand so much for so little work. My heroes are the soldiers who fight for freedom and a better world. I think that the salaries for the soldiers fighting in Afghanistan should be switched for the salaries of the hockey players. Let's see how much the hockey players would like to play for a realistic pay.

Lori Yaremchuk


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