Smyth's tearful goodbye

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:14 AM ET

EDMONTON – Tears in his eyes and sobbing, Ryan Smyth walked through the airport as dozens of cameras led his way to say goodbye to Edmonton and the Oilers today.

Reaching an area roped off for a media conference in the international flight check-in area, it took the 12-year-veteran several minutes to compose himself before he read a prepared statement and then answered questions.

“I just wanted to say thanks to everybody,’’ he began.

“This is not what my family and I had in store,’’ he added of expectations that he’d be dealt to the New York Islanders for a first round draft choice, minor leaguer Robert Nilsson and graduating junior Ryan O’Marra.

“I’d just like to thank the Edmonton Oilers organization for the opportunity to play in the NHL. It’s a privilege to play in the NHL. It’s an honour.’’

With that he thanked Glen Sather for drafting him and everybody, including Kevin Lowe, the general manager who traded him and virtually everybody in the organization.

He said he had no hard feelings for the decision which was made 20 minutes prior to the deadline.

Needing to stop several times to gather his emotions and wipe the tears out of his eyes, Smyth answered media questions for about 15 minutes before catching his flight to Long Island where his new team meet the St. Louis Blues tonight.


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