TORONTO -- For Ryan Smyth, it's now either a Stanley Cup or a sex change. He won gold at the World Junior. Twice he won gold at the IIHF World Championships. He won gold at the Olympics. Now he's won gold at the World Cup of Hockey.
All that's missing is a Stanley Cup. Either that or have some surgery and go for gold at the women's world championships and Olympics.
"I think I'll opt for the big silver trophy,'' the battered Edmonton Oiler who has answered Canada's call again and again and again.
"But this never becomes old,'' he said.
"It's just so outstanding to be a part of this. It's not quite the same as the Olympics standing there when the flag is being raised and the anthem being played. The thing about this is that it was in Canada. That's the part of it we're never going to forget.''
THREE GOALS AND AN ASSIST
Smyth, who had three goals and an assist in the tournament, isn't alone in bringing back the bacon to Canada's title town.
Edmonton Oiler teammate Eric Brewer has the same collection of gold medals minus the World Junior.
Brewer ended up with four assists in the tournament, including one on the first goal last night.
"It's awesome,'' said Brewer. "It's so rewarding. To do something like this in this uniform four times ... I couldn't be more proud. Ryan and I have been so fortunate to have been in on all these experiences.''
Smyth and Brewer are the only players to have the Olympic gold, the last two World Championships and now the World Cup.
"With all of these teams, everyone has been here for the right reason. Everyone has taken their role and done what they had to do to help Canada win.
"The best thing about this one is it's really special to have done it here at home for once.''
Jay Bouwmeester of Edmonton became one of seven players to win the World Championships and World Cup the same year (Smyth, Brewer, Roberto Luongo, Brenden Morrow, Dany Heatley, and Scott Niedermayer are the others).
"For the seven of us, it really makes it special,'' said Smyth.
"And don't forget those guys from Tampa Bay who won the Stanley Cup. They went farther than we did and played later than we did. Hats off to those guys.''
STANLEY CUP AND WORLD CUP
The three Tampa Bay players, Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier turned the trick of winning Stanley Cups and the World Cup the same year, but it was Edmonton-born Niedermayer who completed a combination of Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, World Championship and World Cup gold in addition to World Junior gold and a Memorial Cup. That's really running the table.
"I've been lucky,'' said Niedermayer.
"Hockey is a team game. You have to be lucky to be on all those different teams. To me it's just special to win the World Championship and World Cup in the same year.''
As was the case with the Olympics, there will be plenty of people to honour at centre ice for , one supposes, the Edmonton Road Runners opener and at the next Eskimos home game.
Oilers' general manager Kevin Lowe, working as Wayne Gretzky's right-hand man again, added the World Cup gold to the Olympic gold and collection of six Stanley Cups, five with the Oilers.
With ex-Edmonton Oil King Pat Quinn the head coach and Edmonton native Ken Hitchcock an assistant, there's also the support staff which includes equipment manager Barrie Stafford who has five Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold, a World Championship gold, three Canada Cup golds and now a World Cup of Hockey gold. Trainer Ken Lowe adds this title to his Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, and World Championship, not to mention his two Grey Cups as trainer of the Edmonton Eskimos. Massage therapist Stewart Poirier was with the Salt Lake Olympic team, a World Championship team and now adds this title to his resume.
Like the rest of them, Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla of St. Albert will fly to his off-season home in Edmonton today on a natural high.
"This feels so good because we were in Canada and we could feel how badly the fans wanted it,'' he said.
"I'm not thinking at all about the lockout or any of what's ahead. This is about tonight. This is about a really good group of guys who were together for a month and became a pretty good team.''