By Nick Stoico
It was a very emotional night in Edmonton, Alberta.
After announcing his retirement from the NHL on Friday, Edmonton Oilers captain Ryan Smyth played the final game of his 20-season NHL career on Saturday. Smyth received a standing ovation for the entirety of his final shift at the end of the Oilers' 5-2 win over the Canucks.
Emotions got the best of Smyth while he was on the bench before stepping on the NHL ice for his last shift. Following the game, Smyth made his way around the rink waving to fans and shook hands with each coach and player on the Vancouver Canucks, as well as the game officials.
Smyth played a total of 1,270 games in the NHL and accumulated 842 points. He spent 15 seasons with the Oilers and contributed 631 points (296 goals, 335 assists).
The closest Smyth came to a Stanley Cup was in 2006 when he helped lead the Oilers to the Stanley Cup finals where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in a seven-game series.
Smyth was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by Edmonton and spent his first 12 seasons there before being traded in 2007 to the New York Islanders. Smyth bounced around the league and played for the Islanders, then Colorado and Los Angeles until he the Kings traded him back to the Oilers in 2011.
On the all-time franchise leaders list, Smyth ranks second in games played for the Oilers and is tied with Glenn Anderson for first in power play goals with 126.
Even with only one shot on net and no points in over 23 minutes of ice time, Smyth was rightfully named the first star of the game.