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Kings Honor Ryan Smyth's 1,000 NHL Games Tonight
The Los Angeles Kings will honor left winger Ryan Smyth tonight before their game against the Dallas Stars at STAPLES Center in recognition of his 1,000th NHL game which took place Saturday night. The on-ice pre-game ceremony will take place before the puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on FS West.
Smyth became the 257th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-game milestone and the 17th player to play his 1,000th game in a Kings uniform. The other 16 include Ralph Backstrom, Rob Blake, Doug Bodger, Kelly Buchberger, Russ Courtnall, Marcel Dionne, Ray Ferraro, Garry Galley, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Bob Nevin, Sean O’Donnell, Bob Pulford, Luc Robitaille, Dave Taylor and Garry Unger.
During morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, CA and pre-game warm-ups on the STAPLES Center ice on Saturday, Smyth’s teammates decided to honor him in their own special way: with a mullet wig in homage to Smyth’s coif when he debuted with the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 22, 1995.
“It started off with a nice gesture with the boys bringing out their mullets,” Smyth said after the game. “It dated me a little bit.”
Smyth scored in his 1,000th game 6:47 in the second period to give the Kings the 3-0 lead over the Nashville Predators taking six shots on goal, two missed shots, a hit and a face-off win.
“It’s an honor,” Smyth said about playing the 1,000th game. “It’s overwhelming.”
The 34-year old Banff, Alberta native played with the Oilers until the 2007 season before being traded to the New York Islanders on Feb. 27, 2007. At the end of the season he signed a free agent deal with the Colorado Avalanche and was traded to the Kings on July 3, 2009. With the Oilers he broke two of Gretzky’s club records: 20 goals on power play during his second full season and scoring a hat-trick in 2:01, 17 seconds better than the Great One.
Smyth was part of the 2005-’06 Oilers team that advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals losing in Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes. We was part of the gold medal Canadian Olympic hockey team in 2002 and won gold with Canada in the 2003 and 2004 World Championships, 2004 World Cup and 1995 World Junior Championships.
Incidentally he made his debut at the Great Western Forum against the Kings.
Here is an interview Kings Vision and Kings' radio color commentator Daryl Evans did with Smyth prior to Saturday's game:
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