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Smyth to retire at the end of the season

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According to TSN, Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers plans to retire from the National Hockey League at the end of the season. Smyth, a native of Banff, Alta., (an hour west of Calgary), has played in the National Hockey League since the 1994-95 season.

This season Smyth had 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points. He was a -17 with seven power play points, a game winning goal, 42 penalty minutes, 128 shots on goal and 58 hits.

Smyth played 15 years with the Edmonton Oilers, two years each with the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings and 18 games with the New York Islanders to close out the 2006-07 regular season. Smyth's finest season came in 2000-01 when he had a career high of 70 points. His career totals are 386 goals, 456 assists and 842 points in 1269 career regular season games according to www.hockeydb.com.

Smyth was best known for his excellence in front of the net, where he constantly gave opposing goaltenders headaches while his team was on the power play. Smyth is tied with Glenn Anderson for the most power play goals in Oilers franchise history with 126.

Smyth was also highly praised for always willing to play for Canada internationally. In the international hockey world he was simply known as "Captain Canada". Smyth won a World Cup (2004), Olympic gold medal (2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City), two World Championships (2003 and 2005), World Junior Hockey Championship (1995) and Spengler Cup (2012).

The fact that Smyth is retiring is not a huge surprise. In the last few months he has been shown regularly gently shooting pucks over the glass to childhood spectators. At the age of 38, Smyth's speed is also not where it was during the prime of his hockey career. The Oilers will close out their 2013-14 regular season Saturday night at Rexall Place in Edmonton against the Vancouver Canucks.

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