Ten years ago today, the New York Islanders made one of their biggest trade deadline deals in their history, as they acquired Ryan Smyth from the Edmonton Oilers, and I remember it like yesterday.
On February 27th, 2007, the New York Islanders made an unlikely trade deadline deal, acquiring the expiring contract of Ryan Smyth for prospects Ryan ‘O Marra and Robert Nilsson, as well as a 1st round draft, pick that year.
I was just a seven year old at the time and was just learning about hockey, but when I found out about that trade, everything changed. That was the trade that got me into hockey.
As my dad called me over to the living room that day, as I was sorting my hockey cards in my binder by team, I ran into the living room with excitement, not knowing what was about to happen, and that’s where my father broke the news.
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My dad told me how the New York Islanders had traded for one of the better players in the league, Ryan Smyth, and explained to me how trades worked, and that’s where the interest started.
At the time, I didn’t even know what a general manager did, nevertheless what trades were, so this new information lead me to do more and more research, which ultimately got me hooked on hockey history.
From the Butch Goring deal in 1980 that brought the Islanders to the Stanley Cup, to the trade that sent Alexei Yashin to Long Island that stunted the growth of the team for a period of years, I was fascinated by the stories behind these trades, but this trade was most special to me.
As I was a season ticket holder at the time, the excitement from seeing a superstar like Ryan Smyth play night in and night out was truly exciting, and the playoff race behind it was a new and special thing for me.
That trade ultimately helped me understand how the standings system worked, and ultimately got me excited for playoff hockey, the first time I would truly be able to watch it.
Where the New York Islanders stand now, Garth Snow is in the perfect situation to repeat the actions he did ten years ago, and give Islanders fans something to get excited about.