Â• Ryan Smyth's sob-laden exit from Edmonton Wednesday ranks right up there with the most emotional goodbyes I've ever seen from an athlete. But don't let all this talk of $100,000 being the difference between Smyth staying or going fool you Â– the seeds of his departure were planted last summer, when (as I noted in my latest Screen Shots column) Oilers GM Kevin Lowe chose not to discuss a long-term deal with the left winger.
And as I wrote in a Proteau Type column a couple months back, it was clear to a lot of people that, as soon as Alex Tanguay signed a $5-million-a-season deal with Calgary, Smyth wasn't going to take the hometown discount. This isn't nearly as much of a surprise as many would have you believe.
Â• I know some people are sick and tired of Jeremy Roenick, especially after his obviously self-interested public trade request to get out of Phoenix. Not me. Roenick certainly isn't the player he once was, but he remains one of the few genuine articles in the game. And just because his trade request was public doesn't mean he was the only veteran who wanted out in a bad way. Yes, I'm looking at you, Glen Murray.