Smyth, who was traded to the Kings from the Colorado Avalanche in July, likes what he has seen from his new team thus far. “I think what makes it is the guys here,” Smyth said. “The young guys, they make the locker room feel comfortable. Obviously, the older guys are here which is great but it’s obviously nice to come in and feel welcome.”
With the start of the regular season just four days away, Smyth said its important for the Kings to get off to a fast start if they want to make good on their post-season aspirations.”Just get off to a good start and just give ourselves a chance,” Smyth said. “Obviously, everybody wants to make the playoffs and succeed to the final prize. But it takes a big team effort to get into the postseason and well see what happens from there.”
Via www.lakings.com (emphasis mine)
Question: You talked about some of the discussion with your family. What were some of the factors you weighed?
SMYTH: Obviously we have a beautiful home in Colorado, so we had to weigh the factors of all that stuff, and moving. Then you look at the hockey front. (The Avalanche) came to me and said they wanted to rebuild, and money was an issue, and obviously that goes hand in hand with my issue and my contract. It was mutual at the end of the day, and I have nothing but great things to say about Colorado.’
Question: Any particular Kings players jump out at you?
SMYTH: Quite a few. Over the years, playing for my country, I got a chance to see Kopitar before anybody really knew who he was. I remember lining up against him at the faceoff circle and seeing how dominant and powerful he was. He has tremendous upside. I just know he’s a pretty exciting player to watch. Obviously, Stoll, because I got a chance to play with him in Edmonton.
via Inside the Kings.
Here’s Smyth on the Olympic camp:
“I think the biggest goal is to win the gold, and obviously here in Canada, everyone wants to call it pressure,” Los Angeles Kings forward Ryan Smyth said. “They can call it pressure, but I think it’s just something to thrive on.” [...] One thing in Smyth’s favor will be the chance to shine with a new team: He was dealt to the emerging Kings in the offseason.
“New kick start, new life,” he said. “Obviously, things didn’t go very well in Colorado with not winning. This is going to be exciting. Like you said, young energetic team; actually looking forward to meeting Drew Doughty and actually having Jack Johnson on the same team after he nailed me.”
Smyth on Team Canada’s goalies:
“Phenomenal,” marvelled Ryan Smyth. “Obviously, they’re extremely great goaltenders. It’s going to be a tough decision for the coaching staff to make.”
via Canada.com. Here’s Smyth weighing in on the Oilers in the finals, back in 2006 (interview after game 3):
Q. Smitty, you didn’t want to wait until the third overtime like Hork did in this situation in San Jose?
RYAN SMYTH: No, now we can rest up and hopefully get them in Game 2. Obviously it’s a big break for us. I thought Game 1 was a little shifter there. We had two good solid periods and then we let them take over in the third. And then Game 2 was obviously a frustrating game for us. [...]
Q. Shawn and Ryan, you scored the big goals tonight but could you both talk about the goaltender sitting between you there. He’s been cast into a real tough spot, not having played. Talk about his performance?
RYAN SMYTH: I thought he played excellent in practices. I know it’s no game situation, but for the last couple of months he’s been solid working with Pete, working on his angles and, like I said, it’s a little different than getting thrown into a game situation, but he’s handled the pressure really well, and I thought he played pretty good in Game 2, just we didn’t play very good in front of him. Then tonight, obviously, self-explanatory.
Q. Shawn and Ryan, can you respond to how your line played tonight in a crucial situation?
RYAN SMYTH: I know Hork and I have talked the last couple of days, we had to get better we had room for improvement and we wanted to deliver tonight and I know Hemmer has been playing half decent, obviously, he chipped in a huge goal for us in Game 1 to tie it up, but we had to obviously dominate offensively, we have had some chances I know Hork had some chances in Game 1, I had some chances too, but we just couldn’t put it in the net.
Q. What did the puck go off there, Carolina has come back time and time again how do you keep from getting dejected as a team after they scored that goal?
RYAN SMYTH: Obviously that was a goal that — off of Gator. He made a great block there and then just landed back for Brind’Amour to shoot it. Actually it was a nice shot. After that we had to find some energy and obviously we fed off the fans there again and we were trying to chat up on the bench, keep the positive attitude going, and when I got across the line I dropped it to Hemmer on that play, he just fed it through, and it went off of Cam Ward and popped up and I guess it hit my shaft. I don’t remember hitting my shaft, all I remember is it hit my chest and it crossed the line and obviously it was, you know, gritty goal but hey, it counts.
Q. Coach Laviolette was in here saying that at this stage that crowds don’t matter, buildings don’t matter, do you agree with that?
RYAN SMYTH: They fed off their fans in Game 1 and 2, and obviously we want to feed off our fans in 3 and 4 here and it’s important that obviously we come to the test for Game 4. [...]
Q. As far as your game plan, the defense seemed like you guys did a great job collapsing down below and really protecting Jussi, as far as Carolina was pretty much unable to get any traffic in the first couple of periods.
RYAN SMYTH: One big thing is that we were playing solid through the neutral zone. Neutral zone is a big part for us. We talked about it, obviously they got some speed up front and they got some very skilled forwards.
And here he is after game 6:
Q. Confidence level right now of the team? Michael Peca was saying to me it’s probably the highest it has been in a long time because of that win the other night.
RYAN SMYTH: Yeah. Obviously, the adrenaline from Game 5 there, obviously O.T. winner, shorthanded. And, yeah, the guys are on a high right now. We want to ride that, no question. [...]
Q. Do you feel the team can play better than what you have done so far?
RYAN SMYTH: I thought last game we really — everybody stepped up their game. And we really played together as a whole group. And if we can continue that, then that’s the game we would like to duplicate. But there’s always room for improvement. I think that’s the best thing about — from game to game you can improve and you can get better, and obviously want to take all the positives out of the last game. [...]
Q. Two parter: Is your shot harder than Dwayne Roloson’s? And what did it means to the team to have him skating out there in practice?
RYAN SMYTH: It was nice to see him back out there on the ice. No, my shot is harder, and I will stick with that to my grave. We like to see, obviously, guys that have been a huge part be around and be a part of the team. He’s a big part of our team. [...]
Q. Considering the way you guys won on Wednesday and the fact they are dinged up, would you rather be playing tonight?
RYAN SMYTH: Obviously, that would be great if we could, but it’s the way the schedule rolls. We know that a few guys were banged up a bit. And, yeah, I mean the best thing is you want to ride the emotion, carry over the positives, and continue in right away. But that’s the way the schedule is. [...]
Q. Regardless of what wind you are running on right now, statistically speaking you have been held in check fairly well during the series with just the one goal. You got the legs left to maybe get another big one in this next game or the next two if there’s that many, watching the score sheet that closely on a personal front?
RYAN SMYTH: Well, you obviously want to contribute, whether it’s offensively or keeping them off the score sheet. Obviously I am recognized as a goal scorer and yeah, I’d love to contribute more in that area, but we’re getting the wins. We’re getting ourselves back into the series, and you know, I think we’re feeding off each other that way. It’s nice to see everybody contributing offensively; obviously guys like Peca, Pisani, you know, those sort of things go along ways in the team play. Yeah, I’d love to step up and get another big goal here and there, but if it’s so be it that I am minus two and we win the game, then that’s fine too.
Q. Can you talk about you had an elimination game in Carolina. What is the difference elimination game there and here and talk about being one win away from being from one win away?
RYAN SMYTH I think the difference being there than it is here is that we have got our fans going and hopefully we can ride with them and they can really feed off our energy that way and we can feed off of them too. As far as being one win away, this is of a childhood dream as a team in there, it’s just awesome feeling, it’s a chance of a lifetime. Few and far between to get back to a place like this. I mean, motivation factor isn’t huge in that area. As far as — that’s self-explanatory. That’s obviously going to be no-brainer to get up for a game like that, but we’re really excited.
After the trade to LA, he was interviewed, and here’s what he had to say:
Smyth waived his no-trade clause to pave the way for him to join the Los Angeles Kings. He was dealt for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing and a fifth-round draft pick. Smyth had three more years left on his current deal, with a salary cap hit of $6.25 million. “Obviously, they wanted to move money, and I fit that criteria,” he said.
via USA Today.
Here he is on the Denver Post Avs blog:
Q: Give me the pitch I’m sure you’ve already given to Joe to come back for another year.
Smyth: Well, the biggest thing, and obviously I’ve already told him this, is that he can still play at a high level. I think he proved that coming back from his surgery, and how he played in the playoffs. But obviously this is a very big decision for him and his family. But do I want Joe Sakic back as a teammate? There’s no question.
I have no idea how deep this well is. But now I can’t wait for his next interview.