Appreciating the sacrifice

Ryan Smyth’s father, Jim, didn’t need to make the flight from Los Angeles. He was able to drive from the family’s Arizona home and meet the team at dinner last night. This morning, Ryan talked about what the trip meant to him…

Question: Being on this trip, what kind of memories does it bring back for you? What does it mean to you?

RYAN SMYTH: “My dad was pretty busy. A lot of times he would show up halfway through the game and make sure he would catch it toward the end. I was fortunate to have a dad who would take a little time to make it, because he was busy and he would be thinking about the family. To have him around, it’s obviously special, and it’s special to be around the other dads and see the other paths of their families, to get to this level. We wouldn’t be here without our moms and dads.”

Question: What did your dad do for a living?

SMYTH: “My dad was a mechanic. The ice surface, the rink, wasn’t too far from the service station. He was able to come by, toward the end of the games. He was always busy. He could be traveling with the tow truck, picking up people, and it demanded a lot of time.”

Question: Did you always know when he had arrived? Were you looking for him?

SMYTH: “You could tell from his holler. You know, `Get your feet moving,’ or something really loud. You thought, `Oh, there he is,’ and you knew you better kick it up a gear.”

Question: What does a trip like this do for a team?

SMYTH: “We’ve had this trip a couple times before, with other teams. Being around the other dads, you develop a bond. What builds a team, and success, is building a family in this locker room. Dads are a huge part of that.”

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