Ryan Smyth looking for new role with Oilers?

Ryan Smyth had an emotional farewell after his final game, where the crowd gave him a standing ovation and even the opposing Canucks came back on the ice to pay their respects.

A year away from the ice can bring a lot of perspective to a player.

That’s certainly the case for Ryan Smyth, who retired from professional hockey at the end of the 2014 season.

In an article in The Edmonton Journal, the longtime Edmonton Oiler said he would love to return to the rink — not as a player, but as a member of the team’s front office personnel.

“I want to be involved in hockey but I don’t know in what capacity,” Smyth told the Journal, adding that he’d welcome a conversation with Oilers Entertainment Group chief executive officer Bob Nicholson to “see what they’re thinking.”

Smyth, a fan-favourite and locker room leader throughout his almost 1,000 games with the Oilers, isn’t limiting his off-ice prospects to the orange and blue.

“It’s something I’ve thought about, something I’ve processed … I’ve also thought about Hockey Canada. Maybe that would be a good option. But I’d like to talk to Bob (Nicholson),” said Smyth, who suited up for Canada in two Olympic tournaments and plenty of World Championships when Nicholson was at the helm.

While ideas about Smyth taking in Connor McDavid to his household as the young player adjusts to the NHL have circulated, the retired forward said “it’s all rumours” and that he hasn’t been contacted.

“I haven’t put my name forward,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about it though.

“I want the Oilers to excel going forward and Connor is going to be a big part of it, but you also have to protect the kid.”

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