WWYDW: Ryan Smyth


A couple days ago, Jim Matheson wrote a story over at the Journal about Ryan Smyth looking to get back into hockey in some capacity. He goes on to mention, in the article, that Smytty’s first choice for employment would obviously be with the Oilers. To me this seems like a logical fit, but what I think doesn’t matter. I want to know what you think.


Unless you’re crawling out from under the rock of obscurity you know Ryan Smyth as the mulletted hero that bled orange and blue for most of career. For years, Ryan Smyth was the best player to a generation of fans that missed the glory years. Smytty played the game with his heart on his sleeve, and more often than not the puck off his face. I remember the day he was traded to the New York Islanders, my eyes welling up with tears as I saw the news break on TSN. I remember the heartbreak of his teary goodbye at the airport, and the elation I felt when he asked to be traded back home. 

In case you need a recap of what Ryan Smyth has done with the Oilers (I don’t care about the other three teams he played for) his stats are listed here:

GP 1270
Goals 386
Assists 456
Points 842
PIMs 976
“Y’Knows” 6009
GP 93
Goals 28
Assists 31
Points 59
PIMs 88
“Y’Knows” 3132

Would Ryan Smyth be able to bring the same passion he showed on the ice into a board room? Would Smytty be able to share what he learned as an Olympic gold medalist with prospects that are expected to carry this franchise back to glory? 



From Matheson’s article:

“I would like to sit down with (Oilers Entertainment Group chief executive officer) Bob Nicholson and see what they’re thinking,” Smyth said. I want to be involved in hockey but I don’t know in what capacity.

“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)”

After reading Matheson’s article it is obvious that Smytty’s first choice for employment is with the organization that he spent most of his career with. What Ryan Smyth has done as a player cannot (AND WON’T!) be questioned, but what he can offer in a management capacity is up for debate. This is what I’m asking you to tell me.

What could Ryan Smyth do for the Oilers, and where do you see him fitting in their management/scouting/development group? Does Ryan Smyth even fit in the organization?

Another idea that’s been floating around is for Ryan Smyth to be the one to take in prized prospect Connor McDavid. 

“Haven’t been contacted at all (about McDavid) … it’s all rumours. I haven’t put my name forward. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it though,” said Smyth, admitting his kids would be thrilled having McDavid in their house.

“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.”

To me, having the future of the Oilers stay with the heart and soul of the organization seems, once again, like a logical fit. That being said, this is WWYDW and I want to know what you think. 

Let me know where you see Ryan Smyth fitting with the organization that he carried for so long and why he would be a good fit. If you don’t think Smytty belongs with the Oilers than I’m asking you to explain why not. Let’s pretend for a minute that you’re Bob Nicholson and this is your call to make. 

  • Randaman

    Wow, has this ever gotten blown out of proportion.

    Ryan Smyth has never said anything about being in Management!

    There is a big difference between guest coach, player development, community involvement, etc. and Management.

    Keep on track people.

    He would be excellent as a mentor / motivator / community liaison for players community involvement. What a great billet option for young McDavid!

    Management, not so much.

    That’s nothing against Smytty. Different people have different skills


  • Quicksilver ballet

    With all the over paid bodies walking around in suits, constantly looking at themselves in the mirror, it’s no wonder the Oilers struggle with player developement. Ryan could easily step in there. Let him impact some of these kids in whatever area they are struggling with. Screw the NHLPA and their ever shrinking work week/practice time on ice. These kids need all the help they can get, no matter what the PA restrictions are. Whether they need help on the ice and sometimes they need help off it, give it to them without restriction. Far too many time restrictions during their make or break years…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    It seems many posters on here are opposed to Smyth serving a role in the organization due to the previous old boys club. I understand the sentiment, however, I don’t think he is necessarily talking about jumping right into upper management. I’m sure there are smaller roles that could be filled in the organization for Smyth to gain experience. I actually like the idea that some posters have tossed around about him serving a role with the Oil Kings first. All I know is Smyth would put everything he has into his job.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Smytty deserves a job in Oil country! Captain Canada has done nothing but bleed copper and blue and represent Canadians and Oil country proud!He has a lot to offer the young guys on what it takes to play and was one of the best Oilers of all time in my opinion and should go up with the other Oiler greats…you don’t have to win cups and win scoring titles to be considered a great Oiler…Everyone loves their Oilers but you always have a favorite…I’ve been around since the Oil were in the NHL so I started with Messier than Smytty and now its Ebs, those are the 3 jerseys I have at home and can proudly wear them with pride! Go Oilers Go!!!

  • The Oilers don’t need a mascot, but if Ryan Smyth ended up being that mascot I would not mind. He should dress up as himself in mascot form with a huge foam head that looks like his bobble head.

    Hey, I’m just trying to come up with something no one’s mentioned, I think all you guys and gals explored all the options rather well, and I quite like the idea of a community ambassador.

    Oh, he could also join the Oilers Octane. While I appreciate the Octane’s community work, I don’t bother checking them out on the ice…Ryan Smyth would change that.

  • Oilers Coffey

    Oilers ambassador would be great fit, mentioned above. I also like the idea of Smytty learning the ropes with the Oil kings. There is honestly no need to bash Smytty here, seems like a bunch of low blows to me.
    That’s what I would do, put him in one of those two roles Katz.

  • Oilerz4life

    Touchy Subject

    … with the direction the Oilers are going with the “old boys club”. A position with Hockey Canada would be a better fit for Smyth. He can always come back to the Entertainment Group later, when he is more grounded in the business aspect of things. Bob Nicholson. Timing.

    * This is a perfect inflammatory media topic, but lets be clear, in no way did Ryan Smyth mention having anything to do with Hockey Operations or the Oil Kings.

  • Oilerz4life

    …and not once did Ryan Smyth mention having anything to do with coaching or the Oil Kings, which is a load of fantasy arm chair GM BS. I’m sure Smytty could give a hot load what an internet warrior has to say about what direction they think he should go. Since when did he mention having anything to do with hockey operations?