Ryan Smyth is trying to keep his schedule busy and mind off hockey as NHL training camps fast approach.
Its Smyth’s first season away from the game after announcing his retirement last spring.
Speaking with Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, Smyth says he’s had numerous offers already to stay within the game.
“I have an open invitation on any front from Mac (Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish) but he recommended I take time off, and that’s what I’ll be doing. I will be coaching my son’s Initiation 3A team this winter, and my daughter wants to play, too. My son’s six years old. I’d like him to play novice, one level up, because he’s a pretty good skater, but we’ll see how it goes,” Smyth said. “I did get a couple of calls from Team Canada to help out, and I mentioned Mac. But I owe it to my wife and kids to take this year off.”
Smyth, who played 1270 games with the Oilers, Islanders, Avalanche and Kings, says he hasn’t got calls asking whether he’s reconsidered his decision to retire.
“I’m old and I’m washed up, I guess,” he joked.
Without a training camp to prepare for, Smyth is enjoying things he otherwise couldn’t do at this time of year. He has plans to see the Green Bay Packers play in Seattle and will head to New York where he’ll watch Derek Jeter’s final games.
After taking a year off, Smyth, who scored 386 goals and 842 points during his NHL career says he’s uncertain of what he’ll do.
“I don’t want to speculate … it’s been 19 years. Obviously, I want to stay in hockey somehow, but in what capacity? I have no idea,” he said.