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Oilers’ Smyth: ‘Obviously I want to be an asset’

Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 20: during the first period of NHL action on January 20, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Rich Lam

Ryan Smyth isn’t getting any younger, a fact emphasized on a young, upstart Edmonton Oilers team.

The 37-year-old Smyth is entering the final year of his two-year contract with Edmonton, which will pay him $2.25 million for this upcoming season. He is coming off a tough year, offensively, after producing only two goals and 13 points in 47 regular season games.

Once the heart and soul of the Oilers, Smyth is now the aging veteran on a team full of youth and talent, as in the case with players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

Given his age and declining offensive production, there were suggestions this spring - as pointed out Jonathan Willis in a blog post for the Edmonton Journal - that the Oilers should buy Smyth out of the remaining year of his contract.

With training camp on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what role Smyth fits into.

“Whatever the coaches have planned for myself, for the team. Whatever is best for the team,” Smyth told Sportsnet.

“Obviously I want to be an asset and help, whether it’s offensively chipping in or keeping the pucks out of our end.”

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