Fan favourite Ryan Smyth was officially welcomed back to the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday by team general manager Steve Tambellini.
"I can't tell you how pleased and excited we are to have Ryan and [his wife] Stacey back in the Oiler family," Tambellini said at a news conference in Edmonton.
Smyth, 35, spent more than a dozen years with the Oilers until failed contract talks prompted the team to trade him to the New York Islanders at the NHL trade deadline in February 2007.
He later played with the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings before he was traded back to the Oilers in a deal that was confirmed on June 26.
Smyth told the news conference that he was happy to be back in Edmonton.
"I'm really excited," Smyth said. "Coming back as an Oiler is — I think if you cut me open I'd probably bleed blue."
Tambellini said that Smyth has a lot to teach the young players on the team.
"Respect for being an Oiler. Respect for the significance of being in the community like this where hockey is so important," he said.
Smyth said he is looking forward to being a role model and said the younger players, in turn, will help him stay at the top of his game.
Smyth has not won a Stanley Cup during his 17-year NHL career and hopes he will be able to achieve that goal while playing with the Oilers.