Free Agents: Ryan Smyth, Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
May 02 2012 08:41AM

Ryan Smyth’s return to the Edmonton Oilers basically took place in three parts. At the start, fans in Edmonton were thrilled when the rumours first surfaced, more thrilled when they realized the cost for Smyth was just Colin Fraser and a seventh round pick. Early in 2011-12 Smyth flourished, scoring 12 times in his first 25 games with the team, and the jubilation persisted. Unfortunately, the scoring disappeared in December and never returned, raising questions about his future with the team.

2011-12 Cap Hit: 6.25 million.

Position: Left wing.

How the coach used him: Smyth saw some of the toughest competition on the team, often being used in a hard-checking line alongside Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Jones. He also had a slight weighting towards defensive zone starts as one of the few wingers on the team coach Tom Renney leaned on in those situations. He played 14:26/game at even-strength, 2:28/game on the power play and 2:09/game on the penalty kill.

How he fared: Smyth managed to hang around the middle of the pack in terms of shots against on the Oilers. Given that the Oilers finished in 29th, it perhaps isn’t surprising that this means he was heavily outshot, but he did stem the bleeding more than other roster options did and he was being deployed in a tough role. His even-strength scoring number (1.93 PTS/60) was good overall, though it’s important to know that’s a compromise between a stellar start to the year and an ice-cold finish. His 5-on-4 scoring rate (2.39 PTS/60) was the lowest of any power play regular in Edmonton and a big drop from the year prior.

What McKeen’s says: “[A] fearless, energetic warrior with underrated puck skills .. bit of a graceless, one-speed skater having lost some pace with age .. absorbs cruel punishment around the crease… makes smart, poised plays under pressure and wins board battles .. determined, well-rounded leader whose value goes beyond goals and points .. provides a steadying influence on his teammates .. the mileage is rapidly piling up however…”

My take: Smyth’s primary value is that he’s an all-purpose NHL veteran who can play on any line and in any situation and be relied upon to generally do the right thing. As McKeen’s points out, however, the effects of aging combined with the abuse taken over 18 NHL seasons are starting to add up, and his offensive contribution has dropped off noticeably from earlier in his career.

Smyth isn’t the sort of player who should be counted on in a key offensive role at this stage in his career, and he’d probably benefit from a few less minutes and less difficult assignments too.

With that said, the tank isn’t empty and Smyth can still contribute. He does win battles, he does provide solid two-way play, and a career of fighting battles in front of the net and along the boards have made him more than capable in the corners – both of coming out with the puck and defending himself from physical damage. Smyth doesn’t hesitate to get the elbows up if the situation calls for it, and as a result it doesn’t seem like he ever really gets belted.

Smyth can still provide value on a two-way line and would probably get a huge boost from playing on a secondary scoring line, but his days of playing power-vs.-power should be behind him.

Key statistic: Smyth scored just four power play goals in 2011-12; in six previous post-lockout seasons he’d averaged 11 per season.

Other Free Agents

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 hunkybill
May 02 2012, 08:46AM
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Yakupov FIST

My fist FIST

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#2 Woogie
May 02 2012, 08:49AM
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Only if the money is right. 1 or 2 year contract at 2 million

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#3 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
May 02 2012, 08:53AM
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I think this is a great assessment of Smyth. Thanks, Jonathan.

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#4 Fresh Mess
May 02 2012, 08:54AM
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My hope of Larsson being acquired from NJ for the first pick took a serious hit last night.

If Smyth drags his feet on accepting the Oilers offer in hopes of gauging interest from other teams as Canada Day approaches, the Oil should take their offer off the table and make other plans. 1 year 2.5, or 2 years 2 M per.

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#5 John Chambers
May 02 2012, 08:54AM
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@ Woogie,

Agreed. There's really no reason to overpay this guy, and that's probably why he's still unsigned. If Smyth is still holding out for money and someone wants to throw $3M/season his way this July, then I say step right up Magnus Paajarvi.

However if Smyth can agree to a reasonable contract he provides much-needed experience of which this team is in short supply.

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#6 Vaclav
May 02 2012, 08:55AM
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If the rumors are true Smyth turned down a 2 years x $2.M per contract from the Oilers. That was 1 year too long in term for a 36 year with too many miles on the tires.

Smyth is still a useful 3rd liner that can slide up to a scoring line in a pinch but not for the kind of cash and term he appears to be after. Tambellini holds all the cards here after Smyth disappeared offensively for the last 2/3 of the season. If #94 and Meehan truly believe he's still worth top 6 dollars then time to end the reunion.

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#7 Pizzy
May 02 2012, 09:05AM
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So the company I work for decided to play "Big Brother" and is slowely blocking websites on my computer. I just tried logging into "Lowetides" Blog this morning for my morning update and its blocked. FU Corporate! Il be mailing it in the rest of the day now!

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#8 Jano
May 02 2012, 09:06AM
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3yrs, 4.5 mil per

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#9 JackBauer
May 02 2012, 09:11AM
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So whats the deal with Smyth? Why are the Oilers taking their sweet time getting something done?

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#10 Oilfan69
May 02 2012, 09:26AM
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I wouldn't go over 4 mill over 2 years. If he plays a lesser role with lesser expectations he might regain some of the "94" form that we are used to seeing. Overplaying him is bad for him as well as the team.

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#11 Buzz Lightbeer
May 02 2012, 09:30AM
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So the consensus is to offer slightly more money than what they pay Belanger or Sutton? Really!

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#12 playoffbound2013
May 02 2012, 09:31AM
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I wonder how the younger players perceive our treatment of Smyth (and to a lesser extent Renney). By dragging our feet on resigning a lifetime oiler like Smyth, why would Eberle, Hall, etc feel any desire to stay loyal to the Edmonton Oilers? I mean the price has to be right, but the oilers also need to protect their image. They are already fighting a perception that talented players dont want to play here. Smyth wants to play here, the Fans want him here...get this done. Also, they should let Renney go or resign him. This is some unprofessional BS that will not improve the image of the organization.

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#13 VK63
May 02 2012, 09:33AM
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JackBauer wrote:

So whats the deal with Smyth? Why are the Oilers taking their sweet time getting something done?

IMO, since he has yet to sign. the two sides are not in agreement on price and term. Extending that a bit further. The smyth camp wants too much cabbage.

However.. and given historical evidence.... Dithers may not have gotten around to it yet. Or forgot. Or something.

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#14 Mabell
May 02 2012, 09:35AM
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I have a real difficult time thinking Smyth is worth more than Todd Bertuzzi who resigned in Detroit for two years at $2.075/per.

I have an issue if keeping Smyth creates ANY problems with the development of Paajarvi. Loved Smyth - but isn't it time to move on?

The real leadership of this team is emerging and its not the old gaurd - its the young guns. I'm not saying that they should have all the letters, etc. next year, but its not a good idea to keep older players around that create any problems to the young group taking hold of this team....If Smyth can accept a limited role, then by all means sign him to a reasonable contract. If not when then, best of luck to you.

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#15 Infinibuild
May 02 2012, 09:45AM
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I'm not familiar with the cap situation next year, but I'm under the impression we aren't in trouble yet (maybe in a few more years?)

So I really don't understand the obsession with dollars. Who cares?? Its Katz' money, why should we give one lick about contracts as long as they don't hamstring the team (ie too long in term, or excessive in $). I don't think anyone is suggesting long term or high dollars. So whats the point of obsession about how much Smyth makes.

Fans get so obsessed about this guy not being good value for his contract or this guy making $500k too much etc. Even Willis joined in with his 'buyout Khabi' plan which saved the team zero dollars in cap space, and just padded Katz pocket. I couldn't care less about Katz "real dollar savings". In fact, I'd be happy if some money gets spread around and taken out of his pocket, he seems to have lots to go around.

Its irrational.

Make a decision if Smyth fits on this team. Is his leadership what they need? Does he have a solid role on one of the lines? Do the coaches like his intangibles, personality, character on and off the ice? Do the kids like him? Is it a good fit in the dressing room? I can't answer these questions, but these are the decision factors. If he makes $2 mil or $2.25 mil or $2.5 mil or $3 mil is irrelevant. I really don't understand how fans get so caught up in it. I realize salary is a tangible, measurable and emotional topic. Maybe we are in cap trouble, I don't claim to be a cap expert, so correct me if I'm wrong (Again assuming Smyth signs max 2 years)

I'm not pushing for Smyth one way or the other. But at least use some logical decision making when deciding if he should stay.

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#16 blue31
May 02 2012, 09:46AM
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Pizzy wrote:

So the company I work for decided to play "Big Brother" and is slowely blocking websites on my computer. I just tried logging into "Lowetides" Blog this morning for my morning update and its blocked. FU Corporate! Il be mailing it in the rest of the day now!

Glad you don't work for me.

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#17 Time Travelling Sean
May 02 2012, 09:48AM
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WTF THIS IS RYAN SMYTH WE'RE TALKING ABOUT!!@!!@!@

Besides who else on the left wing can score 20 goals and play responsibly and leadership qualities, good room guy, gritty, plays in the corners OMG?

1.5M for 20 goals is a huge discount like IMO 20 goals=3-4M not 1.5M.

Sign him dammit.

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#18 Dman09
May 02 2012, 09:56AM
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playoffbound2013 wrote:

I wonder how the younger players perceive our treatment of Smyth (and to a lesser extent Renney). By dragging our feet on resigning a lifetime oiler like Smyth, why would Eberle, Hall, etc feel any desire to stay loyal to the Edmonton Oilers? I mean the price has to be right, but the oilers also need to protect their image. They are already fighting a perception that talented players dont want to play here. Smyth wants to play here, the Fans want him here...get this done. Also, they should let Renney go or resign him. This is some unprofessional BS that will not improve the image of the organization.

Tambo isn't dragging his feet. He actually stated that an offer was made just prior to the trade deadline and it was a take it our leave offer because its the only one that works into their plan for the team and he left it in Smyth's court to decide if he really wants to stay in EDM.

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#19 OILERSORDEATH
May 02 2012, 09:56AM
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@ PLAYOFFBOUND2013

Jesus here we go with the sensitive fans, really?? You really need to stop listening to the Jealous Canuck and Flames fans! Our players arent going anywhere! The players all know its a business.

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#20 Dman09
May 02 2012, 10:01AM
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Mabell wrote:

I have a real difficult time thinking Smyth is worth more than Todd Bertuzzi who resigned in Detroit for two years at $2.075/per.

I have an issue if keeping Smyth creates ANY problems with the development of Paajarvi. Loved Smyth - but isn't it time to move on?

The real leadership of this team is emerging and its not the old gaurd - its the young guns. I'm not saying that they should have all the letters, etc. next year, but its not a good idea to keep older players around that create any problems to the young group taking hold of this team....If Smyth can accept a limited role, then by all means sign him to a reasonable contract. If not when then, best of luck to you.

Also Stauffer was stating yesterday that Smyth, without naming him but all the descriptors pointed to him, may not be as well liked in the dressing room as people think and may not be the leader in the dressing room that people think either. Tambo is set on building a team that wins and I have to give him credit he has stuck to his guns on a number of things. He might not be progressing as much as we would like but I do believe there is a method to his madness.

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#21 gongshow
May 02 2012, 10:02AM
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Assuming that they would cost similar dollars, who would you chose: Smytty or Penner?

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#22 TwoSkidoos
May 02 2012, 10:03AM
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Ryan Smyth should not be played more that 15-16 mins a game. That means take away his PP time as we have people that can actually shoot the puck now with precision rather that floating muffins in time and time again.

He shouldn't be paid anymore than 2.5/yr, max 2 yr contract.

Anything beyond that is plain idiocracy.

It's not about what you've accomplished in the NHL, it's what have you done for me lately.

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#23 Henry
May 02 2012, 10:04AM
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Since the Oilers are not cap constrained this year, a decent contract could be one year @ 4-4.5M with a handshake deal that he gets two years @ 1M/yr next summer when the team will need the cap space. Leaves the team vulnerable to losing him next year, but Smyth wouldn't do that.

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#24 Dman09
May 02 2012, 10:06AM
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gongshow wrote:

Assuming that they would cost similar dollars, who would you chose: Smytty or Penner?

Penner, he has more of a future and would fit better into the Oilers plans.

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#26 Shane
May 02 2012, 10:20AM
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@Jonathan Willis

That's the most logic anyone has made yet in this comments section. That would be perfect JW. And Smytty should find that reasonable too if that were the case.

Also just as a side note, isn't Smyth the only player to have played all 82 games this year, broken down old body and all?

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#27 TwoSkidoos
May 02 2012, 10:22AM
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Agreed, but if it's a 2 yr deal I'd do no more than 2.5/yr.

Also a good point with reference to the Holmstrom-Lidstrom type annual contracts.

If his decline in offense is indicative of a downward trend, then I'd be hesitant to commit anymore than 2 yrs.

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#28 Infinibuild
May 02 2012, 10:28AM
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TwoSkidoos wrote:

Agreed, but if it's a 2 yr deal I'd do no more than 2.5/yr.

Also a good point with reference to the Holmstrom-Lidstrom type annual contracts.

If his decline in offense is indicative of a downward trend, then I'd be hesitant to commit anymore than 2 yrs.

Why do you care if he makes $3/yr? Is that extra $500k Katz will spend on his backyard pool going to impact you?

If Smyth is deemed what this team needs, people need to get over the money nitpicking.

BTW - I love JW idea of $3mil/1yr with an under the table agreement to keep re-upping every year. Not sure Smyth will agree to it, but I hope so. I can't wait until the Oilers have the power to get players to sign discount or these short term perpetual contracts like Detroit does. Hopefully that day comes.

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#29 jr_christ
May 02 2012, 10:30AM
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I sure hope that Smytty is not a type of player who isn't well like in the room. There was one practice back in January where Smyth just snapped on Eberle for not passing to him during a drill.

I guess at the time we chatted about it on here as if it was a good thing, showing fire and leadership and all. However, I have to say that if I had to chose between Eberle or Smyth giving advice on when to make passes and when to shoot I will go with Eberle EVERY SINGLE time.

I was a huge fan of Smyth coming back as well in late summer. That was because I never wanted him to leave.... but he isn't a scoring forward anymore consider who we have up front. If he isn't willing to take a lesser checking line role on the team then I think we shouldn't re-sign him. Paajarvi is an excellent player who got left out of the mix because he couldn't adjust to the 3rd/4th line role he was given at the start of the year.

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#30 mlcselli
May 02 2012, 11:00AM
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One of Tambys remarks when he spoke with the media afar the Oilers were given 1st overall pick was about Smyth. He said that Smyth was given a contract to consider before the trade deadline, and so far Management has not heard anything from Smyths camp. Tamby said Smyth is holding the cards. I also remember when Smyth came back to the Oilers he said that he would play whatever role the Oilers wanted him to play. He was just happy to be back, wants to see this young team develop and was glad to be part of the rebuild. I'm as big a fan as Smyth as everyone else, but he needs to be realistic.

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#31 Oilers Coffey
May 02 2012, 11:08AM
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Jonathan: Why is that players have a hard time adapting to Edmonton? We've seen it a number of times, where they come from productive seasons, then all of a sudden drop off stats wise playing for the Oilers. Smytty came back to the Oilers and dropped off. Belanger came to the Oilers and dropped off.

Is this an anomoly, or is this just plain bad luck for the Oilers?

I'm hoping Belanger gets some sort of offense back into his game, and loses the "Belanger Triangle" name for good. He'd be a great 3-4 center.

Smytty is showing his age, but who knows, if the Oilers get him for a bargain price one year deal, he has ALOT MORE to play for in terms a new contract moving forward.

I say sign Smytty to a 2M / One year deal.

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#32 Vaclav
May 02 2012, 11:17AM
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It's not just about dollars out of Katz's pocket Infinibuild. Every time you give one of your players a contract you're setting a precedent for the next SPC you're offering. Agents and players use comparables for other players and if you've overpaid Smyth then the next 19 goal player is going to expect the same money. Ryan Jones scored 17 goals this year and I sure wouldn't want to be paying him $2.8M if you're giving Smyth $3.0M.

At some point the UCL is going to come into play and Tambellini is going to have to be fiscally responsible with contracts he's handing out.

And if I'm paying a player $3.0M next season I'd rather go after a guy like David Jones or try and pry Chris Stewart out of St. Louis than to overpay Ryan Smyth.

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#33 Quicksilver ballet
May 02 2012, 11:18AM
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Offer him 3 for 2012-13 and 2.5 for 2013-14.

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#34 Fresh Mess
May 02 2012, 11:23AM
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"So I really don't understand the obsession with dollars. Who cares?? Its Katz' money..."

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We should care because we have an owner who has his hands in the public purse demanding funding for his private-for-profit enterprise.

We should care because we are the ones who absorb the ticket and concession price increases.

This is a club that despite being in the top ten for revenue, claims to have sustained a seven figure loss after paying a minor league defenseman 5 million dollars+ , paying a fired coach one million dollars to stay home as a "Senior Hockey Advisor" and spending a million bucks for a baseball park renovation.

It's not monopoly money. It's real and it has to come from somewhere.

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#35 Dan the Man
May 02 2012, 11:25AM
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I'd love to see Smyth back but it was funny how so many fans starting turning on him towards the end of the season. It began with a love in and that love only grew when he got off to a much better start than expected but his play tailed off quite a bit and then the love began to fade....

One thing I did notice though is that he seemed to take a lot of bad or ill timed penalties this year. I'm not sure what that was all about or if it was just my perception but he was second to only Ben Eager in PIM's on the Oilers this year with 82, which is the highest total of his career. By comparison he had only 35 the previous year.

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#36 playoffbound2013
May 02 2012, 11:33AM
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@oilersordeath

It isnt sensitivity, but could be reality. I really think the young players will want to stay, we are building a new rink, we have a stable owner. But you cant tell me there are not better (warmer, more cosmopolitan, more revunue in terms of endorsements) markets for talented players to go to.

Detroit built a winner on good drafting and keeping their stars happy. But they also treat their players quite well. We need to step up and make sure that we treat Smyth right, thats all I am saying. The organization has linked very amatuer in the past, but is getting better.

I know that Tambo made an offer. I just think there should be a progress made sooner that later.

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#37 Infinibuild
May 02 2012, 11:41AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

"So I really don't understand the obsession with dollars. Who cares?? Its Katz' money..."

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We should care because we have an owner who has his hands in the public purse demanding funding for his private-for-profit enterprise.

We should care because we are the ones who absorb the ticket and concession price increases.

This is a club that despite being in the top ten for revenue, claims to have sustained a seven figure loss after paying a minor league defenseman 5 million dollars+ , paying a fired coach one million dollars to stay home as a "Senior Hockey Advisor" and spending a million bucks for a baseball park renovation.

It's not monopoly money. It's real and it has to come from somewhere.

Oh, I get it! Popcorn will be cheaper at the concession if Smyth doesn't get $3 mil. Sweet, I support that.

There is zero connection between ticket prices, concession price and Smyth's contract. Thats ridiculous. The Oilers will charge whatever people will pay, trying to make a connection between popcorn/pizza and Smyth's contract is a good laugh.

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#38 druds
May 02 2012, 11:47AM
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It seems Jonathan you managed to gloss over something that Smyth began to do regularly after December and that was give away the puck especially in the Oilers zone. He began to make absolute bonehead plays especially seeming to pass the puck right onto an opposing players stick like it was an intended pass. I like Smyth and would resign him but lets not pretend he is a "must have" type anymore.

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#39 Walter Sobchak
May 02 2012, 12:08PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Also Stauffer was stating yesterday that Smyth, without naming him but all the descriptors pointed to him, may not be as well liked in the dressing room as people think and may not be the leader in the dressing room that people think either. Tambo is set on building a team that wins and I have to give him credit he has stuck to his guns on a number of things. He might not be progressing as much as we would like but I do believe there is a method to his madness.

He wasn't talking about Smyth he was talking about Omark!

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#40 Team EHH
May 02 2012, 01:11PM
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"He wasn't talking about Smyth he was talking about Omark!"

that was my understanding too

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#41 Rocknrolla
May 02 2012, 01:12PM
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Sign Him!

He's your insurance policy on any injuries in the top 6. Get him back on the PP, and he will score 30 next year. Manage his minutes.

Remember, the leadership, and lessons about commitment, Oilers passion, and being a guy who actually played with Weight, Arnott, Ranford, CuJo, that type of leadership you cant put a $$ on.

We have the money, spend it on the leader. Especially if he can play 2 years, next year he will show the kids what it takes to sacrifice your face by taking a shot to get into the playoffs, and then in year 2 you need that veteran leader to keep your playoff team focused. Otherwise we will get swept 4-0, just cause its our first dance.

Captain Canada, Olympics, WC, World Cup, Who else would you rather have in the room teaching these guys about what it means to be an oiler. I would even say that going forward after he retires, Smitty should be brought back as that PK/Bucky coach, who can continue to influence the kids.

The only other guys like him, when it comes to bleeding oil are Mess, Gretz, Coffey....Sign Him!

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#42 Oilcan
May 02 2012, 01:34PM
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If Smyth comes back for 1 year at 2.5 or 2 years and 2 a year I am ok with it but if not I think that money would be better spend elsewhere, Smyth has lost a step and who knows how he starts in September if he starts the way he ended and continues to regress then the 2 year contract looks terrible as well.

The Oilers aren't treating Smyth disrespectful because they gave him a contract that fits his role, they aren't overpaying which is something we should all be happy about. I have no doubt that the Oilers could find a SMyth replacement in FA and like someone said David Jones might be had for that kind of money 2.5-3 for 3 years or so to play 3rd line LW.

If Smyth wants 3 and Paajarvi takes his spot and does well then they lose no production and save about 2 mill in cap space that they could use to give a slight overpay to a player that we need IE a defenseman.

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#43 Oilcan
May 02 2012, 01:40PM
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Everyone says what does it say about the Oilers not offering Smyth more because he has had a great Oiler career, but flip that and what does it say about Smyth right now that he won't take 2 MILLION dollars (Where he has made over 6 for how many years) and a guaranteed 2 years to play with an up and coming team that will need the money next year. Cant fault him for wanting more money if thats what he wishes, just as you can't fault the Oilers for not giving him more money.

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#44 TwoSkidoos
May 02 2012, 01:41PM
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I don't care, but I do care paying a player what they're worth, not overpaying.

If you get 2 or even 4 players making 500K more than what they're worth, that adds up to another bottom 6 player on the roster, or even more importantly, having the ability to pay a crucial player the extra 500K or 1 mill.

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#45 TwoSkidoos
May 02 2012, 01:42PM
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Amen Fresh Mess.

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#46 TigerUnderGlass
May 02 2012, 02:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Smyth's easily worth more than $2 million per year. He's a better offensive option than Bertuzzi, and he's a better defensive option than Bertuzzi.

On a one year deal, I'd do $3.0 million. And I'd tell Smyth that this is the way it has to be: I'll keep re-signing him - even if it's to play fourth-line minutes - for as long as he's willing and able to play in the NHL, on one-year deals. Like Lidstrom and Holmstrom and a host of other old veterans.

I'd like to see them team use him like Detroit uses Holmstrom. Maybe not quite that few minutes at this point, but I'd cut his minutes and keep him fresh for PP time and leave him off the PK. (meaning they better have a plan B for the PK)

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#47 Reality Check to the head
May 02 2012, 02:03PM
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@Oilcan

Fair point. I hate it when people on the other side of the argument make sense haha.

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#48 TigerUnderGlass
May 02 2012, 02:04PM
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@Dman09

When did Tambo state that he made a "take it or leave offer because its the only one that works into their plan for the team"?

I don't believe he ever said any such thing.

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#49 RexLibris
May 02 2012, 02:34PM
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I would re-sign Smyth to JW's suggested contract. One year, $3 million. Basically, Smyth could act as a kind of "snooze button" for Paajarvi and Hamilton's development. Not ready yet? Give Smyth some more ice time until they are.

Just as a side note, contrast the discussion we are having on Smyth's re-signing on this thread with the kind of angst and division that Flames fans are having weighing Iginla's future with the team heading into his last contract year.

There is no way that Smyth means as much to the Oilers right now as Iginla does to the Flames, and we already tore that band-aid off a few years ago. Still, to my mind, the single biggest difference in how Oiler fans are contemplating letting Smyth walk on July 1st is that we have another set of core players upon which to heap our expectations.

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#50 DieHard
May 02 2012, 03:04PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

When did Tambo state that he made a "take it or leave offer because its the only one that works into their plan for the team"?

I don't believe he ever said any such thing.

I could have swore I heard something like that as well. Anyways, the best way forward is one year contracts as he is over 35 and if something happens we are stuck with the cap hit. What is Smyth's role going to be, a second or third liner? In my books a third liner who can move up if required due to injury and such. As for dollars, I have read where optimal dollars spent at current cap ceiling for the third line is approximately 6 Million. So is he worth 1/3 or 1/2 of the line?

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