Smyth Trade Revisited

I’m wondering how everyone feels about the Ryan Smyth trade one year on?

Are you still steaming over the most famous $100,000 in team history (and the Ryan Smyth reaction: “That’s not right. There is more to it than that. If that was true I would’ve…”)?

Did you wince when you heard about the gap between the reported Oilers offer and the one he signed in Colorado (5 yrs, $31.2M)?

Based on Smyth’s performance (and health) versus Nilsson’s performance with the Oilers plus the O’Marra and Plante careers moving forward, are you angry?

Or are you happy for the return on what was a 23 game rental?

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133 Responses to "Smyth Trade Revisited"

  1. asif says:

    i think we would be a much better team right now with smyth instead of souray

  2. Dennis says:

    I don’t really like the way you framed it with that last line. It’s not about the fact that the Isles didn’t re-sign Smyth; that’s something you look at from the Other end of the spectrum. Unless you want to ask if it was smarter to let Smyth go at the deadline or make a hard decision on him in July of ’06.

    For the Oilers, it’s picks, a prospect/suspect plus Smyth’s money to Souray. Fuck, you can throw in trying Penner in Smyth’s role and the picks that cost if you want to. And even though I’m a guy that still supports the Penner move, I can do that and still hammer on Lowe for Smyth because I can just say I’d have brought back Smyth, signed Penner to the sheet, not touched Souray and brought back Hejda on the cheap for the D.

    At the end of the day, it just wasn’t good enough the way the Smyth thing was handled. Trading him on deadline day was the final straw but that camel was on worker’s disability long before last Feb.

  3. Andrew says:

    My issue with the Smyth trade is that it shouldn’t have ever been an issue at the trade deadline. Lowe could have resigned Ryan in the summer of ’05 for considerably less than the final offer Lowe made at the trade deadline. Why was Smyth the last player on the resigning list? As a fan we should be talking about how Smyth is slowing down instead of how Staios has lost a step. I think the question should be why was Staios a better option than Ryan?

  4. Black Dog says:

    My original reaction was rage, followed up by support for the move. I was in a very small minority. My reasoning – giving big cash and longterm money to guys over 30 not named Lidstrom is not a great idea.

    So of course they turn around and sign a player who is less of a player then Smyth and who is truly injury prone in a way Smyth never was. Hah! Joke’s on me.

    I’m with Dennis – they could have signed Smyth and Hejda and Penner, never touch Souray, and then move Torres and you come out even salary wise and you are a better team.

    What killed Smytty is ’06 – fifth on the team in scoring – guaranteed that Lowe looked at that and said he’s no Messier, no Kurri, no Anderson – he’s not getting paid when he gets outscored by Fernando Pisani and Horc and Hemsky and Pronger (and Samsonov and Spacek were right behind him). Guaranteed that was it right there.

    Lowe should have signed him the summer before. Hell he should have signed him last winter – if only he had known the cap was going to go up!

    As to the return – meh. I guess time will tell.

  5. godot10 says:

    The New England Patriots let guys looking to be overpaid on retirement contracts walk.

    All the guys in Calgary took a home town discount.

    Smyth is a minus player in Colorado. Horcoff was carrying him.

  6. mc79hockey says:

    Can I say just how much I’ve enjoyed the addition of Patrick Laforge to the ranks of commenters on this site?

  7. godot10 says:

    //Why was Smyth the last player on the resigning list?//

    Because they had expired contracts. And Moreau and Staios took hometown discounts, like all the guys in Calgary.

  8. mc79hockey says:

    I’m confused. By all reports, Smyth was willing to take $750K less annually than he ended up getting on the open market to stay in Edmonton. In what parallel universe is that not a hometown discount?

  9. Pat H says:

    //Can I say just how much I’ve enjoyed the addition of Patrick Laforge to the ranks of commenters on this site?//

    LOL. best line I’ve seen in weeks.

  10. godot10 says:

    Iginla took a $2 million dollar discount.

    All the Calgary guys took about a 20% discount.

  11. godot10 says:

    Plus, we wouldn’t have Gagner, if Smyth had been signed.

  12. mc79hockey says:

    Iginla took a $2 million dollar discount.

    Oh really? Huh. Amazing how you can determine that in a vacuum. Here I thought that such a thing would have been unknowable.

  13. mc79hockey says:

    Just on Iginla…I’m hardpressed to believe he would have got much more than $8MM anywhere he wanted to play, which is why I find the 20% discount so hard to believe.

  14. godot10 says:

    Crosby and Ovechkin took big discounts.

    Iginla is a max player. San Jose had/has the cap room. The Rangers had cap room (before Drury and Gomez).

  15. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Well then you’ll LOVE 08-09. We’re getting Taveras!!!!

    Dennis: I honestly believe Lowe felt Smyth was a deadline deal the moment he decided the previous summer to wait on signing him.

    IF Lowe wasn’t going to sign him summer ’06 BUT still valued Smyth he would have sat him down and talked to him and we know he didn’t do that because Smyth eventually exploded with the “hometown discount” rant.

    Kevin Lowe decided Ryan Smyth wasn’t worth the money it was going to take to sign him. I’m supremely confident that is a fact.

    It was a terrible decision. It was also a nice return on a rental.

  16. godot10 says:

    How can you say it is a terrible decision after 50 games of Gagner?

  17. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Because godot10 eventually I’m going to die and watching kids who might not get hurt before they turn into stars becomes a little tedious when your team is losing 6 of 10.

  18. mc79hockey says:

    How can you say it is a terrible decision after 50 games of Gagner?

    Because Gagner wasn’t a reasonable expectation. Gagner was what happened when the remains of that team went 1-18-2 or whatever it was. The Oilers lucked out in that they completely tanked but that wasn’t foreseeable when Lowe made the move.

    I’m starting to think that you don’t understand the cap Godot10. OV got almost as much as he possibly could have, as did Crosby. If Crosby took a hometown discount, it wasn’t much. He also signed that deal a year before he needed to, so the Pens carried the risk that he’d suffer a severe injury in his contract year and he got to avoid the (strong) possibility that they’d take him to arbitration.

    FWIW, LT, I agree with you. I’m going to bump one of my Smyth posts on the anniversary because the comments are so damn prescient. Here’s the first one:

    “This [the Oilers being unable to sign a quality FA] is exactly what I am afraid of. I do not really care if the Oilers finally lure a big name free agent if his name is Sheldon Souray or Brad Stuart.”

    HA! Brilliant bastard.

    Or this, from you:

    “I fear he does have a plan and it involves a 6M a year defenseman not named CFP.”

    I’m laughing because I’d otherwise have to cry.

    “If it helps, Jake from the morning drivetime sports radio show here was thinking and through, and he thinks Joe Sakic will be coming to the Oilers in the summer. In fairness he didn’t give any sources, he said it was pure independent speculation, just has a ‘feeling’.

    But think about it. Joe Freakin’ Sakic, Dennis! It just makes so much sense!”

    Vic makes a good point: at least we have Sakic.

  19. PunjabiOil says:

    And Moreau and Staios took hometown discounts

    Staios’s contract is hardly a discount, given the fact he got 4 years. I think he got FMV.

    Ditto for Moreau

  20. godot10 says:

    //Staios’s contract is hardly a discount, given the fact he got 4 years. I think he got FMV.
    Ditto for Moreau.//

    Can you name a veteran defensman worth his salt who signed a multiyear contract for less than Staios?

    I think Ethan Moreau is probably the lowest paid captain in the league (apart from Jason Smith).

  21. Oilman says:

    Lowe gave up on Smyth the second he signed Pronger – why he didn’t change his mind after Pronger changed his? – well that’s beyond me.

  22. godot10 says:

    Tom Preissing, who is a soft third pairing defenseman, 4 years @ $2.75.

    Joe Corvo, who is a soft third pairing defenseman, 4 years @ $2.6.

  23. PunjabiOil says:

    Can you name a veteran defensman worth his salt who signed a multiyear contract for less than Staios?
    The difference is, Staios is 34. Turns 35 this July with 3 years remaining.

    He’s going to break down sooner or later. It’s inevitable.


    I think Ethan Moreau is probably the lowest paid captain in the league (apart from Jason Smith).

    …of a lottery pick Oilers team ;)

    I don’t put too much stock into the term, ”captain”

    You honestly think FCP wasn’t providing leadership, despite no letter on his chest?

  24. danny says:

    I think the real question is, if you had a budget of $42M, with your owners campaigning for a $39M cap, do you commit $5.5M x 5+ years to Ryan Smyth?

    Pre and post Katz bid are different eras in the EIGology of the Oilers.

    Its easy to say if we signed Smyth, we could still have signed Penner and Hejda and have the same payroll… but thats revisionist. The Smyth decision was made under a completely different reality.

  25. godot10 says:

    Havelid 3 years @ $2.6.

  26. PunjabiOil says:

    Tom Preissing, who is a soft third pairing defenseman, 4 years @ $2.75.

    Joe Corvo, who is a soft third pairing defenseman, 4 years @ $2.6.

    Offense always gets you paid.

  27. godot10 says:

    Aaron Ward 2 years @ $2.75.

  28. godot10 says:

    Bryan Allen 4 year $3.1 million.

  29. godot10 says:

    Greg DeVries 2 year $2.5

  30. godot10 says:

    Colin White 6 years $3 million

  31. Tyler says:

    I think Ethan Moreau is probably the lowest paid captain in the league (apart from Jason Smith).

    I’m pretty sure that Moreau is the shittiest hockey player out of all of the captains in the league. He is, however, the lowest paid captain whose last name starts with the letter “M”. Clear letter “M” discount – Patrick Marleau and Brendan Morrow are obvious comps.

    As for Havelid, are you advocating the Thrashers defence as a sound model to follow?

  32. godot10 says:

    Brendan Witt 3 year $2.8 million.

  33. godot10 says:

    Nick Boynton 3 year $2.95 million

  34. godot10 says:

    Kyle McLaren 3 years @ $2.5 million
    Filip Kuba 3 years @ $3 million

  35. godot10 says:

    Brian Pother 4 years @ $2.5 million

  36. Dennis says:

    This thread just exploded!!

    LT: we’re arguing different things, then. I think the Oilers got a lot of quanity for Smyth but it’s a long ways from knowing just how much quality’s in the mix.

    My bone of contention is that he shouldn’t have devauled him by waiting until the deadline to trade him. Then again, maybe Lowe didn’t want a real roster player for Smyth just as well as he didn’t want a real roster dman for Pronger.

    Maybe the old coot really believes in all these kids and middling-to- late first rounders.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, it did explode. I was busy writing Oliver Stone dialogue for David Staples in the Lowe’s future post and it went from 14 to 35 posts but that’s because godot10 gets paid by the post. :-)

    I think we are actually arguing different items. I can certainly agree that signing Ryan Smyth summer 2006 would have changed the course of Oilers history and we certainly can’t credit Lowe for the team losing so much they got pick 6.

    I think we’ll know the plain for this summer based on how much money is heading out of town at the deadline.

  38. misfit says:

    I’m glad we traded him rather than not, only to realise we now had zero leverage in the Smyth negotiations and then see him walk for nothing July 1st. The return itself isn’t looking like anything special.

    That said, I’d much rather have been able to sign Smyth than have signed Souray and made the offer to Vanek, Penner, and Nylander (which may have happened regardless, I don’t know)

  39. rickibear says:

    If we had signed Smyth you all would have been whining how could KLowe have signed a broken down F*** like Smyth. But maybe not you all have a FANatical loyalty to Smyth that Souray does not have.
    I will now use all the trite Souray agruements for Smyth.
    Look at his history he has averaged only 70GM a season for the last five years. You could see this injury coming. Plus we rewarded a guy for a career year.

    Souray is our best PK (4:00)Dman our PP (4:15)point shot and he plays 16:00 EV in a none puck moving role.

    Hedja don’t even bring him into this issue. He was decided apon well before the end of the season. They decided to bring in Tarnstrom instead of retain him. 20 Bucks that was MacT’s call.
    I saw Hedja as a 2ND line Dman easywho would play a 3rd pairing position with Smith and Staios.

    What did we get Nilsson, Plante, and O’mara.

    Nilsson is currently our 2ND best playmaking passer and 3rd best PPG guy while only playing 13:03.

    Plante; you wil have to forgive me but before the draft I wanted our four draft picks to be.
    #6 Gagner
    #15 Plante
    #30 & #36 2 of Brett Maclean, Lars Eller, Riley Nash.
    O’mara we bought into the Hype.
    My only wish is that we Had asked for Tambellini.

    Danny hits the final point right on the head.

    Lt is correct lets have this arguement post feb.26 and after the first two weeks in july.

  40. YKOil says:

    Seriously godot10 – are you Stoll2Hemsky? Only other person I’ve ever seen write such drivel so consistently.

    Colin White at $3 per over 6 is a far better deal than Staios at 2.7 per over 4. Hell, Havelid, at the same coin is playing WAY above Staios’ head. Home town discount my a$$. Any of Witt, White, Havelid, Allen – ALL of them are better deals.

    Moreau a hometown discount? Not in this NHL. Iginla leaving a couple of million on the table?

    We KNOW for a fact Smyth was offering a hometown discount because he took an extra 750k just a few months later.

    Please g10 – THINK about what you post and try, try using logic.

    As far as LT’s original question. Yes. Still angry.

    Penner signing ONLY makes strategic sense IF Smyth was still here. With Smyth being gone Penner HAS to be Kovalchuk to make up for the cash and picks – and Penner ain’t Kovy.

    Finally, Penner has 4 more years on his deal. Chances of this team making a real run in that time frame – almost zero. Meanwhile Anaheim comes out of it with a lottery pick player because Lowe didn’t cover his risks.

    Horrible, horrible management.

  41. Ribs says:

    I liked the trade then and I like it even more now.
    The guy wanted more than he was worth and Lowe pulled the trigger.

    Would I have liked Lowe to spend a bit more time finding buyers before the last possible minute on trade deadline day, yes. I think the return was decent enough though, for a guy who has a name but not enough talent to back it up.

    I couldn’t see the Oilers getting anywhere with the top line of Horcoff-Smyth-Hemsky for the next few years. Hemsky is a skilled guy who should get to play with other skilled players. Horcoff and Smyth are pretty simple players that don’t bring much to Hemsky’s table (Yea, Horcoff does get better and better though). The power play sucked and no one could score a goal unless it was off of Smyths ass and a goal post or two.

    So are they better off now? No, not really. They still haven’t filled that #1 line with a skilled player to truly feed off of Hemsky.

    It’s just nice to think that we have some young guys who might be able to help the team get better instead of progressively worse.

  42. godot10 says:

    //Moreau a hometown discount?//

    He’s the effing captain. He’s getting paid for more than goals and assists. You are finally beginning to see in the Oilers the physicality missing last year and this year, as Moreau returns to form, and the others begin to follow.

    And even with his salary, he’s earning less than Stoll and Torres and Pisani.

    Moreau and Staios were the two guys Lowe and MacT to be the veteran character leaders.

  43. misfit says:

    Moreau wasn’t the captain when he signed that contract extension.

  44. RiversQ says:

    godot10 said…
    Plus, we wouldn’t have Gagner, if Smyth had been signed.

    This is truly the most ridiculous argument surrounding the Smyth deal.

    If you think Smyth was the difference between this team drafting Gagner or not, then you give him far more credit than any Smyth fan on the blogs. Heck, you give him more credit than almost any hockey player in the league receives.

    If you think Ryan Smyth would make five points difference in roughly 20 games to an NHL team’s results, then he’s a top 5 player in the league.

    The Smyth situation was handled terribly. I say situation because it wasn’t just the trade it was the whole year’s worth of roster management. The return on the deal still looks bad to me. O’Marra has been a bad joke, the draft pick looks in doubt and Nilsson can’t string together more than a few shifts of quality hockey.

    As for Penner, I totally disagree with Dennis there. The Penner signing was a massive mistake and it has almost nothing to do with Penner’s quality as a player. The contract is too high for a complementary player and the Oilers org is not in a position where they could afford to lose picks of that quality in this draft. (If they’d kept Smyth, you’d have better justification)

  45. godot10 says:

    //Moreau wasn’t the captain when he signed that contract extension.//

    They have two veteran defensive defensemen over 30 about the same age. They signed Staios, which meant Smith was not going to get another contract from the Oilers. Staios has the better mentoring skills than Smith, mainly because he is more gregarious. The Oilers have a slew of young defensemen in the pipeline that need mentoring.

    Lowe and MacT knew Moreau was going to be the next captain when they extended him.

    I think Smyth saw Moreau’s contract, and Smyth realized he was not going to be the captain, which is why he refused to take a hometown discount like all the Calgary guys.

  46. RiversQ says:

    godot10 said…
    Staios has the better mentoring skills than Smith, mainly because he is more gregarious.

    You cannot be serious.

    That is some crazy bullshit right there.

  47. PunjabiOil says:

    RiversQ – gotta love the way you don’t bullshit your way around – you get straight to the point.

  48. rickibear says:

    My thought on everyone being revisionists in regards to body break down left winger. And believing he would have used his mircle Hockey Jesus hands to make a diffrence to the current situation.

    “You cannot be serious.

    That is some crazy bullshit right there.”

  49. RiversQ says:

    rickibear said…
    My thought on everyone being revisionists in regards to body break down left winger. And believing he would have used his mircle Hockey Jesus hands to make a diffrence to the current situation.

    Now who has said that?

    I don’t think there’s any revisionist history regarding Smyth’s performance as an Oiler. (At least not on my part which begs the question as to why you quoted me there.)

    Smyth was a very effective ES player for the Oilers.

    GF/GA data supports this statement. The Penalties for and against while he’s on the ice support this assertion. His scoring rates at 5V5 support this assertion. His quality of opposition by virtually any measure (Vic Ferrari’s host of measures, Desjardins, etc) also supports this assertion.

    He was also a leading PP player on the team both in terms of the counting numbers and in terms of PPGF and PPP rate stats.

    Those are all facts.

    On the negative side…

    Although the injury thing gets overplayed, it was a legitmate concern for Smyth IMO. (Lowe has no out here because he splashed the dough at Souray)

    The potential for his production to decline was probably also a legitimate concern. (Lowe has no out here either because he threw the dough at Nylander who was four years older)

    Lastly, I think it’s fair to benchmark his salary vs. his peer group on the NHL and wonder if nearly $6MM/yr is justified.

    I can argue with all of those things, but I do think they’re rational arguments.

    Gregariousness?

    That’s just fucking crazy.

    Repeatedly questioning the guy’s character?

    That’s typical boorish Oiler fan behaviour for almost every player that leaves town. It’s both tiresome and expected.

  50. rickibear says:

    I will allways respect the complete player Ryan Smith was. But It is obvious to anyone that there were signs of his body breaking down.
    It would be utterly iresponsible to give large money to a player you thought was going to break down.

    Souray was all the EIG.

  51. PunjabiOil says:

    I will allways respect the complete player Ryan Smith was.

    Apparently not enough to spell his name correctly.


    But It is obvious to anyone that there were signs of his body breaking down.

    No. It wasn’t obvious. You tell me? Back up your assertion?

    To quote Dennis, you don’t say stuff in the ‘Sphere without backing it up.

  52. danny says:

    RiversQ said

    Although the injury thing gets overplayed, it was a legitmate concern for Smyth IMO. (Lowe has no out here because he splashed the dough at Souray)

    Sourays contract was in the midst of a PR nightmare for the EIG. They were crying for a $39M cap, they had spent $39M in salary, Lowe let Smyth walk, and shortly thereafter Katz comes in offerng to save the Oilers and spend to the cap every year.

    All of a sudden instead of negotiating business plans with Cal, Lowe has not only free reign to spend to the cap it seems, but most likely a mission statement to do so.

    If you had to appease the masses looking to avoid flopping into enemy #1 you tell your GM to make it happen.

    I wish people would be more realistic when they keep tossing the Smyth/Souray contracts together. Different things altogether.

  53. godot10 says:

    //Smyth was a very effective ES player for the Oilers.//

    I think the proper conclusion is that Horcoff is a very effective ES player, and Smyth was along for the ride.

    Smyth wasn’t going power-on-power when he was playing with Comrie. He is a negative player in Colorado.

  54. godot10 says:

    //That is some crazy bullshit right there.//

    Who has better skills for the character veteran third pairing mentor role…Staios of Smith. There is/was really only a place for one of them moving forward.

    Smith is a warrior, but Staios has a more vocal personality and a better puck handler. The veteran mentor defenseman is going to have to handle the puck more. Whose skills are more suited to a declining and diminishing role as age sets in. It is clearly Staios.

  55. Oilman says:

    Hasn’t Smyth been playing with a knee brace for about 8 years? – that couldn’t have been getting any better….not signing him can be justified – replacing him with Souray – not so much.

  56. rickibear says:

    //Apparently not enough to spell his name correctly.//
    The reason I became an oiler Fan and not just a Fan of the game was Ryan SmYth and Brian Marchment. Two players whom represented true Physical aspects of the game.

    //No. It wasn’t obvious. You tell me? Back up your assertion?//

    PJOIL: Play Physical Sports at a World Class Level And Train 3-5 times a day you might know what it is to be an Elite athelete. There is such a fine line between Elite and Not. The style of Physical game that SmYth plays leads to a gradual degeneration of the Athelete. Bones don’t heal quite the same. Cartlidge and tendons have a stiffness that was not there earlier. Muscle recuperation is slow unless you use accelerants like DMSO. I do not know whether this is an organization that uses oxygenated blood during the season. Even with them your skating speed slows down.

    When you have experienced the physical break down the diffrence in Fitness is F***ing obvious. KLowe and MacT were the type of players that would know the effects of physical degeneration. They clearly made a call.

    Not understanding this says you may never be able to recognize it.

    With his style of play he may continue to average a 30G/yr pace. I just do not think you will ever get a full year out of him again.

    The Lowe pessimists need to go through all the press releases since Jan. 2007. It is obvious Danny has.

    Oilman: Replacing him was first Vanek, then Penner. Nylander then Souray were the money from the increased EIG budget.

    Believe me I am not Happy about every move that was tried. But alot of them were Triples and Home runs.(Garon, Penner, Pitkanen). I am of the belief he will hits some more.

  57. Oilman says:

    The Nylander offer came first no? (at least publicity of it) After he’d been shot down by Karyia and Kozlov…and you know what, I’d have had no issues paying ~$6mil for Karyia over Smyth….Lowe just assumed he could go out and replace him which ended up not being the case.

  58. heed says:

    everyone in this argument seems to want to bring in the entire history of the oilers in order to evaluate this deal. it boils down to one simple question.

    is 20 games of smyth worth more than nilsson, plante and o’marra?

    should we have given souray that money? completely different question all together.

    penner? i don’t see how this has anything to do with it either.

  59. mc79hockey says:

    Smyth wasn’t going power-on-power when he was playing with Comrie. He is a negative player in Colorado.

    I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the save % with Smyth on the ice has been putrid. I doubt he has much control over that.

  60. heed says:

    i’m sure if jan hedja and george laraque were playing in colorado, smyth would be in the race for the hart trophy.

    ps if anyone hasn’t noticed, ryan smyth is at risk of disappearing completely from the hockey landscape. in the last two weeks, i have heard jarome iginla referred to as “captain canada” (this did not come out of the mouth roger millions either) and holmstrom referred to as the best player in the nhl for playing in front of the goalie.

  61. danny says:

    I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the save % with Smyth on the ice has been putrid. I doubt he has much control over that.

    I dont want to wade into the value of Smyth debate here, but I’ve seen this stated a few times this season now, and I have to ask is normal for a player to have a significantly worse save % behind him when he is playing than the % when hes not?

    Is it more likely a case that its bad luck or that the quality of chances generated against in both scenarios differ enough to generate the discrepancy?

    If you say Smyths sv% is significantly lower than the minutes hes off, then chances are hes probably forcing his goaltender to make lower percentage saves. Not exactly indicative of Smyths play because we have to consider quality of opposition as well, but it doesnt seem likely that Smyth is just being unlucky here and Budaj/Theo cant stop a puck when hes on the ice.

  62. godot10 says:

    //I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but the save % with Smyth on the ice has been putrid. I doubt he has much control over that.//

    The quality of shots a goaltender faces is directly related to the players on the ice.

    Save percentage is directly related to the qualitiy of shots.

  63. Lord Bob says:

    I don’t think I can say I’m happy with the trade. I think I can say that I’m content with the return and I think that if we had Ryan Smyth this year instead of Bobby Nilsson and Sheldon Souray this team would have something like an extra two points and still have us tearing our hair out. I think that the Smyth trade will have made this a better team when we’re actually able to contend again, as opposed to a season where, #94 or no, we’re pretty well screwed.

    So I’m happy with the return.

    But I do miss the guy.

  64. doritogrande says:

    Everyone’s missing the target here completely.

    The Edmonton Oilers traded quite possibly the best head of mullet hair left in the NHL. What are we known for now?

    We got fair return for 20 games of borderline 30-goal scorer, Futures. If even one of the three pans out, it’s a good return. My money’s on Nilsson to be that dude, with Plante getting an outside shot at being a top-4 guy and Ryan O’Marra being a career AHLer like our good friend, JFJ.

  65. Oilman says:

    The quality of shots a goaltender faces is directly related to the players on the ice.

    Save percentage is directly related to the qualitiy of shots.

    first thing you’ve said that I’ve agreed with.

  66. Mr DeBakey says:

    My, what a spirited discussion

    are you angry?

    Yes, I am. I believe Smyth could’ve been extended in the ’06 summer for a Cap hit under $5 Million [6/6/4/4/4=4.8].

    I think the projected player budget was, in part, tying Lowe’s hands.

    Souray’s signing does matter because it adds to the anger. However, I’m glad Smyth’s not on the books at 6.24 for 5 years.

    are you happy for the return on what was a 23 game rental?
    Yes,whatever, the trade itself was OK. I like the three assets part of it.

    All those D-men’s contracts terms – I’m not sure what those were about, but they indicate to me that Staios did NOT take a home town discount.

    How can you say it is a terrible decision after 50 games of Gagner?
    Gagner should not be considered part of the Smyth return.
    I’d say the jury is still out on whether or not they should’ve drafted Voracek.

    Hejda gets love around here because he outplays his contract – something Souray will never do. I also agree that MacT didn’t like him as much as us Blog People and that’s why he is gone.

  67. Bruce says:

    The quality of shots a goaltender faces is directly related to the players on the ice.

    Save percentage is directly related to the qualitiy of shots.

    Yeah I agree too. I find it funny that some in the ‘sphere (seem to) live and die by Corsi numbers and Fenwick numbers as if all shots were created equal, and just assume that any save percentage outside of the league average is just a matter of luck that will soon be corrected by the law of averages.

    Sure, shots are an indicator, just like batting average is an indicator in baseball. But some hits are bleeders or infield singles, and some are 450-foot dingers. It’s the latter that tend to show up on the scorebaord where it really counts.

  68. mc79hockey says:

    Yeah I agree too. I find it funny that some in the ‘sphere (seem to) live and die by Corsi numbers and Fenwick numbers as if all shots were created equal, and just assume that any save percentage outside of the league average is just a matter of luck that will soon be corrected by the law of averages.

    This was more of a hot topic before you were around Bruce. I cranked out some adjusted save percentage numbers back in 2005-06 that looked at that and previous seasons based on whether or not the shot was a rebound and the distance of the shot. I found the team swing to be in the range of +/- .010 in terms of shot difficulty at ES. The save percentage with Smyth on the ice is currently .845. Call me crazy and a fanatic, but I’m inclined to suspect that there’s an awful lot of bad luck in there.

  69. Pat H says:

    The insertion of some causal connection between Gagner and Smyth blows my mind. And indirect connection, sure. But I have a lot of trouble believing that Lowe consciously thought – hey, trade Smyth, get a nice draft pick!

    Then again, Lowe himself thinks that Penner is part of the Pronger trade, so I suppose we should be charitable to the Smyth-Gagner idea.

  70. danny says:

    Pat H said…
    The insertion of some causal connection between Gagner and Smyth blows my mind.

    You can’t credit Lowe for Gagner, altough its not a stretch by any means to correlate being a seller (of your best player) at the deadline with moving up the draft ranks. Theres a pretty obvious and distinct cause and effect happening there. Its no more selective reasoning than ignoring the EIGs budget before Katz, which seems pretty popular in the ‘sphere.

    MC: Maybe it was ‘bad luck’ for Smyth… but logic says he wasn’t above the problem more than it says he was a part of it.

  71. Pat H says:

    Danny:

    sorry, I exaggerate in saying no causal connection whatsoever.

    Still, I wonder how realistic it is to view Gagner as an ostensible part of the Smyth deal.

    mc79: Is a tort analysis applicable? Given the Smyth trade, was a 6th overall pick “reasonably foreseeable”?

  72. jon k says:

    Pat & Tyler: Please refrain from using legal terminology.

    Some of us do not wish to be “outed”.

  73. oilersfan says:

    i think it is over simple to look at smyth gets us three plus souray. it also gets us Sam Gagner. if we kept smyth we probably would have drafted10-12th and would have used that pick to take Plante.
    so smyth for the three players plus souray plus gagner makes it worth it to me. although souray needs to play over 65 games next year this is ridiculous.
    do the oilers have insurance on souray so they get some of that money back?

  74. mc79hockey says:

    MC: Maybe it was ‘bad luck’ for Smyth… but logic says he wasn’t above the problem more than it says he was a part of it.

    Um, it really doesn’t actually. Sakic, who played a lot with Smyth, has been a plus player since 1997. He was a minus this year. Given that the theory here is that Horcoff was carrying Smyth, I suppose that, taking that logic to its inevitable conclusion, Horcoff is a better hockey player than Sakic.

  75. mc79hockey says:

    mc79: Is a tort analysis applicable? Given the Smyth trade, was a 6th overall pick “reasonably foreseeable”?

    The Oilers were 30-27-6 when they traded Smyth. They went 2-16-1 the rest of the way. In order for that to be reasonably foreseeable, Smyth would have to be a player of such a stature that Gretzky looks like junk next to him. I find it amazing that the same people who think that Smyth wanted too much, somehow think that he was the difference between 2-16-1 and 9-8-2 or something like that.

  76. Pat H says:

    I find it amazing that the same people who think that Smyth wanted too much, somehow think that he was the difference between 2-16-1 and 9-8-2 or something like that.

    That nails it there. A classic instance of having one’s cake and eating it.

  77. Oilman says:

    I find it amazing how much “bad luck” there is when explaining why the answer doesn’t fit the equation. is the Devils season this year just “good luck” since they were supposed to be pretty bad based on the numbers guys.

  78. danny says:


    Um, it really doesn’t actually. Sakic, who played a lot with Smyth, has been a plus player since 1997. He was a minus this year. Given that the theory here is that Horcoff was carrying Smyth, I suppose that, taking that logic to its inevitable conclusion, Horcoff is a better hockey player than Sakic.

    Sakic was +2 last season… and scored 100 points. He was on pace for much less this season, and dropped from 1st to 3rd in qualcomp amongst centers on the Avs.

    We are talking about approximately 1 goal per 20 shots differential in save% compared to a player that gets the .900 treatment from his goalies.

    Every 20 shots Sakic/Smyth are having a bad luck ES goal scored on them more than the rate of the rest of the team?

    Thats hard to accept.

  79. Tyler says:

    Sakic got burned for a bunch of shorties last year. He was +0.49/60 at ES despite the Avs having poor goaltending. This year he’s -1.10/60. I have a hard time believing that he’s lost that much game or that Smyth is such deadweight.

    As for the QualComp, I’d like to see the Avs split as of the date of the injuries. I recall looking at it when Smyth/Sakic were healthy and they were playing the tough minutes. I think that those have been dumped on some guys since, which probably makes Sakic’s TOI look easier; as I recall, that whole system is relative.

    To your broader point, we’ll have to wait a few years to have some real idea about player save percentage but I put a lot of weight in the narrow spread in expected save percentage that I found from team to team, as well as Vic Ferrari’s work that kind of indicates that as well. Three or four years from, we’ll be in a much better position to answer this definitively.

  80. Oilman says:

    The quality of shot thing might be too player centric to properly quantify….a hundred shots could come from the excact same point on the ice – that doesn’t account for who the shooter is, what side the goalie catches on, if there was a pass option for the goalie to worry about, how hard the shot was, whether the shooter was right or left handed, a forward or a d-man, how hard the shot is, screened or not…there’s too many factors to just say they all even out over time.

  81. HBomb says:

    Wow, some serious venom being spit in this thread. I like it.

    Am I mad about the deal itself, in isolation, what we got for 20 games of Smyth? Not really. I’m not thrilled, I will use the word “content”.

    What I AM unhappy about?

    - Using the durability excuse when not signing Smyth and then turning around and signing Souray, and the meathead fans who cannot see the contradiction here. Hypocrisy in its highest form. If you deal Smyth, you admit a rebuild and do NOT sign Souray. Even considering the draft picks, I am still way more upset about the choice to sign Souray than I am with the Penner offer sheet.

    - Not making a more game attempt to re-ink Smyth proactively in summer 2006. I’d bet my left testicle they could have had him done long-term for a five million dollar cap hit.

    I like Dennis’ argument. Keep Smyth, ink Hejda for 3 years, and then go after Penner, and you’re no longer giving up a top-five pick. I’d even extend that to trying to keep Smith, extend him in the Willie Mitchell territory contract wise, and using Staios as the chip to get Pitkanen, not Smith.

  82. Lord Bob says:

    I suppose that, taking that logic to its inevitable conclusion, Horcoff is a better hockey player than Sakic.

    I have no problem believing that Horcoff is a better defensive player than Sakic, which is the most relevant factor when it comes to quality of shots against.

  83. Bruce says:

    Three or four years from, we’ll be in a much better position to answer this definitively.

    Agreed, MC. To some extent we’re picking up the discussion from the recent “Sodom and Gomorrah” post on your own fine website just the other day.

    This was more of a hot topic before you were around Bruce. I cranked out some adjusted save percentage numbers back in 2005-06 that looked at that and previous seasons based on whether or not the shot was a rebound and the distance of the shot.

    Can you point me to that piece? I’m very interested in this subject.

    I appreciate that I’m a latecomer to this discussion; that said surely it’s an evolving study that needs to be revisited and even challenged from time to time. From what little I’ve seen the information is so new that it’s hard to find period, let alone find in the same format from one year to the next. (Can you recommend a site?) I’m not even sure what the categories are even called: individual save percentage? Individualized team shooting percentage?

    Whatever, I don’t have to be a fucking lawyer :) to say I don’t accept that there’s “no causal connection” between a given player’s performance and the variation in his team’s save percentage while he’s on the ice. Some of it will be flukey crap, like the goal Nolan got off his crotch or the minuses that everybody on the ice got, uh, sodomized with when Garon hit a rut on Nolan’s second fluke goal. But they are goals and minuses all the same. I figure over time that kind of stuff WILL even out, at least within the context of a team, but legitimate differences will remain.

    Do you really think it’s a fluke of distribution that Oilers have a save percentage of .923 with Fernando Pisani on the ice and .860 with Kyle Brodziak? I don’t. I’m not saying the difference is exactly .063, but there is a difference. Pisani’s the better, more experienced defensive player who is likely to limit the opposition to less dangerous shots. The better Sv% behind him is a logical result.

  84. heed says:

    i honestly don’t think ryan smyth had any intention of signing a contract with the oilers. i think he would have left edmonton in the dust but he would have a different excuse to offer up when he cried at the airport in the summer of 2007.

  85. Asiaoil says:

    I prefer to look at the Smyth decision as a singularity – tying other people to make it look better or worse just clouds the water.

    Smyth is making over $7 million this year and next and has a $6.25 million cap hit over the 5 year deal. At his age and with the miles on his body – it is not silly to suggest that this year and next are when he has to earn this contract – and his line for this season is: 36 games 11-17-28 points and a -5.

    This means that one of the key seasons where he earns his keep is gone and the doubters who suggested that he will break down and not earn this deal look correct for now. If Smyth does not seriously rebound next year then this deal will not likely wear well in it’s last 3 years unless he hires Brian MacNamee as his personal trainer.

  86. Shawn says:

    I don’t think Smyth fits the timeline for this franchise right now. However, Souray obviously doesn’t either. I’d love to have seen Smyth finish his career in Edmonton, but I understand why they didn’t want him long term. Mainly I’m not happy or upset really.

  87. rickibear says:

    //Still, I wonder how realistic it is to view Gagner as an ostensible part of the Smyth deal.//
    They are not related. The following proves that.

    //The Oilers were 30-27-6 when they traded Smyth.//
    Hmm: 66/126pts.
    These are the games Smyth was out in December.
    Dec4/2006 Oilers/Canucks 4-0 W
    Dec6/2006 Hurricanes/Oilers 1-3 W
    Dec8/2006 Oilers/Stars 2-0 W
    Dec10/2006 Oilers/Blackhawks 1-4 L
    Dec12/2006 Oilers/Predators 2-3 L
    Dec14/2006 Wild/Oilers 1-3 W
    Dec15/2006 Oilers/Avalanche 1-4 L
    Dec19/2006 Avalanche/Oilers 7-6 L
    Dec21/2006 Oilers/Coyotes 3-2 W
    Dec23/2006 Oilers/Stars 2-3 L
    We were 5-5 10/20pts
    Is 5.5M worth 4 extra points we would get all year and the one extra pt. we would have got in the Final 20 games. Thanks for the proof that it was all our defence losses that created our record in the last 20 and f*** all to do with Ryan SmYth.

    If you look at the time Hedja was out he had a greater P/G effect on the team than the loss of Ryan Smyth. So yes I Am a Huge Jan Hedja Fan.

    //Using the durability excuse when not signing Smyth and then turning around and signing Souray, and the meathead fans who cannot see the contradiction here. Hypocrisy in its highest form.//

    Didn’t any body read Danny’s comment:
    “All of a sudden instead of negotiating business plans with Cal, Lowe has not only free reign to spend to the cap it seems, but most likely a mission statement to do so.”
    “Theres a pretty obvious and distinct cause and effect happening there. Its no more selective reasoning than ignoring the EIGs budget before Katz, which seems pretty popular in the ‘sphere.”
    Danny is very Bang On!
    EIG budjet Before Katz = 39M; after katz =50M

    //The Penner signing was a massive mistake and it has almost nothing to do with Penner’s quality as a player. The contract is too high for a complementary player//
    5.5M for the same offensive production is so much better.

    //the Oilers org is not in a position where they could afford to lose picks of that quality in this draft.//
    Once again Damn you KLowe for not bringing out the no injury magic ferry wand.

  88. Dennis says:

    A few things:

    - I can understant a lot of the arguments for not signing Penner and the funny thing is that I’m not in the same camp with a lot of the guys I usually agree with. Maybe this is one deal where I can sympathize with Lowe because I can see with Penner’s size and intangibles how there are things he can do that we haven’t had here since Messier. I’m not comparing him to Mess, I’m just saying it’s been a while since we had a bully who can score goals. Riv or Ty has recently made the point that he’s being paid too much money and that’s a new one and it has some weight. LT was the first guy to say that you only make this move if you’re close to the Cup and you feel the signee’s the guy to put you over the top. That one passes mustard too. Finally, are draft classes aren’t considered equal and this one’s supposed to be as good as ’03 and we know that year produced an absolute tonne of good-to-impact players. So maybe it wasn’t the right year to play your cards, either.

    - Not saying it’s all Staples fault but he’s the first MSM guy that I saw put in print how trading Smyth lead to being able to select Gagner. It’s a dumb postulation; letting Smyth go undeniably weakened the team but I don’t think he caused all the injuries that followed. Yet that whole idea’s picked up a lot of steam in some circles.

    - I have always said that Lowe’s motto is excuses in lieu of success and he’s struck once again by essentially blaming 94′s departure on the EIG’s miserly ways. Of course the thing that no one takes to task is that because of contracts like Roli’s and Fernie’s, there were only so few dollars to spread around. It’s like Lain says, Lowe decided early on that there were a couple of lines in the sand when it came to Smyth:

    - how much they’d pay him
    - how valuable he was

    I think people have a lot of balls to cite 94′s injury at the same time that Souray’s gonna miss a huge chunk of the season but it just illustrates the power of Lowe.

    Like I say; being the Oilers GM is one of the easiest jobs in pro sports. There’s basically zero accountability. Maybe that will change now with a local billionaire owning the team and people not being afraid to stay away from the rink in droves if the team sucks. Maybe Katz’s presence will lift the inferiority complex that Pocklington and the EIG foisted upon the public. We shall see I guess.

  89. Bruce says:

    Like I say; being the Oilers GM is one of the easiest jobs in pro sports. There’s basically zero accountability.

    Gotta disagree with this one, Dennis. Being a GM of a Canadian NHL team is far from an easy job, as one’s every move is held up to the microscope and more than a little revisionist history. Why on the front page of this fine blog alone there are currently articles entitled “Buy Lowe”, “Kevin Lowe’s future”, and the current “Smyth Trade Revisited”.

    I know that’s not what you meant, you’re talking about accountability as in getting fired, but Lowe has done quite a few things right too, including come within a stinking goal of Stanley. Employers look at the full range of an employee’s results, good and bad, when doing the performance review. I can’t imagine those 100 straight sellouts are hurting K-Lowe’s cause either.

    I’m in the middle on this one, I’m neither Lowe-basher nor lover; I don’t think he’s the best GM in the league nor the worst. But I think he’s busting his ass to be the best he can be, just like he did as a player, and to think he has an easy job or takes it lightly does not do the man justice. One thing I do admire about him is he isn’t afraid to try stuff. And that ain’t easy.

  90. rickibear says:

    You Season ticket holders just stay away. Thats just one less in front of me on the waiting list.

    I will will my tickets to my son!

  91. dubya says:

    I think people have a lot of balls to cite 94′s injury at the same time that Souray’s gonna miss a huge chunk of the season but it just illustrates the power of Lowe.

    Dennis, not everybody feels the need to evaluate one players worth by tying him to every possible related transition. Souray being injury prone doesn’t mean I can’t postulate on the likelihood of 94 being injured too often over the next 5 years to cover his contract (especially since I didn’t offer Souray that contract).

    Honestly, I don’t feel Smyth will cover the contract, so I’m happy with the trade. I think Nilsson will be a player, too, though maybe not in Edmonton. Would the deal be better if the money hadn’t been spent on Souray? The deal wouldn’t, but the Oilers might. I really think these are two different issues, and the only reason to combine them is if you want to shit on Lowe.

  92. godot10 says:

    //Like I say; being the Oilers GM is one of the easiest jobs in pro sports. There’s basically zero accountability.//

    This is BS. Mirtle compiled stats earlier this year showing that Lowe and MacT have compiled the 11th best record in the NHL since going to 30 teams.

    Lowe and MacT kept the team competitive when they were losing one or two star players a year before the new CBA when the loonie only had 80 cents of buying power.

    The drafting is much improved from the Sather era.

    They got the team to the Stanley Cup final.

    So they are rebuilding…this is arguably the first year into the process. They only have one really bad contract (Souray’s).

    MacT has done an admirable job this year with all the injuries and all the first and second year players.

    Lots of young players got a lot of “at-bats” this year.

    Lowe would be out of a job for about 60 seconds if he were let go by the Oilers.

    CFP meant the Oilers had to rebuild. Ryan Smyth is NOT a difference maker, but merely a complementary player.

    Post-Pronger…stop-gapping with 2nd tier veterans is a recipe for mediocrity. See Calgary.

  93. Slipper says:

    That means fuck all godot. After this season they’ll sit in the mid to late teens. The smart money is on the Oilers repeating this performance next season, and by then they’ll be in the bottom third.

    Basically, this uselss fucking stat you keep professing shows how good Lowe/Mac have been is already starting to show them slide into mediocre land. By next season it will be toiletville. Mediocre land is somewhere between 11th and 7th in the conference methinks. The same place the Oil have been before Lowe took over, and where they have stood since.

  94. Jonathan says:

    The trade was as follows:
    Ryan Smyth for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra, and NYI 1st round pick (15th overall, Alex Plante selected).

    It’s an OK package. As much as it hurt at the time, today I’m ambivalent. I don’t get caught up in adding Souray, Penner, Gagner or Pronger to this trade. Looking at it in isolation seems safest, and marks it as mediocre.

    Strategically, the Oilers likely will not win a cup in the 5-year window of Smyth’s contract, nor do I believe that signing Smyth would have changed that.

    What I don’t understand is why everyone is so angry about this trade, but we’ve heard nary a peep about Vanek’s RFA sheet. 4 1sts and 50 million bucks for Vanek? From a non-contending team? That’s unbelievable.

  95. heed says:

    Like I say; being the Oilers GM is one of the easiest jobs in pro sports.

    as if. that title is reserved for the average nhl superstar.

    1) i do well, worship me like a god.

    2) i play like crap, please don’t criticize me, i’m a delicate flower.

    3) i only get paid like a professional athlete so whatever you do, don’t treat me like one.

    4) all the while, the fans will scream for the media to ask management the tough questions while i run off to the deep south to play in front of 10 people while still collecting that huge pay check.

  96. CrazyCoach says:

    11th best record in the league since it went to 30 teams?

    Let’s hang that on a banner somewhere. Honestly these stats guys. It was like someone in here earlier this year extolling the virtues of Roli because of his save percentage.

    As a coach I have a rule with stats: unless they show me how to improve a teams performance, they aren’t worth a damn.

    Like Homer Simpson said, “Anyone can prove anything with stats. 40% of the people know that!”

  97. Slipper says:

    Secondly, I love Shawn Horcoff, but your assertion that he was carrying Smyth signifies you’ve officially covered your dues to Club Douche Baggery. Congratulations, You are now an official card carrying member.

    Horcoff started padding stats this year off of a pretty unreal shooting percentage and against alot softer opp and situation than he ever saw with Ryan Smyth. You can say all you want about Smyth being a “complementary player” (as if that term even means anything other than secret code that the speaker is a douche bag, in fact whenever someone doesn’t really know what the hell they’re talking about they just throw complementary out there to sound smart), but in the literal sense of the word, I have to agree because most of Smyth’s linemates over the years have been “complemented” with career seasons, atleast up to that point and, in many cases they haven’t matched them since. Except Smyth has continued to improve and get better over the course of his career regardless of his teammates, whether it was Weight, Guerin, Comrie, Carter, Hemsky, Horcoff, Oliver, Wright, who-fucking-ever!

    Oh, and wait, before you further certify how big of a DB you are by using the small sample of this season as evidence of Smyth’s decline, you should atleast keep in mind that aguy who’s played under one coach for seven season will take awhile to acclimate into a new system. Oh, and it would if Smyth’s ankle wasn’t broken.

    You also contradict yourself. If Chris Pronger asking for a trade marks the team down for a rebuild, but stop gapping with second tier vets is a recipe for mediocrity, than how do you explain the summer of 2006? Or do you just conveniently forget that ever happened?

    You might not be Patrick Laforge, but Patrick Laforge is a douche bag.

    Can you see how people get the two confused?

  98. Lowetide says:

    The amount of credit we can give Kevin Lowe re:Gagner is twofold:

    1. He has a good scouting staff.
    2. He listened to them.

    After that any praise given is weak. Listen there’s probably someone in front of Gagner who will be an epic fail (credit to my daughter for that phrase) or at least not as much a success as Gagner (may) be.

    But history tells us top 6 means you’re getting a good player and Lowe didn’t jump in the way to make a bad choice.

    He deserves some credit. But it ends way earlier in the conversation than “he had the vision to deal Smyth to get Gagner.”

    If that were true, Slats dealing Messier got him Arnott AND Smyth. No one made that connection at the time, nor should anyone make the Smyth-Gagner connection.

    The counter argument? Part of me believes Lowe may well be trying to go Bizarro world and get Tavares.

    It is not rational, but would explain plenty.

  99. godot10 says:

    //Oh, and it would if Smyth’s ankle wasn’t broken.//

    And his minuses in Colorado aren’t really minuses…

    Don’t you just love all the excuses those with a “man crush” for Ryan Smyth bring out.

  100. danny says:

    dennis said…

    I think people have a lot of balls to cite 94′s injury at the same time that Souray’s gonna miss a huge chunk of the season but it just illustrates the power of Lowe.

    I don’t get why you people keep putting Souray and Smyth in the same arguments? Like seriously… it only feeds revisionist wishlists and rants. One was a casualty of the EIG’s ‘business plan’ and the Oilers are a casualty of the other one due to the EIGs PR war with Katz.

    I’m not a hater/lover of Lowe, I think his contracts to mid level players, and Rolis length hurt the team to a certain degree and did cut flexibility with Smyth, but I think their decision was made on 94 long before the deadline. Under an EIG budget I make the same decision on Smyth every day of the week, and right now it looks like the right decision. Thats an albatross contract for the Avs moving forward, especially if this season and next are the likely two best he will deliver.

    Souray was a bad decision, but considering EDM had to spend to the cap and sign a newspaper worthy player in the process, Souray was the innevitable result no matter who was acting as GM… might as well have been Cal Nichols sporting the combover that day.

    Lowe dodged a bullet on Vanek/Nylander, ended up with Souray / Penner… I can live with that, but it doesn’t reflect well on Lowe regardless, just dumb luck pretty much.

    Just stop ignoring the EIGs role in the Smyth/Penner/Souray events. Its convenient but ignorant.

  101. danny says:

    Ok, lets say Katz didnt exist, and that Lowe resigned Smyth for $5.5M x 5 years.

    Now we head to the offseason, and Lowe is set to meet with the EIG to set their ‘business plan’ aka budget. What can we expect for this budget? Laforge is campaigning for a $39M cap, the previous budget is $42M… so where do we project the budget to fall? Anyone? Ryan Smyths raise probably just put us to the roof of it I’d imagine.

    Maybe Lowe should have fought harder and shaved 750K off of a couple lesser contracts… so maybe and extra $1.5M had Lowe hit the sweet spot on those negotiations? That keeps Hejda in the mix. So now we have Smyth/Hejda and a 8th or 9th overall pick maybe? Might be a good player, might be better than Gagner… who knows.

    I don’t see how hitting the sweet spot on everything hes done wrong since the pronger deal would make our life that much brighter right now… sure if you bend and twist everything pre/post Katz and paint yourself a picasso, but thats not worth the pixels its displayed on.

  102. rickibear says:

    Slipper: Skipper Dipper le grande douche bag et B*ll l*cker. Blah Blah Blah “Douche Bag” Blah Blah Blah. I think you compliment Ryan Smyth well. My favorite comment since I started reading on the Oilogosphere.

    You will have to forgive me! Alot of Dr. Suess stories being read.

  103. Mr DeBakey says:

    Tonight on Total BSports a member of the Paid Media nearly criticized one of Lowe’s decisions.

    The Host & the TSN guy were discussing which RFAs to keep & which to delete.

    Delete Pitkanen was the TSN Guy’s opinion.
    To paraphrase:
    “$10mm is too much to spend on an inconsistent Pitkanen & an injury prone Souray”

    So the Host asked
    “Did Lowe make a mistake signing Souray?”
    The TSN Guy replied
    “No…….they were desperate”

  104. mc79hockey says:

    So the Host asked
    “Did Lowe make a mistake signing Souray?”
    The TSN Guy replied
    “No…….they were desperat

    Yeah, that killed me. That said, Stauffer reads a lot of this stuff online and given that Dennis has been screaming about that for the past week, he might have just cracked.

  105. PunjabiOil says:

    I’m in the middle on this one, I’m neither Lowe-basher nor lover

    The correct terminology is Lowe-lyncher and Lowe-Apologist

  106. Dennis says:

    I think it’s safe to say you can link smyth to souray because Lowe told anyone who’d listen that Smyth wasn’t elite and then a few months later he’s out giving Souray the relative moon.

  107. Dennis says:

    Ty: I just get a big kick out of how Rishaugh always says you can’t sign Pitkanen because you’ve already invested in Souray; along the way without rightfully damning that signing.

    I would call in to Stauffer for a bit of fun but it’s pointless. I’m a MacT guy but even I don’t mind throwing him under the bus for a couple of things. Meanwhile, Stauffer wants MacT gone and doesn’t have the nuts to call out Lowe.

  108. danny says:

    Dennis said…

    I think it’s safe to say you can link smyth to souray because Lowe told anyone who’d listen that Smyth wasn’t elite and then a few months later he’s out giving Souray the relative moon.

    Sounds pretty unreasonable to me.

    I don’t like the Souray signing in the least, but I know why it happened. I think you do too.

    But bringing up Sourays durability whenever people bring that up about Smyth is just too convenient.

    Smyth didnt fit in a $42M cap.

    Souray is the result of Katz waging a PR war.

    They only link well when you shave the corners off of the square peg.

    I’m with you, I think Lowe needs to go, we dont need to twist history to come to that conclusion though.

  109. Dennis says:

    I’m not twisting history, Danny. I’m saying, and I said back then, even with a smaller budget, it was up to Lowe to determine whether Smyth was worth taking up that much of the budget. Considering he could keep his head above water going power vs power, I think you had to decide to keep him.

    And if that meant losing one of Pisani or not extending Moreau until 2017, then that’s a decision that should’ve been made. And that’s coming from a fellow who likes both guys but also knows that outscorers don’t really grow on trees and considering the role Smyth could play, I think it was up to Lowe to fit him in.

    Anyway, this raised a lot of ire and I’m not sure if it was your’s or not but I still stick to it when I said he has the easiest job. I doubt anyone else could get away with the Pronger trade and Smyth decision without having the papers and media in general killing him. Fans too when you think about it.

    No such pressure exists in Edmonton so that’s why I think he’s got it easy.

  110. mike w says:

    I can set my watch to a dude in a Smyth thread accusing people of a “man crush.”

    As for his stint in Colorado, 28 points in 36 games is hardly a disappointment, outscoring all but 3 players on the entire Oilers’ roster in about 15 less games.

  111. heed says:

    I can set my watch to a dude in a Smyth thread accusing people of a “man crush.”

    i can set my watch by the number of dudes who think last year’s team should have remained. i mean smyth and hedja are currently in the hunt for the hart and the norris respectively. hell why don’t we bring back sykora. i thought i had seen the softest player in the nhl in samsonov then along came sykora. this guy not only coasted but he also seemed to teach hemsky the art as well.

    oh i forgot we were going to somehow convince philly to take staios instead of smith (ps everytime you criticize matt greene for taking a stupid penalty or laying prone on the ice thinking he is going to block a pass while a dude gleefully skates around him, remember one thing, he learned it from watching jason).

    the funny thing is no one is arguing that smyth is worth the dollars. they are just arguing that he is better than the crap we got. so in other words, lowe should have settled for smyth because that is all edmonton deserved.

    i look at the young kids on this team as it stands and i’m excited for the future.

  112. heed says:

    ps i really don’t hate smith or smyth. i just think the team needed to move on. as for hedja, well, to be honest i was a fan last year and didn’t understand why they didn’t sign him. i also didn’t think he was the holy grail of nhl defenceman either.

  113. Dennis says:

    Hejda was worth taking another look at. Simple as that.

  114. mike w says:

    the funny thing is no one is arguing that smyth is worth the dollars.

    I am arguing that he’s worth the $5 million we could have had him for in the summer of 06.

    I’m not sure how you tied that into Skyora, Smith, and Hejda, by the way.

    I agree that the team needed to “move on,” but I didn’t think that included being a bottom-dweller that spends to the cap.

  115. Devin says:

    Dennis, if you’re Jan Hejda why on earth would you want to come back to Edmonton? You got sat in favour of a couple of rookie donkeys for half the year, then given no respect once it was apparent who the #1 D-man on the team was. Lowe should have offered Jan a 3 year deal at 5MM in March. My guess is Hejda’s agent knew what everyone else did and told his client as much — wait until July 1 and you’ll find a better situation. I’m still stunned he was grabbed for only 1M.

    If I’m Lowe I trade Staios at the deadline for whatever can be found. He should offer him a 5-year, 12.5M contract this offseason too (hell, 5yr/14M, replace Staios one for one), but I doubt Hejda wants to play for this team again even at an inflated salary. A top pairing of Hejda (using the Staios money) and Gilbert would be a rock for the coming years, all at around the price of one Joni or Sheldon.

  116. heed says:

    I’m not sure how you tied that into Skyora, Smith, and Hejda, by the way.

    too many beers and listening to the one million ways we suck and will continue to suck until the end of time. GOILERS IN 2035!!!!

  117. Vic Ferrari says:

    What’s done is done. I agree with Lowetide (and have since the beginning) that the decision to trade Smyth and rebuild was long in the offing, a decision made well before deadline day last season.

    The Oilers did well from Smyth over the years though, they traded guys who only appeared to be making a difference (Carter, Comrie) because they were playing with Smyth, and they traded them for real returns.

    But the day you deal Smyth is the day you say “rebuild” in every way except aloud.

    And for those of us who aren’t prosperasts, and weren’t stupid enough to think that the EIG were local heroes losing money hand over fist … well for us it was a clear message being delivered with a simultaneous kick in the nuts.

    .

    Back to Smyth:

    Dude still is a difference maker, and will be for years and years yet, barring significant injury (core or concussion).

    I saw a game a while back, COL vs PHI, before Christmas I think, and Q didn’t play Smyth much early. The Philly coach had no interest in Sending Briere’s line over the boards until he’d seen the back end of Smyth’s line though. So you have have both coaches not playing their best players .. strange stuff, and not all that rare. And only one coach deciding when and where.

    You used to see that with Modano vs Naslund/Bertuzzi. Modano (who, by the way, is playing brutal minutes this year and is still driving the game plan of the other team’s coaches. Turco is right on this) Modano has always been like a coach’s German Shephard though, you just never know when he’ll turn on you. One of the best in the game even now though.

    And by the by, for all the kids writing off players over 30 … the big money long contracts are a risk, but they’re in play for younger players now too. The fact is that 36% of all EV ice time this year has been played by skaters over 30 years of age. And though I’ve never checked, all the smart money says that a big percentage of that has been tough minutes.

  118. Bank Shot says:

    The return on Smyth was fair value I think without getting into whether he should have been resigned or not, which is a different issue entirely.

  119. Oilman says:

    Hejda was worth taking another look at. Simple as that.

    You think Hejda was excited about coming back to the team that sat him for 45-50 games last season and finally got to be a regular when every last option was used up – that’s quite an assumption…GMing is easy when you don’t have to sweat the details.

  120. mc79hockey says:

    You think Hejda was excited about coming back to the team that sat him for 45-50 games last season and finally got to be a regular when every last option was used up – that’s quite an assumption

    Yes, clearly Lowe can’t be at fault if that’s why Hejda didn’t want to come back. After all, it’s not like he was in a position of authority over the guy who made those decisions. That’s making the incredibly charitable assumption that the decision to forcefeed Smid was MacT’s and not one suggested by the guy who’d look bad if the defenceman who they got for a 7th round pick was better than the defenceman who they got for one of the top 10 defencemen of all time.

  121. PunjabiOil says:

    The way I see it: Nobody would be talking about Ryan Smyth if the Edmonton Oilers were winning hockey games.

    I don’t know to what extent the EIG forced Lowe to ”make a splash” – Lowe was harping on all summer that he’s not going to sign a guy just for the heck of it – it had to make sense. Then he went on to sign Sheldon Souray after not even ”kicking the tires until July 11”

    The Oilers effectively overpaid to keep Moreau and Pisani to keep them – you just can’t have that many depth guys making premium money. In the cap world, you need some bargain contracts – that’s why I won’t shed a tear if Lowe decides to move one of them this spring/summer – because you can replace them on the UFA market for less.

  122. PunjabiOil says:

    Here’s what Lowe had to say about signing Souray:

    http://www.canada.com/topics/sports/hockey/story.html?id=b73ae123-eade-400d-b591-58ab46d1c4da&k=10035&p=2

    “I really sensed a keen interest in being in Edmonton,” said Lowe. “That really helped motivate me.”

    ___________

    I have some more Smyth stuff on my blog. Feel free to check it out.

  123. Slipper says:

    Not to be a douche bag but by all quantifiable measures it appears that Jan Hejda is having an incredible season in Columbus. Keeping his head above water while playing tough opposition; Hell, he’s plus 5 while nobody else on the Jackets are above zero.

    Who in their right minds could ever have projected this kind of performance from a guy who isn’t a Norris Trophy candidate like Sheldon Fucking Souray?

    It must be the Jack Adams winner behind the bench squeezing ten times of the results out of Hejda for five times less money than Souray. Or perhaps former Rocket Richard trophy winner Rick Nash let him sit in his den with the NHL hardware for a few minutes and some of the magic rubbed off.

    Their should be an award for stupidest assertion made on a hockey blog. I haven’t thought of a proper title for it yet, but right now I think I’m competing head to head to head with Heed and GoDot for the honours.

    Is it just me or recently has hockey’s future spilled right into the comments section of alot of the good blogs?

    I think Vic was originally right right, way back when, and David Staples is to blame.

    In fact that’s what I’m naming the trophy: The David Staples Trophy.

  124. Oilman says:

    “Yes, clearly Lowe can’t be at fault if that’s why Hejda didn’t want to come back. After all, it’s not like he was in a position of authority over the guy who made those decisions.”

    Tyler, isn’t Lowe the same guy that traded for him and brought him to the NHL to begin with – if he hadn’t done that would you know who the hell Jan Hejda is? Overly simplified arguements to what was likely a little more complicated situation can make anybody look good…..look, I don’t particularly enjoy defending the GM of a bottom feeding team, but it comes off like that when I disagree with you or dennis…it’s easy to say who you would have and wouldn’t have signed in the offseason to make this a better team….the wouldn’t haves are much easier….but who knows who Lowe talked to about playing in Edmonton?

    And to use the Lowe is MacT’s boss bit to blame Lowe for Hejda not playing is pretty much the same as Lowe using the EIG to deflect criticism of his mistakes isn’t it….the “my boss didn’t let me do it” approach doesn’t fly with him right?

  125. Dennis says:

    Oilman: you either win or you don’t. Fuck, if you’re aunt had balls she’d be your uncle but you can make or defend every excuse for why the Oilers aren’t better and more than likely won’t Be better in the near future but it still comes down to results.

    To everyone: I get a kick out of how people won’t admit that Hejda’s having a good season and a fucking great one considering what he’s being paid. The lack of press and/or exposure of something like this is why Lowe’s job is so fucking easy.

  126. Oilman says:

    dennis – whatever that means, still doesn’t change the fact that it’s likely much easier to say I would have retained Hejda than actually retaining Hejda….we will never know. This, if I was in charge this is what would’ve happened is bullshit quite frankly…if I owned the Oilers I wouldn’t have sold Gretzky.

  127. godot10 says:

    //To everyone: I get a kick out of how people won’t admit that Hejda’s having a good season and a fucking great one considering what he’s being paid. The lack of press and/or exposure of something like this is why Lowe’s job is so fucking easy.//

    Hejda is playing in effing Columbus.

    Smyth is in Colorado, and the Toronto guys are now calling Iginla “Captain Canada” and Holmstrom the junkman and goalie screener in the league.

  128. Bruce says:

    it’s likely much easier to say I would have retained Hejda than actually retaining Hejda….we will never know.

    Agreed. From this distance “running” the Oilers is like participating in a rotisserie league, there’s no personalities to consider. We don’t have to deal with these players, or their agents. It’s a competitive sport, and much of that competition takes place at contract time. Maybe Hejda saw eleventy-one young defencemen in the organization and decided it was in his best interest to get the hell out of Dodge (or is that dodge out of hell?). Our loss, to be sure, due in no small part to Howson’s insider knowledge; it’s not every year one loses a protege to a rival organization, and this was a hidden cost of that in my view.

    if I owned the Oilers I wouldn’t have sold Gretzky.

    But you WOULD have bought him, of course.

    Funny how people only remember the sale of Gretzky, but conveniently forget the origianl purchase, or the innovative personal services contract that negotiated him safely through shark-infested waters that welcomed our city into the NHL. I have no use for Peter Pocklington, but history records that he must have done some things right before he did ‘em wrong, and we got the banners to prove it.

    This isn’t directed at you, Oilman, but more generally at the mentality that when management does things right, it’s in NASA-speak “situation nominal”, but when something goes wrong, hang ‘em high.

    There’s lots of examples of both in Kevin Lowe’s resume. e.g. Steve Staios, a fairly reasonably priced character veteran with not-inconsiderable value on the trade market, was initially signed by Lowe as an UFA for something under $1 MM a year for three years (since re-upped twice, but still in the ballpark as godot10 has conclusively and exhaustively shown). In 2001 some people saw a 28-year old journeyman of no fixed position, let alone address, coming off a -23 season in Atlanta that lowered his career record to an unpromising -67. Lowe saw a character guy with 300 GP of NHL experience, brought him in cheap, and SS proceeded to post four consecutive seasons of double digit plusses for the Oilers.

    But when the Lowe-lynchers (and thanks for setting me straight, PJO) analyze the roster, they tend to look right past guys like this that are the mortar of the team and focus on what they see as mistakes. Sure, trading Pronger in a hurry was a mistake, but acquiring him wasn’t one. In trading Brewer, Woywitka, and Lynch Lowe acquired Smid, indirectly Pitkanen, indirectly Nash, and a first-and second-rounder still in the bushes. And made one run at the Cup during that oh-so-narrow Pronger window. On balance that’s not terrible.

    (Lowe-lynchers should closely examine the preceding sentence for a hidden message. :)

    K-Lowe plays an aggressive high-stakes game in which he appears overmatched at times, but one thing he isn’t is boring. I mean, when a year-old trade can still draw 130 comments …

  129. Dennis says:

    Oilman: it means you can break out all the “but if’s” you want to but this team stinks and Lowe’s made a lot of bad moves and/or decisions in a row so it’s easy to just say Lowe lost his shit and decided it’s better to spend time on Greene than Hejda.

    That’s what I think happened and I railed against it from day one.

  130. Oilman says:

    Dennis – you keep missing my point. I liked Hejda from the first game I saw him play in the pre-season 06…I was surprised he wasn’t in the starting 6 from day 1….fine.

    But just because you think something happened a certain way doesn’t make it so…unless you’re clairvoyant, unless you spoke with Lowe, or Hejda, or Hejdas agent, or someone related to the situation – it’s just a guess….and your guess is as good as mine (in this case not worth shit – because I don’t know what happened either….maybe he was a fucking parting gift for Howson)…

  131. Dennis says:

    I find it hard to believe that he planned a course for CBJ just for the fuck of it and would’ve still went there had Lowe offered him security.

  132. Oilman says:

    It really doesn’t matter what you or I choose to believe when we don’t have one shred of evidence either way.

  133. Slipper says:

    //He plays in effing Columbus?//

    Can anyone do me the favour of explaining how this serves the argument at hand? Or any argument for that matter?

    Can defensemen only play good in certain climates or something?

    Jokinen sucks, he plays in effing Florida!

    After the first two months of last season I could have came on here and procaimed “Alfredsson is done, the TSN guys in Toronto say the Senators need to MOVE HIM NOW.”

    “Malkin is the new number one center in Pittsburgh.”

    “Lecavalier is the MVP, NOT Zetterberg”

    Are these serious arguments? Seriously.

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