Exit Ramp 4: Smid

Ladislav Smid may be heading out of town this summer. It’s been rumored for quite some time that he’s asked for a deal on more than one occasion and Smid was listed as one of three players heading to Ottawa in the Heatley non-trade.

Smid played the least difficult opposition among the Oilers big 6 last season and it’s also true he didn’t have the best helpers out there when he was on the ice. His Corsi number (-13.4) and GF/GA ON (29-34) at 5×5 tell us he was leaking against the muckers and grinders and so he’s unlikely to be a strong option to move up into the top 4D on the Oilers blue.

Why then would he have value to another team? Smid is not expensive ($952,000 last season and currently an rfa), he’s quite young (Smid turned 23 in February), has good size (6.03, 226) and he does have extensive NHL experience (202 games) for his age. He’s been healthy despite an alarming inability to defend himself against oncoming forwards.

Most defensemen who come into the National Hockey League without a lot of seasoning (or enough talent to overcome the speed of the league) develop by sundial. Smid has been no exception and in fact was the de facto 7D for this club at times last fall. He did improve as a player and it should be mentioned that his performance heavily depended on D partner this past season.

If the Oilers deal him, what can he bring? As a stand alone talent I don’t think Smid’s value is exceptional, but in a package with a talented young forward or as an inexpensive D option with substantial NHL experience he certainly has value.

A team like the Rangers might find him to be an attractive acquisition for their blueline. They might think Edmonton has suffered through the growing pains and Smid is ready to turn the corner.

And they may be right.

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27 Responses to "Exit Ramp 4: Smid"

  1. DBO says:

    I agree smid has value, but unless he becomes a more physical force, he won't be in our top 4 anytime soon. he does play physical, but mostly after the whistle. i think he improved a great deal from camp to year end, and i expect he would be a top 4 eventually. i guess it just matters whether the org sees Peckham as a better alternative in a year or two, and will go with experience on the back end (ie. cheap and old) for the bottom pair.

    i like him as a package for someone like Sharp in Chicago. They need cheap options going forward adn need to shed salary. if the Heatley deal falls through (and we hope it does), Sharp can be had. he's a 30 goal scorer with an edge, and does not kill our cap like heatley. Not to mention he kills penalties and is a leader in the room.

  2. DBO says:

    Looking at Chicago's cap, oce they resign kane, toews adn Keith next year (for at lest $15 mill between them) they will be at $57 million, with only 15 players signed. they need to shed almost $10 million in cap hit for next year. now, they can go forward as is this year and hope it works, but they are in toruble next year. this is a team I would liketo see us go after, adn a player like Smid fits the bill. Maybe add a Pisani (who's cap comes off next year) and a good prospect/pick, and you might be able to get Sharp and someone else this year.

  3. Jfry says:

    this is a few posts in a row where it appears that you might have a soft spot for zherdev, LT. me too.

  4. Oilmaniac says:

    pisani doesnt get traded..imo.. tho the opinion is solely based on the fact that pisani has had to really struggle his way through this colitis issue and that he has probably recieved considerable support by being at home… then there is the obvious facter that his health issue would be a major deterient for other teams.. the org doesnt always show class, but do you send a sick man/friend/brother away when he (contract compared to performance) becomes a burden…

    This kinda thing would have me voting as the 'nice guy'…

  5. Oilmaniac says:

    Oh, and thanks for the hat tip LT wrt smid asking for a trade.. im surprised i've never heard that..

  6. Icecastles says:

    Kotalik is a Ranger. That's it, I'm done.

    Fuck this team. I can't handle it anymore.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Icecastles: Seriously? To me, Kotalik was a decent consolation prize if the Oilers missed out on the Heatley deal.

    It now appears there are some other options opening up (NYR, San Jose, possibly Dallas) and Edmonton should end up with a superior winger.

    Plus, that contract is crap. Sather. Wow.

  8. Jfry says:

    agreed…kotalik is a 2.25m player.

    there is not one spectacular stat to pay for unless you believe in the shootout for money contract…which maybe the nyr do, given the amount of times they've been in it.

    crying about kotalik is misplaced unless it's about the 2nd round draft pick we gave up

  9. DBO says:

    LT: agreed about Kotalik. mentioned it on the last thread, but no way i want $3 mill for Kotalik, unelss it's one year and we had the cap space. you can get similar production for a lot less money. Quick look at UFA's for less money and similar production we may be able to get:
    - Petr Sykora: may be able to get him for $2 mill, and he would fit with Hemsky as he had some chemitry a few years back.
    - Jason Wiliams : if healthy he can pot you 20 and coming off an Ok but not great year you can get him for $2 mill.
    - Michel ouellet : AHl last year, but only a few years removed from close to 20 goals. he has size and he can be had for cheap. he has hands, and a few years back was considered a big part of the future in Pittsburgh and is only 27.
    - Miro Satan: yeah he's past his prime, but he's good for 20 + goals and will come cheap.

    I liked Kotalik, but we can fill the 2nd line winger spot for a lot less cash.

  10. DBO says:

    And on the whole Rangers being cray thing. They are screwed nest year for the cap. Another team we can try and poach from.

  11. kris says:

    Sestito's gone per oilers.nhl.com

    Good news for Springfield, I think. Opens up a spot for a real vet.

  12. pboy says:

    I know why IceCastles is upset. Sykora or Williams might be able to replicate what Kotalik can do on the ice but they don't have amazing websites that IceCastles can link to after a goal like Kotalik does. I feel your pain Ice.

  13. Jfry says:

    @PDO

    they were screwed on the cap this year and have done pretty good for themselves.

    our inability to lose contracts as other teams have done, makes me believe that we're far more screwed than teams willing to make deals.

    this isn't to say that either philosophy is a "winner builder" by any means.

  14. bookie says:

    I know why IceCastles is upset. Sykora or Williams might be able to replicate what Kotalik can do on the ice but they don't have amazing websites that IceCastles can link to after a goal like Kotalik does. I feel your pain Ice.

    I loved that site!

    I should also mention that I really liked Kotalik, maybe not at 3 million per year, but if I were the one paying, I might have gone for it. He brings way more to the game than someone like Satan does.

  15. Psyche says:

    I know it's hindsight, but Cole appeared to be a better fit for the 2nd line before and after he was traded. He brings some grit, experience and can finish with a good set-up man (Gagner). I liked him in the roster more than Kotalik.

  16. kris says:

    I've heard a lot of people ready to jump ship lately.

    Being an oiler fan has been frustrating since the end of the golden era. But you know, that's part of the fun.

    Actually, the decisions lately haven't been too bad. Quinn and Renney are okay. Tamb.'s swinging for the fences with the lineup, seemingly unconcerned about the PK and the 3C, but there's a chance he'll hit a homerun. If he can make something big happen, we can tweek the lineup fairly easily, IMO.

    If I were in charge, I think I'd proceed more in the way that the wise souls around here keep recommending. Go with youth. Move the bad contracts. Try to find a few solid low pay bottom 6'ers. Then, in a season or two, swing for a big free agent and try to really dominate. This has a higher percentage chance of working than Tambellini/Lowe's approach, IMO, but maybe not that much higher.

    But that's not gonna fly with the average fan, or the tax payer doling out money for a new arena. Were stuck with 'win-now' and though we don't have a great chance, there is enough parity in the league that we've still got a chance.

    Heatley or no, I'm excited about next year. (There was a time, you'll remember, when thoughts of winning now or in the future were delusions. Hard times. Hard times.)

  17. Icecastles says:

    About Kotalyk:

    1. No, he wasn't a brilliant show stopper. But he was a good player who actually wanted to be here, the value of which shouldn't be underestimated.

    2. This is the third year in a row where we have lost a guy for what feels like the same gawd-awful reason: not wanting to sign contracts until they landed their superstar. Sykora, Glencross, Kotalyk, possibly Grebeshkov (thankfully he's gone to arbitration which bodes well). A bird in the hand is worth two on the wing, but the mgmt group seems to follow another proverb: He who strivees to touch the stars oft stumbles on a straw.

    3. having an ace-in-the-hole on the shootout is also something that shouldn't be underestimated. It's not an exclusive reason to sign someone, but it's a fator.

    4. I had an oilers version of that page ready to go for the new season.

    5. He actually wanted to be here. AND he actually wanted to play with Hemsky. Are they or are they not trying to find someone who can actually work with the lone ranger?

    6. It's just the latest in a long chain of events that seems to say to me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. We have a new owner, a new GM, a new coach, and it seems to be the exact same story as every other summer.

    7. For the life of me, I can't seem to figure out a consistent line to the decisions being made this summer. I want to see someone (a) articulate a realistic and practicable vision for the team (and time frame for its execution), and (b) back it up with either signings, trades or contract dumps.

    8. I liked that song.

  18. DBO says:

    So hemsky's buddy now in NY, and his discontent the last year would anyone consdier dealing him? He's got a great contract ,and we could probably get at least 2 young good players for him as well as a prospect. He is by far out most talented player, stirs the drink if you will, but would anyone take this deal?

    Callahan, Dubinsky and a top prospect for Hemsky?

    Size and grit, with goal scoring and talent. if we are not one player away from contending, would it make sense to get some really good players for hemsky and provide more balance and depth? This is the opposite of the Heatley deal, and I wonder if we would not be better off.

  19. oilerdago says:

    Smid has signficant value to a team that has too much money tied up in it's top 4 – unless you're able to deal one of them (preferably one of the older ones). For a team that's going to have some real issues getting under the cap next year, that's something.

    And as you said, he's paid his dues and could be ready for the light to go on – not unlike Mean Matt Greene last year in LA.

    Given that, it does not shock me that other teams look at this roster and want to get him, but getting something of value back in the package (with a redundant small forward) is essential.

    DBO – I can't get on this trade Hemsky thing at all. We've got time still this summer to get him the help he need's (whether Tambo can do that or not is another thing). But that would absolutely be the wrong direction for this team to go.

  20. spOILer says:

    Toronto Star reports Burke after Moen or Betts… looking for some PK and defense for the forwards.

    I swear to god the Canadian Press reads the blogs.

  21. doritogrande says:

    I'll go on record as a Smid fan. Like LT says, he's big, developing a mean streak and is baby-face young. It's foolish to give up on these prospects before they develop.

    However, by all scouting reports it appears he's going to be lapped. As early as this upcoming season and possibly lapped twice by two different talents. I'm thinking the light goes on for Taylor Chorney at the AHL level this year to the point where he passes Smid on the depth chart. Chorney brings more offensive skill than Smid and has (by scouting report) superior hockey sense. Physically, Smid's in danger of being lapped by Wreckum Peckham as early as TC. They're of similar size, but Peckham's the younger defender and could have higher upside as a physical defenseman. It makes more sense to me at this point to develop the younger asset than to wait it out to see if the older guy finally comes through.

    The thing I see with Smid is a guy who can do a lot of things, but none of them at an elite level. These guys end up as bottom-pairing guys on mid-level teams and depth defenders on the Detroit Red Wings.

  22. Promethian says:

    On Smid vs. Peckham:

    True, Smid might very well be on his way out for the reasons Lowetide has mentioned, and possibly others. However, how can we assume that Theo's his automatic replacement?

    Sure Theo maybe uses the body better and is tougher all-around, but he can't pass like Smid can, nor can he carry the puck much better than your run-of-the-mill stay at home D.

    Smid can.

    Is he the really a blue chipper? Probably not, but he has a very interesting skill set (size, skating, passing, some grit, etc) which is IMO deeper than Peckham's.

    I see Smid developing into a Volchenkov-type. Gritty shut-down Dman who can move the puck effectively.

    The argument that developing Cogs then dealing him is bad business should apply to Smid as well.

  23. devin says:

    As LT is fond of saying, Smid can "make them miss" with his skating ability. Peckham isn't in the same league there. We forget how dominant Smid was in the AHL- these guys aren't close (yet).

    Another LT pearl of wisdom is the 200 game rule, and Smid's just hitting that mark. The light went on for Greene around that mark, too (in LA).

    A final thought from our wise leader: trading a player immediately after going through the developmental growing pains, and on (what will be) a cheap contract that has every chance of being outperformed, is the kind of move loser teams make.

    I don't completely love Smid, but unless he's in a package for a truly elite player, trading him at this juncture would amount to chasing our tails. Sadly, I'm expecting it out of this group.

  24. Steve says:

    2. This is the third year in a row where we have lost a guy for what feels like the same gawd-awful reason: not wanting to sign contracts until they landed their superstar. Sykora, Glencross, Kotalyk, possibly Grebeshkov (thankfully he's gone to arbitration which bodes well). A bird in the hand is worth two on the wing, but the mgmt group seems to follow another proverb: He who strivees to touch the stars oft stumbles on a straw.

    Really? I thought we lost out on him because Glen Sather was willing to give him nine million dollars.

  25. Rick says:

    I think the fan irritation at yet another potential FA slipping away has much more to the annoyance of the Oilers waiting on Heatley than how good a player they are or how reasonable a contract they would sign…

    Kotalik is a good player, but not for 3/$9M

    Maybe if the Oilers actually do something, the fans wouldn't be so peeved.

  26. NBOilerFan says:

    oilerdago said…
    Smid has signficant value to a team that has too much money tied up in it's top 4…a team that's going to have some real issues getting under the cap next year, that's something.

    That is a good reason alone for us to try to keep him along with the reasons Lowetide gave regarding the development time put in and potential for him to turn the corner.

    Does Smid, O'Sullivan and prospect/pick get you into talks for Simon Gagne?

  27. rananda says:

    Renney really liked Zherdev.

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