Oilers Sign Smid

The Edmonton Oilers have signed restricted free agent Ladislav Smid to a 2-year contract. Rumor has it the contract is in the neighbourhood of 1.5M which means it’s an overpay based on what he brings every night.

Smid’s scouting report suggested he would bring more offense than he has, and his defensive ability has kept him out of the top 4-blue so far in his career. He is 23 years old with a large number of GP for his age (202) and that is the main contributor to the overpay.

As time rolls along I have more respect for Redline report, as they seem to correctly identify these young men on their draft day and identify their future. Here’s what they said about Smid:

  • Maintains great gap control and always squares up to the puckhandler. Has good poise and patience to move puck out of zone with crisp outlets and good decisions under checking pressure. Steadying influence along blue line. Can make long home run passes through neutral zone to beat trap and transition from defence to “O.” Plays angles well and cuts off passing lanes. Great stamina – plays huge minutes. Best asset is intelligence and natural hockey sense. Sticks up for teammates. Plays solid, mistake-free game in own zone and is excellent positionally. Reads and anticipates developing plays well. Good laterally, but 1st step and straightaway speed are average. Is not good as either a PP quarterback or trigger-man— has weak shot and makes poor decisions in puck distribution.

Smid has value, and later in his career when ability and experience reach a certain point I have no doubt he’ll help a team win (if he stays healthy). As it is, the Oilers are paying him too well to get there, due exclusively to an early start to his NHL career.

UPDATE: Jason Gregor is reporting the deal as 1.3M times two seasons. I think that’s a fair price.

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49 Responses to "Oilers Sign Smid"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    If he got 1.5M, the Oilers didn't negotiate hard enough.

    Jack Johnson got 1.4M

  2. Smytty777 says:

    I was thinking 1.2M for Smid. 1.5M is an overpay, but it is not a ridiculous one.

    Unfortunately the Oilers have so many overpays even the little ones hurt.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Well we don't know yet, if it's 1.2M then there's less to fret over.

  4. HBomb says:

    1.2M, 1.5M….either way, it's a hell of a lot better than Staios at 2.7 million.

  5. oil dude says:

    I believe Gregor stated on his show that the final numbers were somewhere between 1.7 and 2.0, so now I'm actually hoping for 1.5

  6. quain says:

    Smid was at the top of their priority list for resignings. We should be glad they didn't give him $3.75M a year for the remainder of his RFA years.

  7. Paper Designer says:

    I'm not sure how this qualifies as an overpay. Strudwick gets 700k to play 40 games as a number six. How is 1.5-2.0 unreasonable for a guy that's going to be in a 4-5 role, pending injuries and/or trades?

  8. Psyche says:

    Relative to the Oiler D-men where does Smid's contract place him for 09-10?

  9. jon k says:

    Seems like a reasonable contract. For a decent 4-5 defenseman. Might be even better if he solidifies himself on the second pairing in year two.

    Johnson's contract is a poor comparable in my mind because: A) he's recently suffered a major injury, B) to date he has been atrocious defensively, C) he's a year younger than Smid, and D) the development of his offensive game is still up in the air.

    One could argue that Johnson and his agent made a mistake in signing a two year deal but that's another matter.

  10. quain says:

    There's plenty* of 30 year old journeymen who could play the 5/6 role better than Smid for less. We're essentially paying him to let us train him on the fly.

    *Jay McKee, Shane Hnidy, Mike Weaver are the three off the top of my head.

  11. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Paper Designer said…
    I'm not sure how this qualifies as an overpay. Strudwick gets 700k to play 40 games as a number six. How is 1.5-2.0 unreasonable for a guy that's going to be in a 4-5 role, pending injuries and/or trades?

    Because Strudwick is also overpaid by 1-2K.

    Just another brick in the wall.

  12. Bill Needle says:

    The way Strudwick played last year I'd say he's about $700K overpaid.

  13. Psyche says:

    A lot of talk about Smid being an overpay. Are any current Oiler D-men being paid appropriate to their ability, role and contribution?

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    1.3MM according to Gregor.

  15. Traktor says:

    There will always be a certain group of people that undervalue Smid (mostly because of the Pronger deal) but I'd wager that most clubs would love to have a young promising asset like Smid locked up at 1.5 per.

    Smid has the potential to play like a 3 million dollar defender This Year. Call him overpaid but there's only a handful of players on the club that have the potential to outplay their contract at the rate of Smid.

    Horcoff, Penner, Pisani, Moreau and Staois don't have a hope in hell of outplaying their contract and both Souray and Visnovsky will have to be at the top of their game if they're going to cover the bet.

  16. PDO says:

    $1,300,000 is a beauty number on a two year deal.

  17. oil dude says:

    Just listened to the Tambellini interview and he threw another name in the ring for C that we haven't been seriously considering….. Patrick O'Sullivan. Apparently they really liked him at C during the Worlds this spring. Poo should rent indeed.

  18. Lowetide says:

    1.3M is a good number. Tambellini did a good job here imo.

  19. geowal says:

    1.3 M is fair as suggested, but by no means is it a bargain.
    If this team is ever going to get out of their current salary mess they need to find some "underpays" to counteract the overpays.

    Smid might not have been the best candidate to hope for that though. The league is full of inflated contracts for young RFAs. It's the veterans where you can get something on the cheap, something that we're clearly not good at.

  20. Lowetide says:

    The value contract years for Smid are right now for the next couple of seasons, but Lowe brought him into the NHL too soon. He burned a couple of seasons for very little actual value, a Scott Ferguson would have sufficed.

    And that's not good management. This deal is 1.3M instead of 1.5M and that's not huge but at least it's not a surprise the other way.

  21. oilerdiehard says:

    So Matheson came in a little high on his advance number on contracts yet again. Good to hear. That Smid deal is solid IMO.

  22. PunjabiOil says:

    It's fine Smid is developing, but I wouldn't be adverse at all to trading him in a package for Heatley or the next best alternative – clearly because the other 4 guys are, and likely will be better options going forward.

    Smid improved in the past year, but his upside is limited due to his [lack of] offensive game. His upside is Jan Hejda, whom the Oilers should have retained.

    1.3M is a good figure though.

  23. PunjabiOil says:

    So Matheson came in a little high on his advance number on contracts yet again. Good to hear. That Smid deal is solid IMO.

    Maybe Matheson over-estimates to make the management appear to look better.

  24. Ribs says:

    Just listened to the Tambellini interview and he threw another name in the ring for C that we haven't been seriously considering….. Patrick O'Sullivan.

    You know, I've been wondering about this option. The Hockey News had him listed as the 3C on their depth chart and I thought that was not a bad idea. They had Brule as the fourth and Pouliot was nowhere to be found.

    Maybe The Sludgehammer should be renting.

  25. Big T says:

    PunjabiOil said…
    So Matheson came in a little high on his advance number on contracts yet again. Good to hear. That Smid deal is solid IMO.

    Maybe Matheson over-estimates to make the management appear to look better.

    I was thinking the same thing.

  26. Oilman says:

    I wrote this back on July 20th…think I finally nailed something other than the wife!:o)

  27. oilerdiehard says:

    PunjabiOil said…

    Maybe Matheson over-estimates to make the management appear to look better.

    Yeah good point. It would not surprise me much.

  28. Traktor says:

    "His upside is Jan Hejda, whom the Oilers should have retained."

    Hejda is a fine defender and all but he didn't crack the NHL until he was 28. By the time Smid is 28 he could be one of the most imposing physical defenders in the league.

    I know Hejda battled tough opp and came out on top so the comparison was hardly an insult but I see a little more nastiness to Smid's game like Adam Foote.

  29. Paper Designer says:

    Arguing that a guy making 250k more than league minimum is an overpay is a tough sell. Especially one coming off a reasonably successful season.

  30. doritogrande says:

    Off-topic, but I was just watching the best of OTR, Andrew Cogliano style.

    Turns out Hall and Oates was brought in by Matt Greene. Somehow, it kept going after he left.

    Clap Clap.

  31. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    It should be noted that, with 25 players on the roster, the Oilers now have $54 thousand in free cap space.

    Yikes.

  32. Lowetide says:

    FCM: 23 contracts are the max.

  33. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Yeah, aware of that. The question is who is heading for the farm.

    Likely Peckham and Reddox but that still is just about $1M.

    MacIntyre?

  34. Lowetide says:

    I still think there's a trade to come.

  35. Black Dog says:

    LT – you've been saying that since they moved Pronger ;)

    trade coming to fill the holes, trade coming to fill the holes

    Someday, maybe.

  36. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Yes. Yes I have. :-)

  37. Peter says:

    I think he's worth 1.1, so 1.3 isn't too bad. Slightly overpaid now, but next year he should be in our top 4, so 1.3 will be a fair price or even a bit of a deal.

  38. uni says:

    LT – you've been saying that since they moved Pronger ;)

    trade coming to fill the holes, trade coming to fill the holes…

    If you say something enough times, and for long enough…you may actually start believing it =).

  39. NBOilerFan says:

    Great signing, I have really started to route for Smid as kind of an underdog. No way he ever lives up to the expectations from teh Pronger deal, but I think be becomes a solid 4-5th D-man in a couple years.

    Plus I love that he is trying to be physical, even if most of it is after the whistle.

    I was perfectly fine at around $1.5, so this is even better and two years is the cats ass.

  40. NBOilerFan says:

    "root" … not "route"

  41. HBomb says:

    It would be terribly short-sighted to "Greene" Smid at this point (i.e. trade him right at the point where he's through the worst part of the learning curve and is on the verge of becoming a significant contributor).

    You've stuck with him through the rough times, best to hang onto him and start reaping the benefits of the investment (hopefully). Trading him yet keeping, oh, Staios for example would be incredibly short-sighted. Even if it means giving 24 away for nothing or burying him in Springfield, Smid should NOT be traded if we're simply looking to move a body off the blueline.

  42. Dennis says:

    Two things:

    1. Tommy Albelin!!!!

    2. I was heartened today to read Matheson describe Smid as a "shutdown" defenseman.

    So, I guess that settles it then!

  43. Smarmy Boss says:

    You can "Greene" Smid if you get back a real player like a Vishnovky.

  44. Showerhead says:

    Anyone catch Matheson's Smid article this morning? Title suggests Smid is ready for an expanded role, article again floats the trade possibility, and Prendergast quotes suggest Smid "should" be in a top 4 role.

    Maybe this Lowetide guy is on to something?

  45. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Actually, we'll be able to compare them at the same age for the first time this season. Smid isn't tracking tremendously well but the Oilers don't score like the late 80's Nords, either.

    It'll be a fun thing to review next summer.

  46. Dennis says:

    LT: OK, now go back and try and defend the Pronger trade!

    Note: this would come across better if you could hear the inflection in my voice:)

  47. quain says:

    Anyone catch Matheson's Smid article this morning? Title suggests Smid is ready for an expanded role, article again floats the trade possibility, and Prendergast quotes suggest Smid "should" be in a top 4 role.

    Smid could certainly look better in a top four role where he plays opposite Grebs or Visnovsky. This whole plan to pair up a guy with no offensive ability (Smid) with another guy with negative offensive ability (Strud/Staios/Peckham) and then have them play defense behind the third and fourth line just isn't a very good plan.

  48. rickibear says:

    LT: OK, now go back and try and defend the Pronger trade!

    lupul to pikanen to cole to O'sullivan. O'Sullivan!

    Trust Tambellini to screw up lowe's perfectly good trade.

  49. Greg MC says:

    You can "Greene" Smid if you get back a real player like a Vishnovky.

    Ahem, Visnovsky. Is this a mistake or a provocation, SB?

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