Arrival

He arrived the same day the Oilers sent away the most complete defender in their history, his progress looked at times like you could track it by sundial, but Ladislav Smid has made it.

By eye and by number #5 is a solid NHL defender. He’s physical, makes good decisions, can close a gap, has terrific speed and his headman passes are quality. The offense isn’t pouring nor should we expect it to.

But the fact is that if Ladislav Smid runs in place for the next decade he’ll still be an extremely valuable player.

Good for him. He’s earned it.

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94 Responses to "Arrival"

  1. grease trap says:

    Indeed.

  2. Dakin says:

    He looks so poised back there now. So calm under pressure. Beautiful to see.

  3. Gord says:

    Heatley’s refusal to waive his no-trade clause and come to Edmonton was good news for Smid.

    “I’m just really happy that it worked out like that and I could stay here and play with the Oilers,” Smid said.

    “I feel good here, I bought a house a couple of years ago and it would be hard for me to move somewhere else. My life is pretty much here.”

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/hockey/2009/08/24/10589676.html

    We appear to have a good young inexpensive defenseman who likes Edmonton & wants to stay in Edmonton

    Would it be possible to take away Lowe's / Tambellini's / Katz's cell phones so they quit attempting to make stupid trades?

    Just wondering…

  4. B.C.B. says:

    pedigree, pedigree, pedigree.

  5. jdrevenge says:

    F*ck ya. Goes to show that a little confidance from the man in charge can go a long way.

    He's looking awesome with Vish back there. I guess we now have three pairings that should play around 20 a game. Once Souray and Staios are back.

    Cheers to depth!

  6. Scott says:

    We shouldn't expect the offensive stats to show up, and quite frankly, I don't know that we want them to.

    We're already paying 4 defensemen a premium for putting up points. What we need are two or three unsung heroes on D. I'm glad that Smid appears to be one of them.

  7. Rick says:

    So far this year, despite Heatley's crazy numbers, it would have been a disaster to deal Smid, Penner and Cogliano for him.

    Good non-deal so far, especially since we're getting offense from all 4 lines. If Tambellini can somehow acquire a sniper for Hemsky's line, even better.

  8. Bar Qu says:

    I'm glad you mentionned the good decisions thing, because what is between his ears is one of his best assets.

    Frankly, the Oilers may not have the absolute best top 4 in the league (right now) but definitely the smartest puckwise. All of Gilbert, Grebs, Smid and Vis impress with the little things they do to keep the play going in the right direction.

  9. DBO says:

    so the stafford for Gilbert rumour was mentioned on team 1260 again this morning. Anyone interested in that deal when we get Souray back? With Chorney playing well, you add Souray and Staios and you could move a dman and have Strudwick as your 7th dman. Not sure where he would play up front, but he is the kind of player Quinn loves. And he's only a $1.9 million cap hit fpor the next 2 years and would give us a bit of flexibility next year to resign Grebeshkov, Gagner and Cogliano (not to mention Comrie if we want).

  10. goldenchild says:

    His play so far has been really solid, playing with poise and confidence.
    I think watching 71 has helped, that cat is so calm with the puck, plays with such confidence I think the younger guys have picked up a lot from seeing him day in day out, that includes 37 and 77.

  11. Racki says:

    I think it's all in the pairings.. Smid and Staios make a brutal pairing. Smid with someone else and Staios with someone else are just fine. But get them together, and it's often trouble.

  12. dawgbone says:

    DBO, I've been saying this line all summer.

    There are 29 NHL teams looking for a RH puck moving defenceman. If the Oilers trade Gilbert, there will still be 29 NHL teams looking for a RH puck moving defenceman.

  13. Schitzo says:

    Quinn this morning in the Journal:

    “You’d like your team to respond differently. I guess that’s sport. It looks like we’re going to have an open-net goal and one of their players dives, knocks the puck away, takes our player down, and then we have another guy doesn’t think too well. He’s looking for some gravy, I guess. The gravy could have been all over our face.”

    Who is he talking about there?

  14. doritogrande says:

    DBO:

    I trade Grebeshkov before Gilbert. Skillset is duplicated by Visnovsky and will eventually be supplanted by Chorney. Grebs is also going to cost us more in the long run.

    Gilbert is signed to a very reasonable contract for a long time. He's more an asset to the team as a player than as trade bait, IMO.

  15. PunjabiOil says:

    Anyone interested in that deal when we get Souray back?

    No. No interest.

    I don't think any trades are needed on defence. Injuries happen, and that's when you need the depth.

    There should be enough room in the forseeable future for the Gagner's and Cogliano's. Pisani, Nilsson, Moreau, and Staios should be coming off the books soon.

  16. PDO says:

    Gilbert had as many points as Stafford last year.

    It's just a terrible rumor, and I really hope isn't true.

    As for Smid?

    Looks like our magic beans have grown into a bean stalk with a mean streak. Heck, he's only let his man get away back door once this season (Dawes in the 1 second to go game…)

  17. gary b says:

    “You’d like your team to respond differently. I guess that’s sport. It looks like we’re going to have an open-net goal and one of their players dives, knocks the puck away, takes our player down, and then we have another guy doesn’t think too well. He’s looking for some gravy, I guess. The gravy could have been all over our face.”

    Hemsky=gravy. while the play was going back down towards the Oilers end Hemsky was still in a heap beside the Canucks empty net.

  18. digger says:

    Who is he talking about there?

    Looking at the replay of Wellwood taking it end to end and almost scoring, I believe it was O'Sullivan who got caught in Vancouver's end of the ice, watching Wellwood's ass as he motored up the ice.

    I didn't PVR the game so I can't be totally sure, but perhaps Quinn's talking about that sequence?

  19. Schitzo says:


    I didn't PVR the game so I can't be totally sure, but perhaps Quinn's talking about that sequence?

    Yeah, that's the sequence he's talking about. I wasn't sure who the other forward was. It had to be someone more than just Hemsky because Quinn was ticked off it turned into a 6-on-3

  20. Bruce says:

    Who is he talking about there?

    Cogliano. After making the nice feed that seemed to send Hemsky in alone, Cogs went all the way into the corner on the forecheck with Hemsky already down and out and looking to the ref for a penalty rather than moving his own ass. Hemsky, who played over 5 minutes of the last 9:27, had nothing left at that point, and Cogs appeared to be skating in sand too.

    Quinn also said:

    "We had a player down then we had another player come in and lose himself so all of a sudden it's a six-on-three. Our defence looked up and saw all the bodies coming and just decided to back in and pray."

    It was a poor decision by Cogs, however it did not result in a 6-on-3 but a pretty wide-open 4-on-3 which ended in a very decent scoring chance. Cogs arrived very late but did assist in clearing the puck after at least one fine stop by Khabibulin.

    The defence also appeared to be backing in and praying (successfully) on Wellwood's rush a few seconds later. Not sure which fire drill Quinn might have been referring to or if he got some of the details mixed up in what was a pretty frantic last 30 seconds, but it sure as hell wasn't pretty. Glad to see he's holding players accountable even in a win.

  21. Mike says:

    By eye (I don't have time to run numbers right now) do we like Chris Phillips as a Smid comp?

    Big expectations, long development curve, arrival, style of play.

    Whatcha think?

  22. raventalon40 says:

    And he's playing well now.

    We've all seen that he can pass the puck and shoot it decently. I can't wait to see what happens when his offense wakes up.

    Can't take long playing with the Vis.

  23. quirkymcjerk says:

    here, here!! He looked solid last night, in person.

  24. rickibear says:

    There are 29 NHL teams looking for a RH puck moving defenceman. If the Oilers trade Gilbert, there will still be 29 NHL teams looking for a RH puck moving defenceman.

    Dawgbone: bang on.

    Here is the list of 13 Offensive Dmen top 30 in PP and EVPT production last year.
    Listed by EVPT production rank:
    1. Green WSH RH 5.25M
    2. Rafalski DET RH 6.0M
    3. Gilbert EDM RH 4.0M
    4. Grebs EDM LH 3.125M
    5. Blake SJ RH 4.0M
    9. Kronwall DET LH 3.0M
    10. Campbell CHI LH 7.1M
    13. Streit NYI LH 4.1M
    20. Spacek BUF LH 3.85M
    24. Markov MTL LH 5.75M
    25. Yandle PHX LH 1.2M
    26. Weidman BOS RH 3.95M
    28. Lidstrom DET LH 7.5M

    Gilbert is one of 5.

    Stafford for Gilbert WHA WHAT!

    Is it me, our youth coming up sets up these pairs in the future.

    Smid Gilbert

    Grebs Motin

    Peckham Chorney

  25. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    Smid and Staios make a brutal pairing.

    Actually Staios is just a brutal defenseman, you have to be able to see that it's Staios that causes the chaos on that pairing.

    Smid's been my favorite defensive prospect since his draft day. It's always been quite clear he'd be a strong nhl defenseman. I've always been shocked LT was never able to see it.

    His budding chemistry with Lubo is no surprise either, I called that pairing long ago.

  26. Black Dog says:

    Lubo drives the bus.

    Remember last season who his partner was for the most part before he went down.

    Grebs.

    Not saying that these guys would not turn into players without Lubo but I would say that he's helping.

    We'll see when Chorney or Peckham get their turn.

    As for Gilbert for Stafford, Rickibear said it all. Just because we now have three pretty good young defencemen by the looks of it (with perhaps Chorney and Peckham to come) doesn't mean its time to start moving them.

    The Oilers aren't winning the Cup in the next couple of years, that's for sure. Moving quality kids for iffy return (see Frolov as another example) is probably not the best way to run the railroad.

  27. Ribs says:

    Smid Gilbert

    Grebs Motin

    Peckham Chorney

    Man, that would be something. Three pairs of home grown defensemen would be great. Here's hoping.

  28. knighttown says:

    One of the most overlooked things on the 'sphere is the amount of capable NHL defensemen a team needs. Even yesterday, there were calls to waive Strudwick to make room for Chroney and today calls to trade one of the Big 4.

    Forget the pipe dream that is our Top 6. On average, your Top 6 play 20 games together. Your number 7 will play 60+ games. Your number 8 will play half a season and it's extremely likely your number 9 and 10 guys get some game action each season.

    Add to that the fact that unlike a 13th forward who can be parked on the bench, if you play the game as a defenseman, you're going to get 13+ minutes including PK time.

    Also add to that, if our number 1 goes down like Souray has, then all of a sudden your guys move up the depth chart so it's not just Chroney who feels the heat but it's Gilbert/Grebs playing 25+ minutes, it's Lubo and Strudwick killing penalties.

    A guy like Chorney (and Peckham) are perfect because they are capable of playing in the NHL but they have the waiver eligibility to move up and down without any repurcussions. When Souray and Staois get back you shake Chroney's hand and tell him we'll see him again in a few weeks when the next guy goes down.

    We've played 7 games and we've got 2 defensemen out long term and that's not even abnormal. You NEVER force your defensive depth chart unless it's a damned emergency. If we lose our #3 in Gilbert, than be prepared for weeks of:

    Vis-Smid
    Peckham-Grebs
    Strudwick-Chorney

  29. Black Dog says:

    Good point knighttown – case in point remember last season when Visnovsky and Grebs were down, SOuray and Gilbert were playing nearly thirty minutes a game at times and they both wore down, their play worsened as the stretch drive came on (esp. Gilbert who was not used to the workload and had a bad back besides).

    I hack on Strudwick as much as the next guy but he's better than Bryan Young or Jake Taylor.

  30. uni says:

    Smid's been my favorite defensive prospect since his draft day. It's always been quite clear he'd be a strong nhl defenseman. I've always been shocked LT was never able to see it.

    I don't get it, I thought LT always used Albelin as a comparable for Smid and believed he would round into a solid defenceman. A lot of commenters here also believed that Smid would be a useful d-man someday, with I believe AsiaOil being one of the most vocal. I think the majority of the people here were only concerned that Smid was brought to the show way before it was time, and he would have been better served with a season or two more in the AHL before logging regular NHL duty.

    I have a pet peeve when someone comes out to say "Told you so, look how great my prediction was" while getting what everyone else was saying wrong. Also I haven't read a post from AsiaOil in a while.

  31. Lowetide says:

    I have consistently questioned Smid's development curve and suggested that others (Peckham) would eventually pass him. This appears to be untrue, but the Oilers did in fact deal him (Heatley) so if we're splitting hairs and discussing rights and wrongs (I don't like to do it but do feel a need from time to time to defend myself) the Oilers did move on this summer but it didn't stick.

    And good that they didn't.

  32. godot10 says:

    It would be absolutely nuts to trade Gilbert. Solid all around right shot defensemen signed long term to a reasonable contract are next to impossible to find.

    That Gilbert isn't physical enough is just a moronic argument. (Brian Rafalski doesn't hit anybody hard either. Bouwmeester doesn't really either, Or Lidstrom).

    Gilbert and Smid are the last two defensemen the Oilers should trade.

    From last-to-trade to first-to-trade

    Gilbert, Smid, Visnovsky, Grebeshkov, Souray, Staios.

  33. Bruce says:

    Just watched (most of) the game on PVR. For all I rag on SportsNet, I'll give them their due, that "game in an hour" feature is a beauty.

    Smid had a wonderful game, especially in his own zone, where he was a rock playing perfect position, blocking shots, controlling the puck and making strong breakout plays all night long. He made a key play on the game winner when he had perfect position on Kesler in front, stripped him of the puck, took it to safety, then saw a seam up the boards and rushed it all the way to the Vancouver zone, effortlessly absorbing a hit by Raymond and dumping it to the end boards where chaos ensued. Good chaos. With a generous scorekeeper Smid could have got an assist on the play (I'll bet Staples gives him one).

    I'm a big Smid fan, and have been preaching "patience" on this guy since early days. While I'll be the first to agree he wasn't ready for Top 4 minutes when our defence was subjected to a rash of injuries in his 20-year-old season, he made fairly steady progress despite not being particualrly well-matched with his defence partners (mostly Greene, Staios, and Strudwick, as MacT stuck to a top 4/bottom 2 system). Putting him with a puck mover like Visnovsky or Gilbert, I reckoned, would be better suited to his strength. Pat Quinn has done that for the most part, and the results (+9 !!!) speak for themselves.

    There'll be more bumps along the road to be sure, but it does seem like the light has gone on for the young man. One of at least three reasons to be happy the Heatley trade fell through.

  34. JimRoepcke says:

    The thing I noticed last night was Smid and Lubo were regularly being beaten to the puck behind their own net on Vancouver dump-ins.

    When the team is having trouble getting the puck out of their own end, it's important to not give the other team opportunity to gain possession in the first place.

    I totally agree that Smid has "made it" in general, but there are still plenty of weaknesses on D and they aren't just his.

  35. Mr DeBakey says:

    takes our player down, and then we have another guy doesn’t think too well. He’s looking for some gravy, I guess.”

    Hemsky=gravy.

    YOU ARE NOT WRONG!

    Hemsky = our player down

  36. Mr DeBakey says:

    I'll be the first to agree he wasn't ready for Top 4 minutes when our defence was subjected to a rash of injuries in his 20-year-old season

    Problem was, he was put in the Top 4 before the rash broke out:
    Smith-Tjarnqvist/Hejda
    Smid – Staios
    Bergeron – Greene

    Who could've thought that D would work?

  37. Scott says:

    Holy mackerel, that's a lot of (bottom pairing) defensemen!

  38. Phil says:

    Man, that would be something. Three pairs of home grown defensemen would be great. Here's hoping.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who considers Smid, Gilbert, and Grebs 'home grown'.

  39. Doogie2K says:

    For all I rag on SportsNet, I'll give them their due, that "game in an hour" feature is a beauty.

    To be fair, CBC's been doing it for years, but I like it, too. One of these days, I'll get around to the taped one-hour game vs. Montreal so I can see that second period my PVR ate.

    Very glad to see Smid's come around, and that he's done so here. After seeing Greene suddenly become an NHL defenceman last year in LA, it would've killed me to see Smid become one in Ottawa. I always thought that with the cap, we weren't supposed to be developing players for other teams anymore.

  40. Bruce says:

    Problem was, he was put in the Top 4 before the rash broke out

    Looking at Smid's game logs from 2006-07, he averaged about 18 minutes for his first 62 games, then over 24 minutes over his last 15. He did have a handful of big-minute games early, but mostly his minutes were representative of a third-pairing guy.

  41. Gord says:

    Scott,

    Not sure of your definition of "bottom pairing" but if Smid is considered something special being +9 in eight games…

    Then Hejda deserves kudos for being +8 in five games. While having never been on the ice for a goal against this season. And for having the 4th highest +/- in the NHL over the past two seasons…

  42. kinger says:

    I deal 44 before I even think about sending 37, 77 or 71 out the door.

  43. Ribs says:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who considers Smid, Gilbert, and Grebs 'home grown'.

    Yea, I think we've lived through enough of their growing pains to call them our own.

  44. spOILer says:

    I deal 71 before 44 every day. No point in retaining the duplicate skillset and giving up size and toughness at the same time.

    Good to see Smid get some kudos. He was a beast last night, saving Lubo's ass on a few occasions.

    As for the guy who went for the gravy, the forwards on the ice at the time were PaddyO, Horc, and Moreau. One of the three is your rat!

  45. Scott says:

    Gord,

    I was referring to the 06-07 season.

    Hejda is quality for sure, he was just unproved going into that season. Greene and Smid have each taken a step forward since that season as well.

    It's too bad we only kept one of the three that improved (although I'd do the 71 trade over again every time).

  46. CrazyCoach says:

    I've never really had an opinion on Smid. I've always felt sorry for the fellow seeing he came to symbolize the ugliness of the FCP trade much like Jimmy Carson when he came over from the Kings for #99. Unlike Carson though, who never seemed happy playing in Edmonton, Smid has quietly gone about his business developing into an everyday reliable player without fanfare or whining. If there's one thing 1960's about the Pat Quinn era Oilers, it would be Smid's quiet development.

    Great job Ladislav!

  47. Hemmer'oids says:

    OT, but did you guys see those ads for "Trump Home mattresses sold exclusively at The Brick" during last night's game? Donald Trump is now friends with Bill Comrie who's friends with Katz…maybe we have a new investor for the superdupernewarenamegaplex!

  48. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    I have a pet peeve when someone comes out to say "Told you so, look how great my prediction was" while getting what everyone else was saying wrong.

    I only brought it up because it was one of the only things that bothered me reading this blog over the years. The constant Pouliot boosting while Smid was seemingly written off as trade bait, all based on the numbers really. While all along I saw great potential in Smid and next to nothing in Pouliot.

    I know when you break down the numbers Pouliot looks respectable, and the positive numbers on Smid are almost non existent.

    but there's just so much more to see when looking at a player outside the numbers. I know most of the guys here are smart enough to see it. This was just a case where I think it proves the numbers can lie. I strongly believe Pouliot is a useless nhl player. While Smid was always worst case a top 4 defenseman. just my opinion though.

  49. T. says:

    I was also really impressed with Smid last night. He is a different animal then he was two years ago for sure.

    (As is Penner – dear lord!)

    My off topic question of the day (I ask here because you guys are always in the know):

    Anyone know who started the salute to the crowd the team has been doing after wins this year at Rexall? It's a nice touch.

    Part of me thinks it's a bit calculated but part of me thinks it's indicative of a change in thinking/attitude right from the core basics. The team seemed a bit "entitled" the last couple years and this is something that harkens back to having some appreciation of the people who pay their salaries.

  50. digger says:

    Update from Stauffer re: The Concussion Twins…

    Souray – 4 to 6 weeks
    Staios – 2 weeks

    But hey, it's all OK because Classy Iggy didn't intentionally dangle his stick in Souray's skates when he was in a vulnerable position. Bygones!

  51. rickibear says:

    From last-to-trade to first-to-trade

    Gilbert, Smid, Visnovsky, Grebeshkov, Souray, Staios.

    How many dmen were first pairing (top 60)08-09 in:
    EVG
    EVPT
    EVGA
    PPG
    PPPT
    PKGA

    The answer is six.

    Chara
    Weidmen
    Blake
    Green
    Souray
    Seidenberg

    8 more dmen were 5 out 6:

    Rafalski
    Boyle
    Keith
    Tyutin
    Bieksa
    Lidstrom
    Grebeshkov
    Vishnovsky

    3 of our 6 dmen.

    All summer I dreamed of moving Souray for forwards if we brought in Seidenberg 5yr @3M

    Moving Vish for Tyutin+ and signing grebs long term @ 4M

    Plus dumping staios contract.

    These stats express why I kringe moving the balance of our best three.
    3 of 14 dmen in the league.

    These two moves are THE ONLY TWO MOVES that would have still maintained balance plus improved the PK.

  52. oilerdago says:

    So do you put Souray on the LTIR and gain some cap relief?

    I'm not thinking about it from the position of doing something with the cap space now, but for later if you need to make a trade. It could help.

  53. Dennis says:

    I don't mind saying that I believe in 5 from Day One!!

    /ducks and covers

    Anyway, it looks like 44's well on his way to wasting the second of his first three years as an Oiler so if it turns out I wasn't right about Smid, I'll always have Souray;)

    But for as much as I love watching 71 play, I'd rather move him than move 44 just because for every second year that 44 actually plays, he gives us toughness and points as well.

    Let 37-77 handle the puck rushing and hope that eventually 41 can do the same and let 5-44 be the stoppers and 43 the muscle.

    Of course, I'd love to have a bigger type like Stafford but how many teams could take on 71's pact and how many would want to gamble on Souray?

  54. Phil says:

    Anyone know who started the salute to the crowd the team has been doing after wins this year at Rexall? It's a nice touch.

    I know the Rangers started doing the center ice salute thing in Jagr's final year there, and of course Renney was coaching that team. Just saying.

  55. PDO says:

    Tom Renney is likely responsible for the salute to the crowd, as the Rangers were doing that there under his watch…

    44 out for months+? Who could have seen that coming… ;).

    Not that I want to rag on a guy for a concussion, bad luck injury no doubt, but Dennis raises a pretty good point…

  56. Oilman says:

    Of course, having ones face rammed into the boards would only cause a concussion to a player with a history of shoulder injuries!

  57. Oilman says:

    And on Stafford, doesn't that guy just scream shiny object to anyone else. Hat trick vs Oilers, check, Family connection to Oilers, check, Junior hockey in Alberta, check. I honestly haven't seen the guy play much at all but he's got Joffrey Lupul 2.0 written all over him as far as warning bells go.

  58. William says:

    Souray definitely brings the toughness element to the table, but lordy does 71 drive the bus for the team and his partner. Do you trade a guy that has that much of an impact on tilting the ice in the right direction for the team and apparently "mentoring" his partner? While we may have a number of "puck-moving" defensemen in the pipeline, I'd hesitate to say anyone duplicates what Lubo seemingly brings to the team.

    If 71 can play 44's PP minutes, I'd think it'd be easier finding another vet stay at home D that was equally as nasty as 44. I think Souray's reputation would make him pretty easy to trade if need be. Take 44's $ and spend it on a top 6 forward, send 24 & 43 to pasture, get a good/cheap vet D, and run with:

    77/37
    71/5
    Vet D/Peckham
    Chorney

  59. Boondock says:

    I know the Rangers started doing the center ice salute thing in Jagr's final year there, and of course Renney was coaching that team. Just saying.

    The Rangers were the first NHL team to start this, but it is a long-standing European tradition that is very common over there.

  60. Dennis says:

    Oilman: 44 had a pretty serious wrist injury as well. So, it looks like the guy just has shit luck when it comes to injuries.

    Now, would you sign a guy like that longterm? or would you look to move him if you could?

  61. YKOil says:

    Only ways I see/like/best a Stafford for a d-man trade happening are:

    Option 1: Mythical Cali trade

    Would be a three way deal wherein

    Edmonton: trades Souray gets Stafford
    Buffalo: trades Stafford gets Johnson
    LA: trades Johnson gets Souray

    Add draft picks, prospects and salary filler where needed. Substitute appropriate players from Anaheim or San Jose as required.

    or

    Option #2

    A Gilbert for Stafford, an interim d-man and a defensive prospect like Butler (Myers not being anywhere near the picture imo).

    Otion #1 is improbable to say the least while Option #2 is inadvisable.

    As far as LT's actual subject matter (per the post): Smid was usually seen as trade bait because of salary issues and/or compete level of the team.

    So no harm no foul imo per those who have been saying to trade him the last few years (me being one of them on occassion).

    That said – he is having a great year and I hope he keeps it up. Good on him.

  62. Scott says:

    They were doing the salute to the crowd for a short time during the stretch run the season before last.

    It was apparently Souray's idea from his lockout season in Europe. Smid said as much during an interview when asked about it. And Matt Greene was responsible for 'Private Eyes', surprisingly.

  63. YKOil says:

    Oh. And if the trade was Gilbert 'plus' for Myers and Stafford… yeah… I probably make that trade.

  64. Oilman says:

    Dennis, I wasn't for signing Souray largely because of his injury history and shiny thing status in his FA year, but he's proved to be a good signing. I won't trumpet my early disbelief after a head injury. As far as I know he's had shoulder issues since coming here but no wrist problems.

  65. Icecastles says:

    YKOil: is that short for Yelowknife Oil? My home for many many years.

  66. raventalon40 says:

    From last-to-trade to first-to-trade

    Gilbert, Smid, Visnovsky, Grebeshkov, Souray, Staios.

    I'd go with:

    Visnovsky>Souray>Gilbert>Grebeshkov>Staios

    Just because Souray is versatile enough to reverse roles from an offensive guy to a defensive guy, and because Grebeshkov is due for a large raise this summer. If and only if Grebs makes <4.5 then it's worth trading one of the others, if at all. I honestly wouldn't deal a D-man not named Staios right now.

    In my opinion, you can't have enough good D-men, ever.

  67. Schitzo says:

    In my opinion, you can't have enough good D-men, ever.

    Good lord, if you trade 77 and 37 and hang on to 44 and 71 you won't have any good D-men by 2012.

    We're not winning it all this year. Or next year. So why would you make Souray and Vish the pair you build around?

  68. Woodguy says:

    First off, I posted this about #5 in last nights GDT:

    Smid is now a man. He was physically handling everyone. Great positioning, good paitience, not easy to beat at all tonight.

    I still haven't crested my retro jersey. Candidates are 16 – HUGHES , 21 – WEIR, 8 – STILTANEN….maybe 5 – SMID, should be in the mix.

    All right, everyone is arguing defensemen without throwing out some BTN #'s.

    Allow me, excuse the sample size.

    09/10 5v5 – all in descending order

    Qual Comp
    Gilbert .148
    Grebs .125
    Staios -0.056
    Smid -0.057
    Struds -0.071
    Chorney -0.078
    Vis -0.139
    Souray -0.486 (3 game samples can be skewed eh?)

    QualTeam
    Struds +0.483
    Smid +0.343
    Chorney +0.319
    Vis +0.266
    Staios -0.021
    Souray -0.046
    Grebs -0.474
    Gilbert -0.564

    GFON/60 – GAON/60 5v5
    Smid +4.41
    Vis +3.70
    Chorney +2.33
    Staios +1.24
    Souray 0
    Struds 0
    Gilbert 0
    Grebs 0

    No Oiler defence with a negative +/-.

    Hmmmmm, Staios actually comes out smelling pretty good when you look at all the columns.

    I still hate his quick panic plays in his own end, but after period 1 last night, maybe we should back off ol' Steve a little.

  69. oil dude says:

    Tom Renney is likely responsible for the salute to the crowd, as the Rangers were doing that there under his watch…

    I don't think so, the Oilers saluted the crowd after the last home game of the season last year, I think it was meant to stem the boo-birds, and presumably continued this year to make us love them forever :)

    Any who, Smid has totally impressed this year and it seems a little sudden (like Matt Greene last year). I think both 71 and the "structured breakout" are helping him along.

    By my count the CFP trade has now landed us
    -POS (2-5-7 +5 in 8 games)
    -Smid (0-3-3 +9 in 8 games)
    -Eberle (9-7-16 in 7 games)
    -Nash (no stats yet)

    That trade kept us out of the playoffs for 3 years, but may start paying dividends (starting now) for the next few years. Well I'll keep telling myself that anyway.

  70. kris says:

    Oil Dude,

    You just gave Dennis a stroke.

    :)

    That's like, 5 assets…

  71. Dennis says:

    Oilman: how many goes does 44 have to miss this year before you start to reconsider that it was a good signing?

  72. RiversQ says:

    It's good to see Smid playing well. He did have some rough spots and the Albelin top end ain't exciting but at least he's legit now. The only thing that worries me about him is that he gets rocked EVERY single game and he already has a bit of an injury history as a result. He has to learn to get out of the way or at least take the hit properly.

    I did have a huge beef with him playing in the NHL after the deal though. That is one of the dumbest things the Oilers ever did. Smid was awful, soaked up Staios' babysitter minutes and the team suffered. Really it just made Lowe look worse anyway, so nobody benefitted.

  73. PDO says:

    Dennis:

    Simple answer I think… enough that he can't garner a decent return at the draft and hampers our ability to resign our RFA's..

  74. RiversQ says:

    Dennis: it'll never be a good signing. Just like the Khabibulin deal, you shouldn't be absolved by making a highly questionable percentages move, just because it pans out, or in the case of 44 almost pans out. (he did miss a whole year already and isn't getting more reliable.) The roulette winner is never a genius.

    Souray was old when signed, coming off a career year based on a crazy sh%, and had a considerable injury history. Red flags everywhere and they still paid him way more than anyone else was willing to offer.

  75. FlamingPavelBure says:

    RiversQ: I don't really share your point of view, defensemans take time to develop, really long time, and i think seeing actual NHL ice time helped him in the long run. Sure he looked a bit silly in the early times, but that's what happens with defensive defensemans, since you don't have those occasional goals and assists that seem to make everyone forget a young one's blunders.

    I think looking this good defensively at 23 is something pretty valuable. And a mobile defenseman.

    You learn how to defend vs NHL'ers by playing them, not by playing AHL'ers. Sure it's a painful process, but it fasten things up.

  76. Bruce says:

    I've always felt sorry for the fellow seeing he came to symbolize the ugliness of the FCP trade much like Jimmy Carson when he came over from the Kings for #99. Unlike Carson though, who never seemed happy playing in Edmonton, Smid has quietly gone about his business developing into an everyday reliable player without fanfare or whining.

    Hey CrazyCoach, I agree with the last part but I think you have the wrong players matched:

    Lupul = Carson
    Smid = Gelinas

    Marty G. exactly fit the bolded portion of your comment.

    Btw, many people equate the third and fourth assets for Pronger (the first rounders) with Nash and Eberle, but what became of the fifth asset? The second rounder in 2008 has a link with two current Oilers. It was traded to New York Islanders for Allan Rourke and more directly to recover the third rounder previously dealt the Islanders in the MAB-for-Denis-Grebeshkov trade. The recovered third-rounder was subsequently used as compensation for the RFA signing of Dustin Penner. Today Penner and Grebeshkov are the Oilers' leading scorers on forward and defence respectively. While it was a minor piece of the puzzle, it certainly cannot be claimed that the Oilers wasted the asset.

    Eh, Dennis? :D

  77. Icecastles says:

    That last post made me dizzy, Bruce. :)

    As to Smid developing in the AHL, I agree that he was brought up a year too early (as is probably the case with a few guys in recent years), but I don't know if I can think of any defenseman who came up from the AHL and were immediately impact players at the NHL level. Like FPV said, it's a position that takes quite a while to grow into and as much as skill and size are something that can be better developed in the lower leagues, the judgment that is essential to a D-man's role is something that, at the end of the day, will only come from facing (to borrow a phrase from LT), real NHL players.

    Though I am wracking my brain for counter-examples now, because I'm sure there are some D-men who've hit the ground running (by this I mean guys who entered the league as top-2 or at least top-4 defensemen with significant minutes).

  78. RiversQ says:

    You learn how to defend vs NHL'ers by playing them, not by playing AHL'ers. Sure it's a painful process, but it fasten things up.

    There are some very successful organizations that don't agree with that. The AHL is a developmental league and it should be used.

  79. RiversQ says:

    Though I am wracking my brain for counter-examples now, because I'm sure there are some D-men who've hit the ground running (by this I mean guys who entered the league as top-2 or at least top-4 defensemen with significant minutes).

    Maybe there are although I kind of doubt it.

    None of that is relevant to Smid though. He was clearly not good enough 10 games in.

  80. CrazyCoach says:

    Bruce,

    Aha! That's what I really meant to say. Gelinas stayed and got a ring. Carson pouted and got traded for Joe Murphy, who also got a ring.

  81. geowal says:

    Though I am wracking my brain for counter-examples now, because I'm sure there are some D-men who've hit the ground running (by this I mean guys who entered the league as top-2 or at least top-4 defensemen with significant minutes).

    I hate to say it, but Celine Phaneuf down the road fits that criteria, though I'm not sure what his minutes were. Straight from junior to the big show.

    From his first pro season, 05-06:
    GP G A P +/- PIM
    82 20 29 49 5 93

  82. Bruce says:

    You learn how to defend vs NHL'ers by playing them, not by playing AHL'ers. Sure it's a painful process, but it fasten things up.

    FPB: An excellent point. A year ago I did some detailed research on the typical development curves of high draft pick defencemen with a particular focus on Smid, and found the Oilers' treatment of him to be unexceptional. RiversQ and you and I may disagree with it, but it seems to be conventional wisdom within the NHL that these guys develop best/fastest in the NHL. And with their UFA status kicking in after Year 7 regardless, there's no advantage to stashing a contract in the minors once the guy is 20, as Smid was in 2006. Might as well do the baptism-by-fire thing and prepare the guy to outperform on his second contract.

    One thing's for sure, all those 27-minute games down the stretch in 2006-07 didn't cost the Oilers a playoff berth, so it didn't matter all that much that Ladi got pwned. He gained a lot of hard experience in the process, of that there can be little doubt.

  83. Bruce says:

    Carson pouted and got traded for Joe Murphy, who also got a ring.

    CrazyCoach: Carson got traded for Murphy, Petr Klima and Adam Graves, all of whom got rings. That Carson deal was the only saving grace of the Gretzky deal: Murphy, Graves and Gelinas formed a key line during the 1990 Cup run, and Klima scored a Mammoth goal in the SCF.

    All that's without even mentioning Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski. I won't mention the $15 million either, since it didn't exactly go towards improving the club.

  84. geowal says:

    Okay here's the minutes too..

    GP TOI/G
    Dion Phaneuf 82 21:43
    Andrew Ference 82 20:08
    Roman Hamrlik 51 21:50
    Robyn Regehr 68 23:08
    Jordan Leopold 74 22:19
    Rhett Warrener 61 19:11
    Bryan Marchment 37 13:07
    Richie Regehr 14 11:20
    Steve Montador 7 11:49
    Cale Hulse 12 15:47
    Mark Giordano 7 12:04

  85. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Well, we've missed the playoffs for three years straight and there's no guarentee we'll make them this year, either.

    Other than that, picking up all those assets look great!:D

  86. Bruce says:

    Though I am wracking my brain for counter-examples now, because I'm sure there are some D-men who've hit the ground running (by this I mean guys who entered the league as top-2 or at least top-4 defensemen with significant minutes).

    They're rare but existent. A few recent examples of 19-year-olds:

    Drew Doughty, 2008-09: 23:50 ATOI
    Luke Schenn, 2008-09: 21:32
    Marc-Edouard Vlasic, 2006-07: 22:12

    Smid was 20 turning 21 when he averaged 19:14 in his rookie season. I'm not saying he was as ready as the guys identified above, just that his development was relatively unexceptional.

  87. Bruce says:

    Dennis: I wouldn't argue for a second that the Pronger deal changed the timetable. I would, however, argue any conclusion that Oilers didn't get much return for him. A lot more than they got for Peca, Samsonov, Spacek et al … at least Lowe signed the right guy to a contract which he was then able to turn into ~60 cents on the dollar when the guy unexpectedly demanded a trade.

  88. Asiaoil says:

    Nice to see Smid start to play well at about the right time in his development time line (200 NHL games). Always preached patience with this kid and I think a meaner Philips is a good comp. You hit some and miss some with prospects – but it's very foolish to give up on young dmen with around 200 GP without seeing the finished product – glad he's still here.

  89. Rob Gilgan says:

    And I feel vindicated. I was concerned they were going to move him before he kicked in, but I agree, Ladislav has arrived. He's the puck moving D man they were looking for two seasons ago.
    Also tends to contradict the belief that the club can't develop young players.
    We'll win that Pronger trade yet.

  90. uni says:

    You learn how to defend vs NHL'ers by playing them, not by playing AHL'ers. Sure it's a painful process, but it fasten things up.

    To be-labour RiversQ's point, and knowing full well that analogies are horrible ways to argue points, I'll just say that you don't start doing University courses immediately after graduating elementary school, you usually go to secondary school first.

    Sure there are very gifted people and exceptions, but as a general rule of thumb a 18-19 year old will flounder if tossed into the firepit immediately. Better to let them learn the tricks of the trade at a lower level, and once they have that mastered ratchet up the difficulty.

    You don't start learning the electric guitar by tackling I Mother Earth right away, you mess around with some Ironman riffs or something then move to the insane guitar play.

    Also I agree fully with Asiaoil about defensemen, trading them after 150 or so painful games is just insanity. After all the growing pains why not see if it paid off instead of trading them away and letting another organization reap the benefits. Matt Greene is an example, but he got traded for quality. Considering that Jason Smith and Sheldon Souray both had similar paths to bonafide useful NHL defensemen, being traded around after development time in other organizations before finding their way, you would think people would be more patient with the Smids and Greenes of the world.

  91. Black Dog says:

    uni – patience is stupid! how come Gagner hasn't scored fifty goals yet?!?!?

    ;)

    Everyone, well not everyone, expects these guys to arrive in the NHL and be first team all stars. Hell most fans seem to expect any players to not make any mistakes EVER.

    I was talking to my father in law last night and he was lamenting that as a general rule people do not work their way up anymore, they get thrown right in. In the old days (onion on my belt) you apprenticed and learned your trade and gradually moved up the ladder.

    Oh well.

    And good for Ladi, in any case.

  92. FlamingPavelBure says:

    RiversQ: '' I'll just say that you don't start doing University courses immediately after graduating elementary school, you usually go to secondary school first.''

    His first league wasn't exactly elementary school, it's not the CHL. He was playing against mens, night in and night out. Even tough the Czech league isn't the best available in Europe, it's fairly good, and presents player who are better than most AHL'ers. Guys like Radim Vrbata and Ales Kotalik struggled to get a PPG in the lockout year over there.

  93. uni says:

    It is impressive that Smid was playing against men. But you have to put that in perspective. While there are a some very good players in the CRL there are very few who are of the calibre of a Radim Vrabata, and Vrabata isn't exactly Jaromir Jagr or even an Ales Hemsky.

    Keep in mind that this is the same league in which Petr Nedved is currently a scoring star and arguably the best player on his team (incidentally Smid's former team).

    The CRL probably ranks a good bit below the KHL, SEL, and SM-Liiga. Also keep in mind that it is likely not nearly as physical as the AHL much less the NHL, and the smaller North American ice surface makes contact all the more easy and the pace of the game all the more up tempo on top of the increase in quality of league.

    You can look at Jiri Tlusty as an example of a rookie that played against men in the CRL but had to be sent to the AHL and is still in the AHL now re-learning his trade.

    It was just a plain bad idea to throw Smid into the NHL at his age and level of experience.

  94. Oilman says:

    Oilman: how many goes does 44 have to miss this year before you start to reconsider that it was a good signing?

    I don't know Dennis – at what point did he become more valuable than Visnovski in your mind?

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