RE 10-11: Ladislav Smid

This will be the season for Ladislav Smid to establish himself in some very important roles. Top 4 defender, plenty of time on the penalty-kill and perhaps most important staying healthy.

Smid’s skillset is somewhat unique on the Oilers: he’s a young defenseman with a lot of NHL experience; he has good size and speed married to a mean streak; Ladislav Smid has a nice range of skills.

In a perfect world the Oilers would be able to pair Smid with a Tom Gilbert and then use Ryan Whitney in tandem with one of the other candidates (Foster, Vandermeer).

Laddy Smid is growing up in front of us. Where he is on the learning curve (and his ability to stay in the lineup) will have an enormous impact on the Oilers fortunes.

•Boxcars: 51gp, 1-8-9
•Shots: 36
•Plus Minus: +5
•Corsi (Rel): -2.2 (3rd among D’s)
•GF/GA ON: 36-31
•5×5/60: 0.50 (3rd among D’s)
•5×4/60: 14.40 (best among D’s)
•Quality of Competition: easiest among D’s
•Quality of Teammates: best among D’s
•Cap Hit: $1,300,000

  1. What do these numbers tell us? He played easy minutes with quality help and his relCorsi and plus minus are very good. In fact, his plus minus is just short of impossible when we factor in he did it on a terrible, terrible team. It was a good season for Smid, signalled by more consistent and calm play early on.
  2. How could these numbers be better? Health. It is the big concern for him moving forward. Smid missed the final 21 games of the season with a neck injury and he’s had several injury concerns over his Oiler career. Part of it is his style of play and part of it is the position he plays, but either way it is a concern.
  3. You thought he’d deliver more offensively. Sure did. He had 25 assists in the AHL at age 19, and that’s a nice rookie number (it was second on the team). But he’s settled in as a “stay at home” defender with the usual point total (11 and 9 in the past two seasons) and I don’t think he’s going to crush the offense. He remains a smooth skater and a solid puck carrier, but his subpar shot from the point and lack of creativity with the puck means the play dies with him often.
  4. Is that why you hate him? I don’t hate him. However, if he’s a pure stay-at-home type then he’s going to need to be a minutes eater at EVs and PK (read: top 4D) in order to hold his original value (Smid was a top 10 pick). He’ll need to be a Staios-type soon, and with this team’s depth chart really soon.
  5. Isn’t possible he’s about to deliver on his potential? I understand that defensemen develop by sundial. I also understand that the Oilers coaching staff–a veteran group–decided to shelter Smid with Visnovsky AND the soft parade a year ago. After investing so much time on him, one would have hoped for more last season.
  6. Maybe the Oilers chose Smid to give Lubo as a partner so he could freewheel? Ah, the Bruce McCurdy argument. Visnovsky is more proven and logic dictates there should be more Smid’s on a team than Lubo’s. Historically speaking. I understand the argument, but the Oilers could have used other options if Smid had been able to handle tougher minutes. “If he’d been ready to replace Staios” he would have sort of thing.
  7. So, you don’t think he’s progressing? I certainly do. He was more consistent this past season and he played with calm feet far more often. Health aside, it was a very good season for him.
  8. Then it is a good time to try him against tougher opposition. I’ll buy that. The things that kept me from endorsing him (and I do think he was thrust into the NHL much too soon) included making the same mistakes (back door!) over and over and the other things we associate with lack of experience. If Ladislav Smid had played for the farm team in 06-07 and 07-08 would he be a better player now? I think you can build a case for it.
  9. How important is Smid to the organization? Very important. The kids up front aren’t going to be young forever and by fall 2012 the forwards are going to be tearing up the blacktop. The Oilers will need at least three or four modern Gregg’s and Smith’s. Smid’s draft pedigree and increased consistency (along with the organization’s stated belief that he is part of the leadership group) suggest Smid is part of the future.

By The Numbers

  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 0.80
  • 09-10 5×5 per 60m: 0.50

By the Numbers

  • 08-09 5×4 per 60m: nil
  • 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 14.40

Prediction for 2010-11: 53gp, 0-9-9
Time to shine

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