Ladislav Smid 10-11: When The Deal Goes Down

Ladislav Smid has played a lot of NHL games for such a young man. 331 games into an NHL career, he’s 25 years old. If his skill level allows it, Smid could play 1,500 games in the best league on the planet.

Long time readers of this blog know that I have (at various times) suggested the Oilers might consider trading Smid. Reasons given by others suggest I’m impatient or that Smid’s abilities are too subtle for the aged to grasp.

Neither is the reason. My reasoning has to do with “giving up something of value when getting something of value in return” and “replacement level.” Simply put, Ladislav Smid is a pretty famous hockey player–still young, still affordable–who does things that many other players in the blue pool can duplicate.

He’s an ideal trade asset. His years of playing in other rinks have shown opposition General Managers that he’s mobile, tough, healthy and willing. Should the Oilers trade him, Smid’s range of skills are reasonably easy to replace at similar salary cost. I don’t dislike Smid, I like him. Can’t wait to see what he brings.

Ladislav Smid 10-11

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.43 (6th among Oil D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 1.04 (6th among Oil D)
  • Qual Comp: 4th toughest among D
  • Qual Team: 5th best available among D
  • Corsi Rel: 2.3 (3rd best among D)
  • Zone Start: 48.6% (2nd toughest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 51.1% (2nd best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 48 shots/0 goals 
  • Boxcars: 78gp, 0-10-10 
  • Plus Minus: -10 on a team that was -52
  1. What do these numbers tell us? A year ago, Smid played easy minutes with quality help and had the third best CorsiRel among the defensemen. This season he played tougher minutes with lesser ‘mates and delivered the 3rd best CorsiRel again. That’s certainly progress, especially when we factor in Zone Start. I do wonder about his qual team number (played with Gilbert 35% of the time) but this is a solid line for a defensive defenseman.
  2. What about his expected plus minus? He should have expected to finish around -17. His -10 is a good number considering he’s playing 2nd pairing minutes.
  3. How could these numbers be better? I don’t know. Smid doesn’t bring a lot of offense so 10 points is good and the CorsiRel is very nice. This was a good NHL season for Smid.
  4. Anything else? He was healthy for the entire season, that’s a very good sign. He missed 21 games one year ago due to a neck injury so a full season goes a long way to allaying fears he is injury prone.
  5. 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 10 points and he has no shot from the point at all. Added to that are his rushes up ice where he skates smoothly through the opposition and then gives them the puck. He’s like a mailman, delivers every time.
  6. Why don’t you just say it? You hate him. No, I don’t. I just don’t see the point in placing a premium on his player type. Smid is an extreme defensive defenseman, which means he needs to be an outstanding even and PK performer to be worth a lot.
  7. Let’s try this another way. What do you like about him? I like Smid’s size and he’s really settled down in terms of positioning the last couple of seasons. Smid has his slip-ups, but in the post lockout era pretty much every defenseman is going to look silly a few times every year. Smid didn’t have as many of those kinds of moments this year. He still has a tendency to leave his partner high and dry (although his suicide passes seem to be a thing of the past) and his sorties into the opponents end usually end with him getting back in time. He also seemed to have some success as a penalty killer later into the season.
  8. What don’t you like about him? Less and less. He doesn’t have a large range of skills, but if he can help the PK and play 2nd pairing minutes while surviving then Smid should have a career in a depth role.
  9. But not in Edmonton. I think he should be one of the players considered expendable. Remember when he played with Lubo? That was a perfect role for him. Stay at home, make sure there’s someone back if things get crazy. I don’t think you should pay a lot for that role and I also think that when a team calls after him it’s worth thinking about; he’s not a vital cog in the machine and his skill set is available in ample amounts.
  10. You’ve wanted him traded forever and the Oilers never do it. They’re too smart. Quite right. Keep Smid, Trade Lubo. We could make a sign.

By The Numbers

08-09 5×5 per 60m: 0.80
09-10 5×5 per 60m: 0.50
10-11 5×5 per 60m: 0.43

By the Numbers
08-09 5×4 per 60m: nil
09-10 5×4 per 60m: 14.40
10-11 5×4 per 60m: 1.04

Prediction for 2010-11: 53gp, 0-9-9 (.170)
Actual 2010: 78gp, 0-10-10 (.128)
Stay-at-home D

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