The Oilers and Kings have shared some pretty famous players over the years–in fact, if you list the top players in Oiler history there are two or three at the very top that wore a Kings uniform during their careers.
Ryan Smyth–despite advanced age and a slap shot that can’t dent cardboard–remains a productive offensive player 18 years after the was drafted. Smyth’s age and the long season of work have exposed him a little but there’s little doubt he can play in this team’s top 6F even when everyone is healthy.
- Eberle 3.23 (2nd in NHL)
- Hall 2.07 (tied for 75th in NHL)
- Gagner 2.07 (tied for 75th in NHL)
- Nuge 2.05 (80th in NHL)
- Smyth 2.01 (86th in NHL)
- Hemksy 1.59 (tied for 174th in NHL)
Those top 5 numbers are pretty good, considering there should be 90 top line players in the NHL and the Oilers have 5 of them in that group (>40 games). Anyway, Smyth is right there despite middling zone starts and a tougher zone start. With Taylor Hall’s injury and the recovery timeline, Smyth should once again be an important part of the Oilers in 12-13.
We had word awhile ago that the Oilers and Smyth were working on a deal but nothing lately. It could be nothing–hell, the Oilers haven’t officially signed their GM to an extension yet–but with Hall’s injury it would seem to me that getting Smyth done moves up a notch on the priority list. 94 was passed over once before (summer 2006) as the club signed their 7′s and 9′s and let the jack back in the deck.
I would think it good form to get this done and give the man who has bled copper and blue all along a contract. God knows they need Ryan Smyth.
I remain convinced there’s not enough room to sign all these kids who could turn pro. For some of them, their seasons have or are about to end, with Drew Czerwonka and Jeremie Blain already free and Brandon Davidson (although hurt currently) one game from being eliminated. They do have the option of sending the NCAA players (Bigos, Jones) back for another season, but the club has decisions to make on the following players:
- G Tyler Bunz (already signed to his entry level deal)
- D Kyle Bigos (has one year of NCAA eligibility left, I suspect Oilers will leave him there)
- D Jeremie Blain (could play as a 20-year old in the Q, Oilers took that option with Davidson a year ago)
- D Brandon Davidson (Oilers have to fish or cut bait, I don’t think it is a slam dunk they sign him)
- L Drew Czerwonka (could go back, but based on his size and position I think he signs)
- F Kristians Pelss (he’s had a strong season and should go deep with Oil Kings. There’s a chance he returns for his 20-year old junior season, Oil Kings will be a powerhouse next year).
- F Kellen Jones (two more years of NCAA eligibility, expect he’ll stay at Quinnipiac)
- D Oscar Klefbom (could stay in Sweden for another year, but might ne ready)
- D David Musil (I expect he’ll stay for his final year of junior)
- D Martin Gernat (has had a splendid season, I think the Oilers will want to sign him to an entry level deal and then send him back to junior for a final season. That contract could be more difficult to get done a year from now).
The Oilers current 50 man list for 2012-13 is 41 deep with 10 rfa’s (likely gone are Barker, Kytnar, Omark) and they’ll be adding at least one UFA in Smyth and I think Petrell has a chance. Oilers will be looking to add some help on defense and at forward, and it’s hard to see all of these kids getting entry level contracts the same summer.
Oilers could ease the situation by trading this year’s depth picks for futures or using them on Euro’s and NCAA kids, while also sending back any or all of Bigos, Blain, Pelss and Jones.