Ryan Smyth’s return to Edmonton featured the rebirth of a legend who also delivered some dynamite hockey. His presence was key in allowing the kids room to grow.
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.62 (6th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.37 (3rd among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 8.9 (2nd best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 51.9% (7th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 48.0% (8th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 195/11.8% (7th among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 82, 23-24-47
- Plus Minus: -1 on a team that was +16
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.93 (5th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 2.39 (10th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 3rd toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 9th best teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: -1.5 (8th best among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 48.1% (10th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 51.7% (5th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 194/9.8% (9th among F’s>100 shots)
- Boxcars: 82, 19-27-46
- Plus Minus: -5 on a team that was -26
- What do these numbers tell us? Smyth played tough minutes with subpar linemates and delivered quality offense this season. He had an enormous task, and delivered. A lot–and I mean a lot–has been made about his poor second half but Ryan Smyth was one of Edmonton’s best forwards this season. He gave the organization exactly what they needed–shelter from the kids and an actual NHL player who could face the opposition’s best.
- He slowed badly in the second half. His shooting percentage was way off. 12.7% before the All-Star break, 4.4% after. Jonathan Willis wrote a nice item on it.
- But he faded. Badly. Compared to other Oilers, Smyth improved in the second half. A quick look at his CorsiRel at mid-season shows -4.9 after 41 games, and he finished at -1.5 overall. And remember, he was playing tough opposition.
- What surprised you about his season? He played a lot. As stated above, his EV minutes (14:26 a game) were heavy and he was a consistent member of the PK and PP. He played 1564 minutes, 2nd on the team and in the NHL’s top 40 forwards. That’s a lot of playing time.
- What else surprised you? They kept playing him on the PP even though the results weren’t impressive. During the RE series I suggested he’d get 1.5 minutes per game–Oilers gave him 2.5 and he finished 10th 5×4/60. It seemed a little curious.
- Anything else? I’m surprised how little praise he’s gotten. Ryan Smyth is no spring chicken, but he played like one. Hell, the verbal now is about how he can’t play top 6 minutes. All I read about him (aside from Jonathan’s item) is that he’s going to have to accept a lesser role.
- Fans or media? The relationship Smyth has with Oiler fans has never been in question.
- Well he is going to have to accept it! Just like your boy Horcoff. THE HEAD COACH gave the toughest LW minutes to Smyth and his zone starts were no bargain (although better than Horcoff’s dire starts). I think Smyth’s performance this season makes a strong case for retaining him in a top 6 role–at least until a clear replacement is acquired. Renney overplayed him because he had to–management didn’t give the coach enough options.
- Either way, Smyth and the Oilers are apparently apart on a new contract. It’s disappointing, one would hope the club would offer an overpay for a 1-year deal. I do understand there’s wisdom in not signing him to a multi-year deal. Maybe the lesson of Khabibulin has been learned.
- It takes two to tango, you know. Quite right.
- Why on earth would you be disappointed? It would be nice if the Oilers could get a contract done with #94 without all the drama.
- Ryan Smyth doesn’t have that kind of relationship with the Oilers. The Oilers don’t have that kind of relationship with anybody.
- How would you like to see things roll out? Oilers sign him to a one year deal, slight overpay. He arrives in camp as one of the top two options on LW and he stays there until someone earns the right to push him away.
- Paajarvi’s ready. Really? Where is your evidence.
- Yakupov will eat him for breakfast. If the Oilers draft Yakupov ALL THE MORE REASON to have him play with Smyth. Mentor, knowledge, protection, safe, still has hands to play with these gifted kids.
- You’re such a Smyth fanboy. Guilty. Fortunately the evidence is also in my favor. Ryan Smyth is still better than pretty much all of these upstarts.
NHL Prediction for 11-12: 70, 18-19-37 (.529)
Actual 2011: 82, 19-27-46 (.561)
You can go home again.