If it’s contract time and the Oilers are talking to Ryan Smyth there must be trouble. Jim Matheson has the story in the EJ and this time there are some real numbers.

  • Matty says Oilers are offering 2 years in $2.5/$2.75M per year range
  • Matty says Smyth likely doesn’t want to take a big haircut from $4.5M per year

Well, at least it’s more than a $100k gap. I don’t know how the Oilers can pass on signing him based on their current depth chart. Seriously.

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30 Responses to "YOU. CANNOT. BE. SERIOUS!"

  1. ItsTheBGB says:

    Smyth is asking for too much, plain and simple. Yes, he faced the toughs, but the past 2 seasons it has been noted that his play drops off significantly in the later parts of the season. He’s only getting older. The oilers would be fools to give him 4MM+. In order to get out of the cellar, we need good management. Realizing Smyth’s fading play and offering those numbers Matty reports is good management. Giving him 4MM+ is not. Smyth needs to get his head out of his ass.

  2. regwald says:

    I say this simply. Goodbye again Ryan. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    According to he’s made a whopping $52M in his NHL career and yet somehow he things that $2M a season isn’t enough to play here.

    I agree that we need NHL experience players, but I am tired of Smyth crying poor. Take it or leave it …

  3. Beaker says:

    I know we need that spot to be filled but you arent advocating the oilers sign him for 4M+ a year are you Lowetide?

  4. Bad Seed says:

    Good bye, Smytty. Nice knowin’ ya. We give him what he wants, as LT suggests we should, and we’ll have a third line that’s paid more than our first. There’s some nice asset management. For once I agree with Dithers – his offer is more than fair.

  5. GordM says:

    What’s his leverage? He doesn’t want to move…sign in Calgary??? Would they offer him more than the reported $2.5? Take the Hejduk-esque money and smile Smytty.

  6. SpotTheLoon says:

    Wow, I mean, wow! I think the team needs Smytty but wow. Maybe they can bridge the gap but I can’t believe that he would be seeking that sort of money. I hope that cooler heads prevail and positions don’t become too entrenched. The Oilers gain something from signing the man and Smytty gets to finish his career here. But I think that common sense has to prevail at some point. What the Oilers are offering, if the numbers are accurate, is pretty fair.

  7. SpotTheLoon says:

    I hope this isn’t a negotiation tactic where the information is leaked to Matty.

  8. Adam Dyck says:

    Before I say this, I want to reiterate my credentials as a huge fan of Smyth and someone who loathes Tambellini with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I cried when Smyth was traded, and I’m not ashamed to say it.

    But REALLY? Anything over 3m$ is fucking absurd. This is of course a ridiculous time for Tambellini to decide to take contracts seriously, but given the comparable available is offer is more than fair, it’s generous.

    Comps are available here:

  9. oilswell says:

    As long as they’re not at the cap, does it really matter what Katz does with his money? Would they be in any way hurt by giving him $4.5MM on a 1 year deal? Next season he’ll have even less bargaining power.

    Maybe if they’re lucky they can deal him at the deadline for Colin Fraser!

  10. Beaker says:


    Yes, they would be hurt because then every player and their pet donkey wants an inflated contract too. We have to start taking contracts seriously.

  11. Schitzo says:

    I don’t see how Smytty wins this one as far as public opinion goes… The internet has made salary comparisons common knowledge, and he is WAY off from the norm. If he valued his legacy, he would be talking year-to-year hometown discounts.

    Teemu isn’t pulling this shit, Holmstrom took a discount, why is Smyth?

  12. Wolfie says:

    Same old song and dance routine from the Smyth camp. I love the guy and don’t begrudge anyone going after all they can get. I’d be comfortable with a slight overpay on a 1 year deal. If the cap space is there and it works no big deal. However, a 2-year deal has to be discounted. $3 million for 1 year or 2 years for $4.5 million. That’s it!

  13. iwin76 says:

    2 x 2.5M is more than fair. He’s a good player, but not necessarily a good bet going forward (based on the second half of the season), IMO.

  14. Crooked says:

    The actual quote in the article is “Smyth, who made $4.5 million in salary last year, has chosen not to talk about about his current negotiations. But, he likely doesn’t want to take a huge haircut in salary. So, we have a stalemate.”

    Stating “Matty says Smyth doesn’t want to take a big haircut from $4.5M per year” and “he likely doesn’t want to take a huge haircut in salary” are two completely different things. One is a statement of fact. The other is an opinion. Matheson stated his opinion as to the state of the contract negotiations, which you have portrayed as fact. Very misleading, and disappointing to see from you, LT.

  15. stevezie says:

    I don’t really care if we overpay him as long as it’s one year at a time.

  16. Magnus says:

    2 years at potentially $2.75 million is already overly generous. Smyth is not worth that type of salary at his age and with declining numbers. The fact that Smyth is still holding out for more is ludicrous. He obviously didn’t learn anything from the last contract negotiation with the Oilers. If playing in Edmonton means so much for him, why is he not even willing to take a market value contract?
    At this point Smyth can go wank himself. I wouldn’t want him on the team again. There are better options available. Just spare us the tears this time around.

  17. Ice Rink Eschatologists says:

    @Crooked: Tone it down, man. It’s a hockey blog and LT attributed the sentiment. All I can picture is you telling your partner all about how angry LT made you tonight, and it’s just not worth it.

    About the comps for Smyth – the group that C&B put together makes some sense, obviously. Older guys in the right point range. But let’s consider also that players age at different rates, and that many of those players listed were older than Smyth is now, had injury issues, and/or were signed long enough ago that the increase in the salary cap has been significant (remember that it’s gone up $14mil since Satan signed his listed deal in 07/08).

    Smyth scored as many or more points than Ryane Clowe, Mike Richards, Patric Hornqvist, David Clarkson (in a career year), and probably lots of other guys who play his same hard-nosed, lead-by-example style. Moreover, he was hit by Glen Anderson’s car as a tiny, Oiler-obsessed child. Screw it. Spend some rich jerk’s money so I can watch him retire in copper and blue. Not every moment in life is an opportunity to help someone’s boss save money. (To be honest, no moments in life should be about that.)

  18. LP says:

    Just read the article and yes I agree, no fact coming from matty, rather it seems like his opinion so let’s not jump to conclusions. I doubt we see a repeat of what happened last time.

    I think I’d be ok with 2 years at 5 M. It’s smyth!

  19. Ryan says:

    Ice Rink Eschatologists,

    If it were only about spending some rich jerk’s money, I don’t think there would be a discussion here. Context is important and you’re talking about a fan base that hasn’t seen playoff hockey in a long time. It’s also one that used to seeing its management over pay for players. It’s also well-versed in the problems with over 35 contracts (see: khabibhulin, Nikolai)

    Smyth could cement his legacy by taking a home town discount provided the cap savings were spent on useful pieces to build a playoff team. Selanne had a cap hit of $4 million on what I believe was a 1 year deal and put up 66 points. I think 2 years at $5.5 is a pretty fair offer for Smyth.

  20. Ryan says:


    What would be your definition of a 1 year overpay? In my mind Selanne coming off an 80 point season and taking $4 million defines the stratosphere. With that marker, even one year at $3.5 million would be considered a huge overpay. Some could reasonably argue that both a 1 year $3 million or a $5.5 million 2 year contracts are overpays.

    A few people I’ve never seen here before. Crooked must be Don Meehan and IRE must be Mrs. Smyth. :)

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Smyth is the embodiment of a self-entitled asshole. Just because he’s as thick as two planks of wood doesn’t mean he isn’t. Smyth+Horcoff+”Bucky” should all be jettisoned to Katz’s rumoured new project – “Oilerville” – where MacT, Lowe, and all the other pluggers and garbagemen who have graced the Oilers over the years actually score goals and win cups, year after year in a Disney-themed family friendly environment.


  22. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting(telling) how New Jersey employs Adam Oates as an assistant coach – while the Oilers prefer “Bucky” types.

  23. godot10 says:

    Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov, Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Eager, Jones, Petrell

    How many 36 year old 3rd line wingers earn over $3 million on multi-year deals? And really, it looks more like 4th line to me, particularly in the 2nd year, when you look at the top six guys on the list.

    Mr. Smyth and Mr. Meehan are delusional as usual.

    You don’t matter to the future Ryan. You are being offered a nice feelgood retirement contract.

  24. Bar_Qu says:

    Once again I am inexplicably out of step with the fan base. It’s Ryan Smyth. Playing hardball with him on contract negotiations in public is incredibly disrespectful. This is a deal that should be done already, regardless of the final numbers.

    But the levels of petulance and arrogance emanating from the head offices, especially as relates to players, in this org is terrible.

    But again. I know I stand offsides from the majority on this.

  25. gcw_rocks says:

    They should be offering him $2M plus bonuses that could take him to $3M (or higher if he exceeded say 65 points). If he wants more than what the Oilers are offering guaranteed then he is delusional. The Oilers offer is generous for the 3rd line role he is likely to play next season if it is all guaranteed.

    .Hejduk is a good comparable for Smyth. Smyth’s all around game is probably a little better, so he should make more, but not a lot more. If he wants Selanne money he needs to get his head examined. Does he not remember that he posted almost no offense over the last 45 games last season. Yikes…

  26. Captain Obvious says:

    I’m with the crowd on this one. A one year deal at 2.5M is probably the limit of fair market value. Smith’s numbers are ludicrous. For that price you can take on someone else’s salary problem and get a better player, someone like Dubinsky or Stafford. Those guys are likely to get cut loose because they are paid too much and their teams are capped out and they are both better players than Smyth and carry much less risk.

    Now is the time I want my GM to play hardball.

  27. gcw_rocks says:

    Captain Obvious,

    If we can get Dubinsky on the cheap, we should do it. Worth the gamble for sure.

  28. bsmart says:

    The numbers at this point are strictly speculation. I’ve met Smyth a few times before and when I saw him yesterday at yet another local Charity event for kids, he seemed distressed. I highly doubt he is turning down market value. I would pay this guy an extra half a mill based on what he is to the community and public relations of the Edmonton Oilers.

    My guess would be that Tambellini is under market value and offering something like 1.75/ year. My guess he is looking for 3Mbut will sign for 2.5M/yr for 2 yrs. But that is all it is at this point, guesses not facts. IMO

  29. stevezie says:


    I think I’m in the minority on this, but I would have no problem with one year and 4 million. Smyth took a few home-town discoutns in the past, we have the cap space, and I don’t want to cheer for the laundry. Smyth is a player with a real connection with the community.

    Son’t bother saying it’s a horrible overpay, I know it is, but as long as it’s a one year deal and we have the space I don’t care. Why should I?

  30. DSF says:


    I think I’m in the minority on this, but I would have no problem with one year and 4 million. Smyth took a few home-town discoutns in the past, we have the cap space, and I don’t want to cheer for the laundry. Smyth is a player with a real connection with the community.

    Son’t bother saying it’s a horrible overpay, I know it is, but as long as it’s a one year deal and we have the space I don’t care. Why should I?

    Agree completely.

    The P.R. value alone makes it a worthwhile signing.

    If Tambellini botches this a large segment of the fan base will be pissed.

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