The Edmonton Oilers approach the deadline much like George Costanza approached his job at Vandelay Industries: they are importer/exporters.
Michigan Live has a story up about the Red Wings’ interest in Smid, and one of the passages is very interesting:
- Why the Red Wings might be interested in him: They are interested in him. He is one of the players they have been scouting. He would strengthen their top-four and bring some of the gritty qualities they lost when Brad Stuart left for San Jose. The Red Wings have nine defensemen, but they aren’t sure how long Kyle Quincey (fractured cheek bone) will be out or if Carlo Colaiacovo, out since Jan. 21 with a shoulder injury, can return and secure a spot in the lineup. The Oilers are hoping to re-sign Smid.
The other interesting item is the cost projection (Second-round pick and/or second-tier prospect) for the player. If you look at this from Detroit’s point of view, it is a brilliant move. They acquire Smid for a pick that (as of today) is in the 50-55 range in the 2013 entry draft. The Oilers already have an extra second rounder from the Cogliano deal, so they own (as of today) picks #11, #41, #53 and could grab #59 from Detroit from Smid (apparently).
Smid has value, and I do believe the Oilers should sign him. However, when you’re looking for a way to shoehorn all these contracts into the future, Smid is the exact player type who is going to get crushed in terms of salary. The Oilers have several off-season priorities this summer:
- Sign RFA”s Gagner, Paajarvi, Hartikainen, make a decision on RFA Peckham
- Sign Nuge to the Hall contract
- Make decisions on UFA’s Smid, Jones, Fistric, Petrell, Whitney and Khabibulin
- add a backup goaltender
- find a top 4D, lefty to go with Nick Schultz and Oscar Klefbom
- find a top 6D, righty to go with Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry
- offload contracts of Eager, Belanger and possibly Ryan Smyth
Dealing Smid for a 2nd rd pick suggests Edmonton would like to add a ‘more complete’ LH defender to their top 4–someone like Mark Streit perhaps–who could pair with Petry on the #1 set with the Schultz’s being the second pairing. The club might bring in a veteran hand to play with Klefbom on the third pairing and run with Fistric, Peckham or Potter as the 7th man.
Hey, the Oilers could sign Smid tomorrow for all I know. However, we’re getting the ‘smoke’ now that often leads to ‘fire’ and unless the Oilers are playing a dangerous game of chicken with #5 (attempting to get his signature on a reduced deal with the threat of trade) it looks like we’re dealing with a deadline that includes at least one major export.