RE 13-14 LADISLAV SMID: WILD IS THE WIND

Ladislav Smid is a bona fide NHL defenseman, 27, signed to a long term contract and his employers are happy with his work. He has size, speed, plays with intelligence and is considered a solid ‘shutdown’ NHL blueliner.

RE 13-14: 70, 1-9-10

  1. Boy, you just cannot say anything nice about him, can you? What? I meant every word, and all of them were positive.
  2. Ten freaking points!?!!?! Yes. I have him playing on the top pairing with Petry, and they’re going to play heavy minutes and PK time. This is the heavy lifting portion of the defensive wall we’re talking about here. And this is the role Smid is well-suited for with the Oilers.
  3. Absolutely dripping with sarcasm. Look, there was a time when Smid was a lightning rod for what was wrong with this team, but he’s a man out there. Bona fide. I consider Smid to be the official ‘pee break’ defenseman on the team
  4. What in HELL does that mean? If I gave to go, I wait until he’s out there.
  5. Weirdo. Whatever.
  6. And what the hell is this wretched song? One of my favorites, actually. It’s a Johnny Mathis song, but the best version is by Nina Simone who was so brilliant they still haven’t caught up to her. It’s beautiful music and I think one of Bowie’s best vocals. It fits Smid because it’s understated, subtle.
  7. Smid is sublte? Yeah, sure–certainly offensively. Defensively, ‘efficient’ might be a better word, but in the last three seasons he’s become the ‘calm feet’ of the Edmonton Oilers. No Bowie songs about calm feet I could find, but this has a calm tone and is such a brilliant song I think it works. The Vollman tells us how important he is and Smid is among the top 90 blue in the NHL now at evens– and close to #1 on the penalty kill for TOI. He’s playing a lot and the numbers defensively are good–very good, considering the team he plays for right now. He and Petry were a little uneven this season, but they’re a good pair overall.
  8. Where does he rank in TOI? He was 100th in EV time-on-ice in the NHL, third on the Oilers but Smid, Petry and Schultz were pretty even in that discipline. He plays a lot at even strength for the Edmonton Oilers, and by any stretch would be considered a ‘second pairing’ defender in terms of minutes. A good one, too.
  9. What about PK? Seventh in the entire NHL, and pretty close to the top. Smid trailed #1 Braydon Coburn by 16 seconds per game which is basically nothing. He’s a big part of the penalty-kill and that should continue this coming season.
  10. What about the WOWY? He played almost exclusively with Petry (81%) and they were 44% CF, which is pretty good on the Edmonton Oilers based on what they were facing every night.
  11. Did they play a lot with Hall? Smid’s most common mates in terms of forwards were Eberle (240 minutes, 48.9%) Hall (235 minutes, 48.3%), Gagner (220 minutes 42.2%), Smyth (196 minutes, 44.7%), Nuge (194 minutes 47.5%), Yakupov (190 minutes, 43.8%). So, he played with the top end guys, and they played against the tough opposition.
  12. How long can he hold off Klefbom? I don’t see the two being in competition with each other, there’s going to be plenty of room for both of them. If the Oilers start the 2016-17 season with LH depth chart of Smid, Klefbom, Nurse and a RH depth chart of Petry, J Schultz and Ference would that be such a bad thing? Smid is aging well, and he’s got plus speed, we’re not talking about a Lee Fogolin fade here.
  13. There’s still some chaos to his game. One of the things that has changed in our lifetime is the rules regarding interference and holding. The NHL rid itself of much of that kind of thing–and it was central to playing defense–during the 2004 lockout. If you look at a 15 year old video of an Oiler game you’ll see exactly how many more liberties bluemen had at their disposal. The current bunch can’t do any of that stuff and for that reason modern NHL defensemen look less effective to us, because they have to play within a set of rules our eyes compare to the olden days. Mistakes happen and can’t be covered up without penalty. Scott Stevens never played by this rule book. Ever.
  14. He lacks a complete skill set. Offensively he’s lacking, but I’ll take that because he can play the tough blue minutes and come out the other side. Plus, he’s healthy. Coach Eakins will rely on him, believe me.
  15. Do the Oilers have another Smid nearby? The Oilers feel they have a mobile defensive defender in Klefbom, but these guys take time to develop.
  16. You’re not especially known for identifying defensemen who will turn out. You badly underrated Smid and Petry. It’s kind of sad, actually. Two different matters: Petry wasn’t a player I’d seen, and his stats were wobbly. Kevin Prendergast was calling him God, and given those set of circumstances I’d be suspicious 10 times out of 10 (Prendergast loved all of his draft picks). Smid was a different matter, because it wasn’t so much him as a player as having to watch him learn the back door play at the NHL level. Man, it’s ghastly. It never changes, decade to decade and it’s so simple to overcome. But kids forget, and it’ll happen this year again with some young one. It’s just part of the game, with Smid taking a rather long time to learn it (and other things).
  17. So now he’s stupid? Hell no, he’s a bright guy. I like Ladislav Smid. I liked him early and like him late. There were some struggles but they’re gone.
  18. Would you trade him? Not now, no. He’s signed a deal here, married a local girl, for me that’s a guy you commit to long term and hopefully a few more of his countrymen want to play here in a couple of years.
  19. I can’t believe it. You like him! Sure do. He’ll be a solid top 4 option until he moves down the depth chart when the kids are ready.
  20. We were so close. Smid’s good, 27 and signed long term. There’s no issue, he can fill a role that’s important on the Oilers, and fill it well enough to stay in that role for the next several seasons. His only problem is the same problem with Hemsky–he’s older than the cluster. It matters less for defensemen though, because they take longer to develop and can stay in the role deeper into their careers. Smid’s probably years from a fade, certainly his contract should hold its value and he might even get a raise the next time around. The only thing that will keep him from 1,000 games is injury. He’s a good one.

SMID’S VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER 2011-12

jones 11-12 sledgehammer

SMID’S VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER 2012-13

2012-13 vollman oilers d

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

Ladislav Smid 11-12

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.64 (3rd among Oil D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: toughest among D
  • Qual Team: 3rd best available among D
  • Corsi Rel: -.6 (4th best among D)
  • Zone Start: 49.3% (4th toughest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 52.6% (best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 47 shots/10.6% (1st among Oilers D)
  • Boxcars: 78gp, 5-10-15
  • Plus Minus: +4 on a team that was -26

Ladislav Smid 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.30 (7th among regular Oil D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular D
  • Qual Team: best available among regular D
  • Corsi Rel: -2.8 (6th best among regular D) (-13.27 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 47.9% (4th toughest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 51.3% (best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 30 shots/3.33% (5th among Oilers D>30 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48gp, 1-3-4
  • Plus Minus: -1 on a team that was -15

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39 Responses to "RE 13-14 LADISLAV SMID: WILD IS THE WIND"

  1. bookje says:

    I starting to find myself taking sides in your self vs self debates. Usually I agree with you LT, but today I feel like having a beer with your aler ego and commiserating about how frustrating it is talking with you about Smid.

  2. HiddenDarts says:

    Great post as usual, LT.

    Also, thanks for the education on “Wild Is The Wind”. Had no idea it was a Mathis song. The only version I really know is the absolute ultimate one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiVDzTT4CbE

    On the fence about Smid myself. I recognize there’s a great player there, but I always feel like there’s another step he needs to take to be the absolute beast he can be.

    Here’s hoping he finds that step.

  3. Jordan says:

    bookje:
    I starting to find myself taking sides in your self vs self debates.Usually I agree with you LT, but today I feel like having a beer with your aler ego and commiserating about how frustrating it is talking with you about Smid.

    It’s really easy to understand why he hates Smid so much if you take it in context – The Oilers played Smid at forward at the expense of MAP. Then, they let MAP walk, and kept Smid.

    I’m sure that he and Mrs. Pouliot will have a great time with the revenge they have planned, but based on the screenplay I’ve read, I’m not sure it will ever make it to the silver screen…

  4. Ivan says:

    ” I consider Smid to be the official ‘pee break’ defenseman on the team.”
    This.
    Caused me to blow coffee out the nose, onto my keyboard.
    LT, you’re a freaking TREASURE to this fanbase!

  5. G Money says:

    Hey LT, why do you like Smid so much?

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Ladislav Smid is a bona fide NHL defenseman, 27, signed to a long term contract and his employers are happy with his work. He has size, speed, plays with intelligence and is considered a solid ‘shutdown’ NHL blueliner.”

    “Boy, you just cannot say anything nice about him, can you? What? I meant every word, and all of them were positive.”

    The issue here is the use of the word “considered” and the scare quotes around “shutdown.” That reeks of bias.

    Reminds me of one of Chait’s classic columns:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/scared-yet?page=1

    and a hilarious follow-up:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/09/scare_quotes_continue_to_plagu.html

    ———
    Smid and Hemsky, my favorite Oilers for the past 5 years or so, even with all the kids. Something about Czechs I guess.

    Smid got railroaded into playing in the deep end. I get how that turned everyone off. But I was determined to love him from the start… something about sticking it to Pronger.

    Three favorite things about Smid.

    1. When he scores it’s like Christmas. It only comes around once a year and everyone knows it is special.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=138030

    look at that smile. Priceless. And the audible yell after the goal from rink side.

    2. Even when we are getting blown out, he plays hard and with a ton of emotion. He’s like Hall in this regard.

    3. He’s hilarious off the ice. My favorite is recently (1st Oil Change episode IIRC) when the lockout ended and he catches up with Nuge for the first time. He doesn’t miss a beat, starts right in on RNH about losing at the WJC. Huge toothless smile on his face the whole time.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I also like how in that picture, Smid looks like a little kid explaining to his dad after he’s broken a window on a neighbor’s house:

    “but he said I couldn’t throw it that far!”

  8. TheOtherJohn says:

    Smid would be a very nice piece to play 22m TOI in a 2nd pairing in the SCF. Hopefully he will get that chance while an Oiler

  9. Hammers says:

    Yea we all like a guy who blocks shots & takes tough minutes and Smid does that but I don’t think he will be here in the 16-17 season . There are comparables coming and 1 or 2 of them will make it other than Nurse . Marinchin / Gernat / Musil / Simpson etc .Gone before he hits 30 but for a good return .. Also gone will be Ference so LT needs to revisit his 16-17 “D” .

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hammers:
    Yea we all like a guy who blocks shots & takes tough minutes and Smid does that but I don’t think he will be here inthe 16-17 season . There are comparables coming and 1 or 2 of them will make it other than Nurse . Marinchin / Gernat / Musil / Simpson etc .Gone before he hits 30 but for a good return .. Also gone will be Ference so LT needs to revisit his 16-17 “D” .

    I think Smid, if they put him on the table, would fetch a good return in the next 2-3 years. In the final year of his contract you’d have to be really lucky to score something good… but GMs are crazy at deadlines when it comes to vet D.

    I have no idea what Ference’s value will be in 2-3 years… but I would bet it isn’t that great. I really hope he proves me wrong.

    You could be right, though, that both are gone if the team opts for internal replacements and keeps all the kids. That decision might just depend on how the cap goes. If it doesn’t go up… I think there is a good chance the kids win the day.

  11. TheOtherJohn says:

    Before we have all of the D prospects graduating to the big club and pushing good NHL players out the door, could we have them first excel against men in a pro league.

    Pitlick, Hamilton and Martindale all had very nice draft +1 years before going to the AHL. How’d that work out?

  12. G Money says:

    Hammers:
    Yea we all like a guy who blocks shots & takes tough minutes and Smid does that but I don’t think he will be here inthe 16-17 season . There are comparables coming and 1 or 2 of them will make it other than Nurse . Marinchin / Gernat / Musil / Simpson etc .Gone before he hits 30 but for a good return .. Also gone will be Ference so LT needs to revisit his 16-17 “D” .

    I agree Ference is likely gone by then, but the rest doesn’t make sense to me.

    Barring some massive stroke of luck like being able to get Chara or Weber, or having Nurse turn into CFP v2, the defensive corps of the Contending Oilers will have to be a committee of three solid pairs rather than one outstanding pair.

    The likely top pairing (just based on sheer potential) is likely to be some blend of Nurse, Jultz, and Klefbom. The third man out of that list plus Smid-Petry is a terrifically awesome second/third pairing. Then we need to build the last member of the third pairing out of some blend of Belov, Marincin, Gernat, Simpson, Musil, etc. Of that group, only Musil plays the blood and guts style of Smid, and Musil’s footspeed issue suggests that third pairing is his ceiling.

    Unless the return is fantastic, not just good, it does not make any sense to trade Smid between now and then.

  13. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I’m trying to remember the last Stanley Cup team that didn’t have a d-man in his 30′s and you know what? I can’t.

    Just from last year’s conference finalists (10+ GP in post-season):

    Chicago: Johny Oduya 31; Michal Rozsival 34
    Boston: Dennis Seidenberg 31, Andrew Ference 33, Zdeno Chara 35
    LA: Robyn Regehr 32, Rob Scuderi 34
    Pittsburgh: Paul Martin 31, Douglas Murray 32, Brooks Orpik 32

    Not a lot of huge stars there apart from Chara (a HUGE star), but at least one rock-solid veteran stay-at-home d-man on every one of those contenders.

    One could already make a similar assessment of Ladi Smid, who is still 3 years from being 30. I for one am hoping he plays out that entire contract as an Oiler and signs another one to stay here after that. Contending teams need players like him.

    Plus all those things Rom said.

  14. wordbird says:

    Just don’t get the Smid hate. He’ll never be an offensive powerhouse, fine, but this guy would sacrifice life and limb out on the ice. Tough, fearless, and a bit of a goofball. Great team guy.

    As for the song, Simone’s take is musical perfection. And for your consideration, another cover version.

  15. delooper says:

    And Smid means Smith. Don’t forget it!

  16. maudite says:

    I believe we should finally put to rest the good natured ribbing of lt for his initial stance in regards to smid, right about here.

  17. DeadmanWaking says:

    bookje: today I feel like having a beer with your aler ego

    Thanks. I can’t get two lines into the first post without already tying to work “lager id” into a goof-ball shtick, but I’m just too baked this morning to pull it off. For me, it’s aler ego and aler id though lately I’m on a skin jag: kit wines with a muslin goo-pack. Started just over a year ago and have twelve batches bottled now, three in progress, and another dozen slated to complete by June. In theory this supplies four adults pulling 250 corks per year, with 400 bottles in the cellar to achieve an average drinking age of 18-months. In theory.

    I’m pleasantly surprised at how good the premium kits have become. For five years I drank a different beer every week (or a favorite Phillips if I could still find it after the latest label swap), but then I figured out that drinking just one glass of beer slows me down yet one glass of wine doesn’t, which makes a liquid coffee-break a lot more practical when I’m glued to the keyboard.

    Last night I was shifting my docket. The vendors are awfully vague about optimal drinking windows. “A toast! May your mileage vary! Hic.” Really? All you can say is “one to three years”? Fortunately my preferred brand has trouble keeping their story straight, so I took the overlap as gospel and the non-overlap as slant-of-the-day.

    Hey, does anyone know what Pendergast is up to these days? Someone has to write those universally glowing tasting notes, and I’m guessing he’s a natch. Especially if your kid plays Fruit Ninja on the Wii, you could really pound those wine descriptions out. Daddy can I play Wii? OK, let me get my pad. With a hint of [slice] dewberry and [slice] green melon … no that’s not right … how about “honeydew”, yeah that’s the ticket [slice] hey slow down, I’m falling behind. [slice, slice, slice] Hey! No bananas! This is a red wine, we’ve got to stick to the fruits that bleed.

    The big problem with having all this wine around is the temptation to make five beurre blancs a week, pretty much every day except when interrupted by a grilled rack of lamb in a port wine fig sauce–whereas my aler ego was mostly confined to enhancing pizza dough. Speaking of pizza dough, I gotta go punch down the Nebbiolo sack ‘o skin with my surgically-clean Black and Decker drill whip. (One practically has to snap one’s gloves above the wrist just to say something like that.)

    Nebbiolo produces lightly colored red wines which can be highly tannic in youth with scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal other aromas and flavors such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.

    This is a wine with all the stuffing for a deep run. Go, boys, go! The clock is ticking. At the first hint of orange, you better be kicking some major butt.

  18. Logan91 says:

    wordbird,

    According to a couple of people over at OilersNation, defenseman like Smid are very easy to find! The consensus was that anyone can block shots and be a great guy, guys like him are a dime a dozen. So apparently that makes him expendable, and therefore he will be traded by opening night.

    Hahaha, some peoples thought processes can be so silly at times.

  19. delooper says:

    Logan91:
    According to a couple of people over at OilersNation, defenseman like Smid are very easy to find! The consensus was that anyone can block shots and be a great guy, guys like him are a dime a dozen. So apparently that makes him expendable, and therefore he will be traded by opening night.

    Smid is also quite adept at skating the puck out of the zone. Something many other oilers d-men can’t do. He frequently will get it up between the red and blue lines, brushing off a forechecker or two before handing the puck off to a forward.

  20. FastOil says:

    Smid is a likeable fellow for sure, IMO a true blue Oiler as well, bleeds O & B. Given his oncoming competition and skill set I am not sure if they’ll be able to justify his pay in a few years, like NS now. I think all but one of the prospects would have to fail for him to stay long term unless he takes a big pay cut.

  21. Магия¹º says:

    bookje: I feel like having a beer with your aler ego

    When an Oil GM does something brilliant LT has the one beer. His aler ego has the other one.

  22. OilClog says:

    Smid is..

    1. Jason Smith
    2. Devon Dubnyk’s personal savior
    3. Hopefully an Oiler until his hockey days are over, he bleeds Oiler colors like very few around him.

  23. BlacqueJacque says:

    delooper:
    And Smid means Smith.Don’t forget it!

    Not sure if you’re serious, but I believe “smith” in Czech is Kovar.

  24. prairieschooner says:

    Yes but Smid in English is Smith

  25. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Ladislav Smid is a bona fide NHL defenseman, 27, signed to a long term contract and his employers are happy with his work. He has size, speed, plays with intelligence and is considered a solid ‘shutdown’ NHL blueliner.”

    “Boy, you just cannot say anything nice about him, can you? What? I meant every word, and all of them were positive.”

    The issue here is the use of the word “considered” and the scare quotes around “shutdown.” That reeks of bias.

    Reminds me of one of Chait’s classic columns:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/scared-yet?page=1

    and a hilarious follow-up:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2011/09/scare_quotes_continue_to_plagu.html

    ———
    Smid and Hemsky, my favorite Oilers for the past 5 years or so, even with all the kids. Something about Czechs I guess.

    Smid got railroaded into playing in the deep end. I get how that turned everyone off. But I was determined to love him from the start… something about sticking it to Pronger.

    Three favorite things about Smid.

    1. When he scores it’s like Christmas. It only comes around once a year and everyone knows it is special.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=138030

    look at that smile. Priceless. And the audible yell after the goal from rink side.

    2. Even when we are getting blown out, he plays hard and with a ton of emotion. He’s like Hall in this regard.

    3. He’s hilarious off the ice. My favorite is recently (1st Oil Change episode IIRC) when the lockout ended and he catches up with Nuge for the first time. He doesn’t miss a beat, starts right in on RNH about losing at the WJC. Huge toothless smile on his face the whole time.

    Oh come on. Really? “Considered” in this context is greater than my endorsement, stopping just short of “universally considered” and certainly a positive arrow. And ‘shutdown’ because it’s not something I use terribly often.

    I like Smid! Full stop. The issues I had with him are gone. I still have issues with the way he was developed and that will never change, but he’s arrived (a couple of years ago) and the Oilers need more like him.

    Seriously. I’m onside with Smid.

  26. BlacqueJacque says:

    You were pushing for Smid to get extended.

    I haven’t heard you say anything anti-Smid in years.

  27. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide,

    Sure, we ‘believe’ you.

    Hehe.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Oh come on. Really? “Considered” in this context is greater than my endorsement, stopping just short of “universally considered” and certainly a positive arrow. And ‘shutdown’ because it’s not something I use terribly often.

    I like Smid! Full stop. The issues I had with him are gone. I still have issues with the way he was developed and that will never change, but he’s arrived (a couple of years ago) and the Oilers need more like him.

    Seriously. I’m onside with Smid.

    Haha…

    whoops… so that was supposed to read like this:

    LT: (with a history of jibber-jabber back-and-forth about Smid) uses hilariously questionable language, opening himself to cynical broadsides made in jest. for kicks.

    Bookje (or some other regular): calls you on Smid, sincerely or not, it was inevitable as the sun rising.

    Me: stretches the false-debate to its logical extremity, picking apart your grammatical choices, which were clearly made in good-faith… again for kicks. everyone has a hearty laugh.

    I thought at least the “reeks of bias” would give me away as joking! So hyperbolic!

    something like that. simple version:

    1. I get that you like Smid. I also get that you once didn’t and that’s kind of a thing around here

    2. you really opened yourself up to broadsides with the wording of that opening line. read it again in a snarky voice, the voice of someone with a history of disliking someone, like a condescending boss reviewing an under-appreciated employee:

    “David, many consider you a “good” employee”

    tell me that isn’t hilarious!

    3. I was just exploiting the situation… which I’ve now needlessly complicated. This explanation is probably too poorly written to follow (oh, the irony!)

  29. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Haha, i see your point. That “David, many consider you a “good” employee line is hilarious and makes your point. Well done.

  30. Магия¹º says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: Haha, i see your point. That “David, many consider you a “good” employee line is hilarious and makes your point. Well done.

    I see his ‘point’ too.

  31. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yes Rom. We all ‘understand’.

    Is the horse dead yet?

  32. Магия¹º says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Yes Rom.We all ‘understand’.

    Is the horse dead yet?

    Nononono, no, no! E’s ‘resting’

  33. theres oil in virginia says:

    “Not dead yet”, you say?

    Well then:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFXGwHsD_A

  34. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    “Not dead yet”, you say?

    Well then:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFXGwHsD_A

    Great bit. Love those guys

  35. Магия¹º says:

    Lowetide: Great bit. Love those guys

    Bring out your ‘dead’!
    Bring out your ‘dead’!
    Bring out your ‘dead’!

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “mostly” dead?

    http://vimeo.com/28442042

  37. Lucinius says:

    So, when MacT trades Smid and we’re all angry we can blame LT, right? He’s tempting fate by not hating on Smid like he’s supposed to.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius:
    So, when MacT trades Smid and we’re all angry we can blame LT, right? He’s tempting fate by not hating on Smid like he’s supposed to.

    Ah Christ. lol.

  39. dangilitis says:

    I won’t forget Oil Change this year when I saw Smid come into the dressing room and he was just so fucking pissed off that the team lost again. Guys like him and Gagner, there is no sledgehammer to explain that kind of character. I wont use the term compete, but the passion to win will drive both these players whether the team wins or loses. Its what I saw in Smyth and Horcoff for many years before their spirits were crushed repeatedly, year after year (sans 2005-06). If either of them has to go to make this team better faster, then great. But those are the guys you root for to succeed and contribute positively when the team makes the playoffs.

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