RE 13-14 RYAN SMYTH: ALMOST INDEPENDENCE DAY

When he left us the final time, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It is a great injustice when our heroes find their feet of clay, for them and for us. Doubly so when an everyman—one of us, touched by God—has to hang ‘em up. It’s a damn tough day, even for the strongest man.

RYAN SMYTH 10-11 (LAK)

  • 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

RYAN SMYTH 11-12

  • 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

RYAN SMYTH 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.23 (11th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 1.07 (10th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards (3rd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 9th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -3.9 (8th best among regular forwards) (-14.50 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 42.3% (11th easiest–5th toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 50.6% (7th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 69/2.9% (8th among F’s>68 shots)
  • Boxcars: 47, 2-11-13
  • Plus Minus: -5 on a team that was -15

RYAN SMYTH 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.19 (9th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.32 (9th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 8th toughest among regular forwards (3rd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 7th best teammates among regular forwards (3rd line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: 4.6 (4th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 45.3
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +1.7
  • Zone Start: 36.1% (5th toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 44.2% (10th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 129/7.8% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 72, 10-13-23
  • Plus Minus: -18 on a team that was -51

RE 13-14: 72, 12-16-28 .389

ACTUAL: 72, 10-13-23 .319

  1. RE isn’t bad. He was tracking ahead of the RE, but potted only four points in his final 26 games.
  2. Was it time to go? Boy he looked good for a long time this season, and he did express an interest in returning. I’d have brought him back for a final spin.
  3. His numbers improved! Shooting percentage went up, power-play helped when a few more pucks went in. He certainly delivered more than many of the younger set on the bottom 6F.
  4. Anything else? Last season, The linemates (at 5×5) he was on the ice most often with included Mike Brown (175 minutes), Lennart Petrell (172 minutes), Eric Belanger (112 minutes) and Shawn Horcoff (92 minutes). This season it was Boyd Gordon (336 minutes), David Perron (207 minutes), Ales Hemsky (164 minutes) and Luke Gazdic (138 minutes).
  5. Wow. BIG change in quality! Yeah, I think so. Smyth was an extra cast member under Ralph, but he played more and with better this past season. He was still getting the short end on zone starts, but that’s just good business.
  6. How was he used? Well, Gordon faced tough opposition and severe zone starts all year. We’ll get to more on that in the Gordon RE but Eakins probably wants an entire line of Gordons who can fill that role. Tough ZS, tough opposition. Smyth had fairly severe zone starts, and faced tougher comp, but of course the top 6F are getting tougher opponents because they’re the scorers, and they are getting tougher opps because of it.
  7. I guess Smyth saw every quadrant of the Vollman Sledgehammer over the years. Yes, you bet. And ripped it up too. By the way, Renney and Eakins used him in the same way, pretty much spot on.
  8. Interesting. What would a 25-year old Smyth do as part of this group? The mind boggles. That late 1990′s team could wheel, outstanding team and some of the finest Oiler hockey over the last 20 years.
  9. 2006 the best Oiler team he played for? Oh yeah. Loved that team.
  10. What the HELL happened that summer? My take has always been this: Kevin Lowe had some work to do, right away, signing free agents. He got Roloson done, then Pisani, and later in the summer began signing guys who would be UFA the following year. Smyth didn’t go to the media until very late summer with his “hometown discount” comments but the die was cast at that point in time. Lowe had passed over Smyth to sign others in his eyes (remember, this is me projecting) and they were headed for a fight.
  11. And then Lowe screwed him over! Well, I think the issue became red hot quickly, and the agent must have had a helluva time. Lowe and Smyth are similar—very emotional—and it held them in good stead as players but isn’t a good thing in negotiation.
  12. What is a good thing in negotiation? Indifference in regard to the outcome. It’s like catnip.
  13. He should have been indifferent? Smyth may have been wiser to avoid the media—the Oilers must have a special ‘up yours’ manual for guys who do—and when approached might have said “Kevin knows when my contract ends, and I’m sure he has something in mind” in a easy breezy way. It’s tough to do though, for anyone.
  14. Lowe should also have been less emotional? Sure. I agree. I suspect one of the reasons he no longer has the GM job is that he’s an emotional guy. The Comrie thing, the Smyth thing, the Souray thing—the Oilers are a big, big enterprise but at times they are run like the corner store. That’s not a good thing.
  15. Why do you always support Lowe? I’m not trying to support, defend or attack. I think it’s very hard to argue that 2006 summer was a good one for him, but the 2005 transactions were golden. We’ll never know how good he might have been in the GM chair, I think his emotions got the best of him.
  16. The “is it me?” interviews? Yes, and other things. But we’re talking Smyth here.
  17. Will you do a Lowe RE later? Sure, if there’s interest.
  18. Okay, back to Smyth. What is his legacy? I believe he belongs in the rafters with the best Oilers of all time. If we’re making a team, who would play LW in front of him? Hall eventually, but now? Simpson? Tikkanen? Are you sure? I’d put Smyth’s number in the rafters on the night of the first Oiler home playoff game, and I’d have CuJo and Weight and Arnott and Marchant and Horc and Hemsky and Mrs. Pronger there to make him cry.
  19. And he would! Of course he would! He loves this game and this team as much as we do. That’s Smyth’s appeal.
  20. And what Lowe could never understand. Nah, that’s wrong. Lowe has the same affliction. This little prairie city keeps adopting and falling in love with these hard as nail, tough sonofa’s who fight tooth and nail for every inch. It’s a natural fit, working man’s player in a working man’s town. And the player wanders into an embrace and never wants to leave. Up next: Darnell Nurse.
  21. Then what goes wrong? Please understand: Just because you were a legendary player doesn’t mean you can be a good General Manager. Different set of skills.
  22. So then MacT will fail? We’ll see. I very much like MacT’s resume and how he got to the job, and do think he did some good things. He also offered Clarkson big money and offloaded Smid for futures, so there’s some good, some bad.
  23. But all good Smyth? All day. I miss the big lug already.
  24. How many times have you watched that Saturday HNIC final game? Just the once.
  25. Liar. Move on.
  26. Why this song? It’s long and epic, and beautiful and reckless at times, and it repeats and repeats and repeats until things are right. Finally the horns just take you to the ocean and the waves wash over you and make things new again.
  27. Sail On? Sail on.

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29 Responses to "RE 13-14 RYAN SMYTH: ALMOST INDEPENDENCE DAY"

  1. stephen sheps says:

    I found this during my usual sunday morning music blog reading and immediately thought of you LT: http://www.stereogum.com/1674114/van-morrison-albums-from-worst-to-best/list/

  2. Clarkenstein says:

    Only because it’s Easter Sunday I won’t take the carving knife out for KLowe! Happy Easter to you Alan and to everyone!

  3. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Only because it’s Easter Sunday I won’t take the carving knife out for KLowe! Happy Easter to you Alan and to everyone!

    You too Clarke! All the best.

  4. stephen sheps says:

    Right, Easter of course. Happy Easter to all! (and a happy last couple days of Passover to any of the Jewish readers who pop in to this space as well.)

  5. godot10 says:

    Lots of blame for Lowe, and not much for MacT.

    MacT choosing Moreau for captain, and Staios for assistant captain was clearly part of the first Smyth departure story.

    It wouldn’t have happened if MacT made Smyth captain.

  6. regwald says:

    LT, wish you would post your email addy on the site. I flipped you something via your contact form on Lowdown with Lowetide. Shared a link to my Smytty pics from the game. Thought you should have one more good cry over the game and the player.

    Enjoy. Happy Easter !

  7. regwald says:

    I am wiling to bet that part of that Smyth departure was his agent telling Smyth to sit tight. You are an icon here, Lowe will never trade you and he will ante up a bit more. Just wait and let me do my job.

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    What are the Oilers criteria to have your number retired to the rafters ? HHOF players only?

  9. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Lots of blame for Lowe, and not much for MacT.

    MacT choosing Moreau for captain, and Staios for assistant captain was clearly part of the first Smyth departure story.

    It wouldn’t have happened if MacT made Smyth captain.

    MacT making Smyth captain probably would have resulted in tampering charges, as Smyth was in Colorado.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=430034

    The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.

    That’s from October of 2007.

  10. regwald says:

    flyfish1168:
    What are the Oilers criteria to have your number retired to the rafters ?HHOF players only?

    That is the criteria that KLowe mentioned when they were retiring jerseys. Ironically, his isn’t hanging in the rafters due to that rule.

    I honestly believe they will start a wall of fame like the Esks have in the new building and KLowe will be among the first to go up.

  11. Lloyd B. says:

    regwald: That is the criteria that KLowe mentioned when they were retiring jerseys. Ironically, his isn’t hanging in the rafters due to that rule.

    I honestly believe they will start a wall of fame like the Esks have in the new building and KLowe will be among the first to go up.

    I like this idea alot. Retired numbers need to be very special. Wall of honor would address the other reasons. Such as an irrational love of a hard working popular guy that is great in the community but never won a damn thing here. Like a Doug Weight for example.

  12. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: MacT making Smyth captain probably would have resulted in tampering charges, as Smyth was in Colorado.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=430034

    The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.

    That’s from October of 2007.

    One would have to assume that Ryan Smyth and Don Meehan are not smart.

    Moreau and Staios had already received generous new contracts, and the Oilers were nickel and dime-ing Smyth.

    You are suggesting that MacT had not decided who he wanted to go forward with. If MacT had intended Smyth to be his captain, the first departure would have never happened.

    It was clear that decisions had been made about the direction the team was going to take. And the timing of the moves was such that MacT could make the choice of Moreau with Smyth gone.

    MacT and Lowe knew they could never make their guy Moreau captain, if Smyth were around.

  13. regwald says:

    godot10: One would have to assume that Ryan Smyth and Don Meehan are not smart.

    Moreau and Staios had already received generous new contracts, and the Oilers were nickel and dime-ing Smyth.

    You are suggesting that MacT had not decided who he wanted to go forward with.If MacT had intended Smyth to behis captain, the first departure would have never happened.

    It was clear that decisions had been made about the direction the team was going to take.And the timing of the moves was such that MacT could make the choice of Moreau with Smyth gone.

    MacT and Lowe knew they could never make their guy Moreau captain, if Smyth were around.

    There were whispers around post-cup run that KLowe was disappointed in how the final turned out and was blaming Smyth. Not sure how true that was, but that could explain the hard bargaining position KLowe took with Smyth

  14. regwald says:

    Lloyd B.: I like this idea alot.Retired numbers need to be very special.Wall of honor would address the other reasons.Such as an irrational love of a hard working popular guy that is great in the community but never won a damn thing here.Like a Doug Weight for example.

    I like the idea as well. You can only retire so many jerseys. This way, you could recognize KLowe, Randy Gregg, Weight, Guerin, Smyth, Marchant, Cujo, etc etc.

  15. Lowetide says:

    godot10: One would have to assume that Ryan Smyth and Don Meehan are not smart.

    Moreau and Staios had already received generous new contracts, and the Oilers were nickel and dime-ing Smyth.

    You are suggesting that MacT had not decided who he wanted to go forward with.If MacT had intended Smyth to behis captain, the first departure would have never happened.

    It was clear that decisions had been made about the direction the team was going to take.And the timing of the moves was such that MacT could make the choice of Moreau with Smyth gone.

    MacT and Lowe knew they could never make their guy Moreau captain, if Smyth were around.

    Wait, a minute ago we were talking about captains, and now its contracts? I think Lowe DID prolong the Smyth conversation, but don’t know if it was a perceived performance issue or asking price.

    I’ve long sided with Smyth on the issue, and remain convinced the Oilers acted emotionally. However, the contract he eventually signed was a whopper. Just saying.

  16. Andy P says:

    Smyth felt he was due more than Lowe was offering and Smyth’s agent blew the negotiation, allowing it to become a pissing contest that Smyth could never win.

  17. Lowetide says:

    On the Blues win, and Millen saying Corsi

    http://www.puckrant.com/Slapshot/MORE_BETTER_BLUES

  18. Hammers says:

    Andy P:
    Smyth felt he was due more than Lowe was offering and Smyth’s agent blew the negotiation, allowing it to become a pissing contest that Smyth could never win.

    Yea and next to nothing in it when your talking millions . Both Lowe & Smyth were to blame on that but I bet the agent was the real culprit . Lowe gets to much stick for what happened and I do believe the ownership had him strapped for a few years . He proved he could make deals and not just Rolly & Pronger . Look on line in any city and the bloggers complain there GM isn’t making the best deals .The truth is a good trade is good for both teams if not right at that moment but within a couple of years .

  19. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    On the Blues win, and Millen saying Corsi

    http://www.puckrant.com/Slapshot/MORE_BETTER_BLUES

    Article in the EJ today by Bruce Arthur about Hedman and making frequent reference to possession numbers. He never actually say the “C” word, but he does list percentages and makes a reference to WOWY.

    I generally like Arthur’s take on things. One of the few national sports writers who is aware that hockey is played outside of southern Ontario and the West Coast.

  20. justDOit says:

    Not sure if this has been already noted here, but the Barons clinched a playoff spot yesterday!

  21. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Article in the EJ today by Bruce Arthur about Hedman and making frequent reference to possession numbers. He never actually say the “C” word, but he does list percentages and makes a reference to WOWY.

    I generally like Arthur’s take on things. One of the few national sports writers who is aware that hockey is played outside of southern Ontario and the West Coast.

    Arthur is really good.

  22. Rebilled says:

    Remember how badly the Oilers did after they traded Smyth? 2 wins in 19 games?

    It’s been a disaster ever since and Lowe is still untouchable.

    I’m glad Hall took his number.

  23. Rondo says:

    Trade Edmonton’s #3 pick plus Marincin to Florida for Barkov.

  24. OilLeak says:

    Rondo,

    So one step forward and two steps back?

  25. oliveoilers says:

    Man, for those who think that size without skill and sense doesn’t matter: No way Simmonds seals the deal after skating in front of his own net with the puck if he isn’t a man-beast with skill. A smaller player gets rail-roaded there, no matter how ‘edgy’ they are.

  26. Rondo says:

    OilLeak:
    Rondo,

    So one step forward and two steps back?

    One step back 2 steps forward

  27. "Steve Smith" says:

    godot10,

    This is faintly reminiscent of that time you were arguing that Ference was a terrible captain because he negotiated a NTC. You might want to take five, maybe take a nice spring walk in a ravine somewhere.

  28. Jasmine says:

    Andy P:
    Smyth felt he was due more than Lowe was offering and Smyth’s agent blew the negotiation, allowing it to become a pissing contest that Smyth could never win.

    Why is EIG getting a free ride? EIG wouldn’t give Lowe the money and then EIG wanted to fire Lowe if he didn’t improve the team. EIG forced Lowe into those Offer Sheets in the summer of 2007. In the first season of “Oil Change” on TSN Lowe mentioned if he had to do it over again, he would have started the rebuild after Pronger wanted out.

  29. stevezie says:

    oliveoilers,

    I don’t think your point is invalid, but Simmons works against it. The guy is 180 yet he plays a power game. Simmons is probably the best argument in the NHL against a size prejudice.

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