Sitting in the stands at practice

Jason Gregor
November 20 2008 10:57AM

Here is something you don't see every day....I am sitting here at Oilers practice and who is lining up with Brodziak and Pouliot in preparation for tonight's game?

None other than Ladislav Smid.

This should be interesting.

Clearly MacTavish doesn't want Stortini or Boulerice in against Detroit and is pulling a combination out of the air that few people can honestly say they saw coming.

More to come

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Rindog
November 20 2008, 11:03AM
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Just another prime example of MacTavish screwing up the team!!!

What is wrong with playing people ate their natural position?

If you want to give your team the best chance to succeed - shouldn't you put players in the position that will give them the best chance of doing that?

If Stortini or Boulerice aren't good enough to play (which they aren't) then why are they up with the big club?

Put them on waivers and bring up a guy that can play (at his natural position).

We traded one of our best role players (all be it inconsistant) in Torres - why aren't we playing the guy we got for him?

Brule had arguably the best training camp of any forward.

Yeah, MacT sure knows what he is doing??????

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#2 Wanye Gretz
November 20 2008, 11:07AM
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What's next?? JDD making trades?

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#3 Ender
November 20 2008, 11:16AM
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Actually, MacT mentioned putting Smid at forward in tough defensive games a week or so ago. This isn't as surprising as it's being made to be.

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#4 Rick
November 20 2008, 11:25AM
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It's surprising in the sense that Strudwick actually has experience on the wing so wouldn't it make more sense to play him at forward and then slide Smid into Strudwicks spot on the blueline?

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#5 baggedmilk
November 20 2008, 11:27AM
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Awesome! This should work out nicely. Another fine move MacT.

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#6 Braden
November 20 2008, 11:28AM
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While I would love to use this as an excuse to harp on MacT I really don't mind the move. Smid can skate and he can bang, I think he'll do a good job.

Developmental wise I think the damage was already been done by rushing him to the NHL. I don't think playing him on wing is really going to do a whole lot of harm.

While it would be nice to get player you can build your team around at #9 a better version of Christoph Schubert wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

I got a feeling the Smidder is going to look awesome on wing.

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#7 Hockey Gods
November 20 2008, 11:29AM
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Wheather it was mentioned a few days ago or not, it is a surprise it may actually happen. This would be an extremely stupid move if it happens when the puck drops, yet another example of MacT clinging to job that may not be his.

But this is also a product of the 3 goalie system, if we aren't carrying an extra goalie we have room on the roster for another forward (I'll leave it to everyone else to fanticize who it is... I will continue to fantisize about Jessica Alba in the shower)but this unnammed player could then be inserted into the gamedau roster to take the knuckle draggers we are currently carrying.

This also may be a plea from MacT for managment to solve the 3 goalie issue, but if it gets worse he may throw Hemmer on D... I think I have seen him skate backwards. This team is run as effectively as my beer league team, and that ain't good.

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#8 Ssseth
November 20 2008, 11:29AM
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Ender, I recall reading about Smid on the wing last week as well. Should be interesting... I wonder how Smid feels about it (not the lip service he's going to get, but how he really feels).

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#9 jeanshorts
November 20 2008, 11:37AM
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So, we still don't want to fire MacT right?

As dumb as this sounds, who knows. Look at Colin White in Toronto. He played D his entire life, and how he's thriving up on the wing. I've never really thought of Smid as a guy with great hands, but I'll guess we'll find out. And besides, he's only been rolling the fourth line for about 6 minutes a night, so I'd be surprised if Smid saw much ice.

Either way, something has to give. We need to lose a goalie, and if things keep going the way they are, a coach. Make it happen Tambo!

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#10 slipper
November 20 2008, 11:40AM
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Ian White.

Colin White still plays defense on the Devils.

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#11 baggedmilk
November 20 2008, 11:44AM
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Betty White still revs my engine.

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#12 jeanshorts
November 20 2008, 11:53AM
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Right. IAN White. The Wendel Clark mustache threw my train of thought off.

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#13 Joey Moss
November 20 2008, 11:55AM
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what would be great is if smid lights it up and scores a goal and lays a few nasty hits at forward. but that is just wishful thinking. what is really scary is that the coaching staff on this team has started to implement these sorts of decisions in reality :|

i hope this works out but you can bet he will be back on D by the second period and another forward will be rotating through that spot.

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#14 BUCK75
November 20 2008, 11:58AM
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Wow - A bit of a surprise I guess. There must be some waiver issue to call up Brule, Schemp or someone else. I think this is only a temporary fix before a trade gets worked out.

Roli probably starting another game tonight & I am starting to get on the trade Garon train. Might as well see if Roli & JDD can carry the mail, get a newer shinier goalie than Garon in the summer.

Maybe someone can find out the UFA goaltenders at the end of this year. Luongo is one of them.

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#15 Canucklehead
November 20 2008, 12:03PM
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This is re-goddamned-diculous. If MacT is hell bent on having a d-man play forward, he should be using Strudwick, who played some forward last year.

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#16 BUCK75
November 20 2008, 12:05PM
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UFA Goalies:

Notable are Bakstrom from Minnesota, Luoungo isn't I guess.

http://www.nhlnumbers.com/freeagents.php?team=none&pos=G&summer=2009&status=none

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#17 Ender
November 20 2008, 12:29PM
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Seriously? It's crazy to put Smid at wing, and we should put Strudwick there instead? Smid, who's shown a willingness to hit, and get vicious and skates considerably faster than Strudwick?

Oh, but Strudwick has experience. What am I thinking? For armchair coaches, you people are making a lot of decisions based on numbers on paper rather than looking at which players are most suited to playing a certain role now, not a year ago.

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#18 bcj
November 20 2008, 12:53PM
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Little known fact: Wayne Gretzky played goal until he turned pro.

In the QMJHL he actually set a record for most goals in a season by a rookie goaltender with 367.

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#19 Wanye Gretz
November 20 2008, 01:30PM
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"In the QMJHL he actually set a record for most goals in a season by a rookie goaltender with 367."

Oh that's rich

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#20 Rick
November 20 2008, 02:05PM
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Ender says - For armchair coaches, you people are making a lot of decisions based on numbers on paper rather than looking at which players are most suited to playing a certain role now, not a year ago.

...

Numbers on paper have nothing to do with it.

When you see that a veteran player like Cole can struggle so badly when only moving from the right side to the left side, what possible reason would there be to expect a young and relatively inexperienced player like Smid to thrive in an entirely new position?

Strudwick already has experience in that role and sometimes experience does count. Even at the expense of foot speed.

Personally I hope the kid does well but it just seems odd that MacT would experiment like this when he has an option that would qualify as less of a gamble.

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#21 swany
November 20 2008, 02:07PM
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I think the reason he put Smid up there and not Struds is because Smid can skate alot better and keep up with MAP and Brods, I think this will turn out fine, I see alot of what Glenx brought to the team in Smid.

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#22 Fiveandagame
November 20 2008, 02:17PM
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And Don't forget about Dustin BUFUGYEMAN in chigago. They moved him up to forward from D last year and he put up some serious numbers.

Smid is BIG quick and likes the rough stuff. When we got him people were praising his offensive game which other than a few flashes of brilliance on odd man rushes we haven't seen.

I personally like this move. He is tough hard nosed, does good work along the boards and has an under used offensive skill set.

It's worth a shot. He is a talented player and if there is no room for him on the blueline, find him a spot.

Smid needs to play or be traded, he's to valuable to be in the pressbox.

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#23 Fiveandagame
November 20 2008, 02:19PM
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BTW my Spelling of Dustin B's in chicago is hard evidence for an edit button on this site....

Another good reason is the fact that during games I know there is massive amounts of alcohol being consumed and editing comments would be helpful if the Oilers happen to be losing:)

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#24 milli
November 20 2008, 02:25PM
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i hope he pots a hatrick. Some dude just dropped me off a copy off the Edmonton Examiner BBq booklet circa 1982!!!! Semenko on the cover!!!! It's priceless!!!!! I hadn't even heard of the edmonton examiner.

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#25 Rick
November 20 2008, 02:27PM
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Fiveandagame Says: November 20th, 2008 at 2:17 pm And Don’t forget about Dustin BUFUGYEMAN in chigago. They moved him up to forward from D last year and he put up some serious numbers.

Smid is BIG quick and likes the rough stuff. When we got him people were praising his offensive game which other than a few flashes of brilliance on odd man rushes we haven’t seen. ...

As far as the Byfulien comparison it should be noted that he got half of his points on the PP as the big guy in front of the net. There is no role for Smid there no matter how much he shows.

As far as Smid liking the rough stuff, IF this is what he expected to do tonight then doesn't the reason become even more perplexing considering he has just come off the IR for a concussion?

And just to be clear I am not questioning the move because I don't want Smid to play nor do I dispute what you are saying he brings to the game, I just really can't wrap my head around why he would play forward when Strudwick seems like the more obvious choice.

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#26 B.C.B.
November 20 2008, 02:44PM
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I like playing Smid at forward over Strudwick:

1) Strudwick will most not likely be on the team next year, when Peckham is breathing down his neck 2) it is interesting to find out if Smid can play forward at all 3) Better to test Smid- at forward- verses a good team as opposed LA 4) the Oilers couldn't get the puck out of their own end during the last game in Detroit (an I have very clear memories because the Det fans pointed it out all night long at the Joe).

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#27 Fiveandagame
November 20 2008, 02:57PM
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RICK -

I can't argue with you buddy. MacT isn't known for making obvious choices is he?

I guess if he really likes his D-pairings (they have seemed consistent apart from the power play) then he might want to keep them intact. So that leaves SMID in the pressbox. He is a good NHL player, and I don't think he can really hurt us playing 6-8 mins on the fourth line. Detroit is a good team to do this against as they have no tough guy swinging hammers.

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#28 MikeP
November 20 2008, 04:36PM
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"Wow - A bit of a surprise I guess. There must be some waiver issue to call up Brule, Schemp or someone else. I think this is only a temporary fix before a trade gets worked out."

Yes, there's a definite waiver issue. In that somebody has to go on them to make room to call up Brule or Schremp or anybody else, since the Oilers are at the 23 man roster currently. Or MacT could send down Reddox, but you still have the same problem.

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#29 Al Hamilton
November 20 2008, 04:51PM
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Just throwing this out there.....Detroit has a good powerplay. When Souray or Staios takes a penalty our PK suffers greatly. Perhaps MacT is more comfortable with Smid on the PK than some other D.

Or my better thought is that Strudwick is suppose to fight someone everytime he is on the ice to try and throw Detroit off their game. Then Smid will slide into that position.

Or MacT has just deicided to dress the 18 best skaters he has at his current disposal against the a team that handed his team its sphinxter on a platter.

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