Oilers Sign RFA's Smid, Brule and Stone

Jonathan Willis
August 12 2009 11:15AM

The Edmonton Oilers have announced the signing of restricted free agents Ladislav Smid, Gilbert Brule, and Ryan Stone.

The key player here is obviously Ladislav Smid.  He's spent his entire NHL career in Edmonton, and their have been rumours that he has requested a trade in the past, but he sounded fairly happy today:

“This is great news for me.  I really enjoy playing for the Oilers. I feel my game is improving every year and I can’t wait to get started again this fall.”

It's a two-year contract, and dollar figures are presently unavailable.  Yesterday, Jim Matheson suggested that Smid and Brule combined would be around 2.5 million, so I'd guess Smid's deal is in the 1.5-1.6 MM range.  If so, it isn't exactly a bargain, but it isn't a bad bet either for a maturing physical defenseman.

Gilbert Brule also signed, and the surprise is that it's a two-way deal (evidently the Oilers are convinced he can be sent down without clearing waivers).  It's only for a single year, and should give Brule a chance to prove if he belongs in the lineup or not.  I'd guess he'll earn between 800K and 1MM (based on Matheson's article yesterday) and I hope it's toward the lower end of that range.

Lastly, Ryan Stone has signed.  Stone came over from Pittsburgh in the Matheiu Garon trade last year, and spent all of his time after the trade with Springfield.  He's a darkhorse candidate for a roster spot, but the smart money says he's a top-six AHL forward this coming season.  He's got size, a willingness to use it,  and some scoring ability.  Today's signings leave Rob Schremp as the last of the Oilers' restricted free agents.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Travis Dakin
August 13 2009, 12:05PM
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rindog wrote:

We didn’t! We underacheived, and I put most of the blame on the coaching/leadership.

You can't coach heart.

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#152 rindog
August 13 2009, 02:34PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

You can’t coach heart.

But you can get a group of professionals to buy into a system and execute that system to the best of their abilities.

Would you say either of those thing were done last year?

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#153 Travis Dakin
August 13 2009, 05:56PM
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@ rindog: I would say that no matter what system is in place, if you don't want it bad enough then you wont get it. Mac T showed he could coach before. Yes he made some weird decisions last year but Lowe assembled a bunch of soft fancy players as a team and they just weren't capable of doing the dirty work.

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#154 Things to look forward to Part I - OilersNation.com
August 14 2009, 01:46PM
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[...] that the Oilers have signed Brule to an additional one year deal, we can’t help but think that if there was ever a time for [...]

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#155 rindog
August 14 2009, 03:20PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

@ rindog: I would say that no matter what system is in place, if you don’t want it bad enough then you wont get it. Mac T showed he could coach before. Yes he made some weird decisions last year but Lowe assembled a bunch of soft fancy players as a team and they just weren’t capable of doing the dirty work.

When exactly did MacT show that he could coach?

I am not one of those fickle fans that isn't willing to give a guy credit if he deserves it - but if you are referring to the cup run, there is not much credit to give MacT.

The proof was in the pudding - when up against a roster (Carolina) that was well balanced (not just one offensive line); Pronger couldn't be out on the ice enough to neutralize all of the offensive threats.

I give almost all of the credit to any success during the cup run to CP!!!

CP's outstanding defensive leadership allowed for timely scoring from some unexpected guys on our team.

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