Bizarre Quote of The Day

Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009 06:42PM

Kevin Prendergast, on forward prospect Ryan O'Marra:

"He showed the type of player he was when we traded for him."

Actually, that's not entirely accurate.  A more accurate version of that quote would be as follows:

"We showed what kind of management team we were when we traded Ryan Smyth for Nilsson, O'Marra and a draft pick.  Ryan O'Marra showed what kind of player he is by scoring 3 goals in 93 AHL games after we acquired him."

In fairness to O'Marra, he did by most accounts have a fine training camp.  That said, it'll take more than a few weeks of practice and some exhibition games to erase two years of disappointing results.  On top of that, with Robert Nilsson barely hanging on to an NHL career and the revolving door on the top line's LW, I would have thought the last thing Oilers management would want to do is bring back the memory of the Ryan Smyth trade.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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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#1 DonovanMD
September 22 2009, 06:50PM
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It's called spin. The trade sure looked nice when Nilsson was all shiney, new and full of hope.

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#2 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 06:59PM
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If O'Marra can redefine himself as a shutdown 3/4 C (he's already a good faceoff guy) and Plante can mature & develop into a physical shutdown D-man, that trade could turn out afterall. Who woulda thunk that Nilsson could turn out to be the crappy throw-in.

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#3 Smokin' Ray
September 22 2009, 07:11PM
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I miss Smyth. :(

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#4 Souby
September 22 2009, 07:16PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

I miss Smyth.

I miss Smyth's mullet!

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#5 Zaitch
September 22 2009, 07:19PM
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but wow that is a sick hit

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#6 viss.99
September 22 2009, 07:19PM
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@ Souby: And Smyth's toothless smile.

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#7 Souby
September 22 2009, 07:23PM
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viss.99 wrote:

@ Souby: And Smyth’s toothless smile.

How could I forget?

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#8 Soooray
September 22 2009, 07:38PM
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I miss Smytty's great interviews. "And uh.. obviously, we just gotta giv'r." He has heart, that's for sure.

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#9 Gunner
September 22 2009, 07:41PM
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Willis, where did you find these quotes? I'd like to read them in their entirity because those to exerpts don't make much sense to me. He likes him or he hates him?

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#10 ebi
September 22 2009, 07:46PM
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That's ok. Lowe definitely should have extended Smyth loooong ago, but he didn't. But had he not traded him to NYI before the deadline, then 1 of 2 things would have happened: (1) Colorado would have signed him. He would have left for nothing. (2) We'd get in a bidding war with Colorado and we might have a $6.25M cap hit Smyth on our roster now.

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#11 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 07:59PM
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“We showed what kind of management team we were when we traded Ryan Smyth for Nilsson, O’Marra and a draft pick. Ryan O’Marra showed what kind of player he is by scoring 3 goals in 93 AHL games after we acquired him.”

Common now Willis, the trade was for a rental player and needs to be judged accordingly. The Oilers recieved a very fair return in comparison to other rental trades.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009, 08:31PM
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@ Gunner:

It's linked in the article now; sorry I messed up my HTML so it didn't show up initially.

Prendergast likes him.

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#13 Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009, 08:32PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Although it could be argued that Smyth need not have been a rental player.

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#14 Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009, 08:33PM
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Mostly, I just don't get the praise for O'Marra. I understand telling him he's done a good job in camp, but comparing him to Smyth by implication is beyond me after 3 AHL goals in two seasons.

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#15 MovingForward
September 22 2009, 08:36PM
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JW Where is this quote from?

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#16 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 08:50PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Although it could be argued that Smyth need not have been a rental player.

That is a different discussion, and from their leads to a dozen other variables.

1. Penner certainly wouldn't have been signed... first glance that seems like a no brainer, but would Smyth's 40 goals over the last 2 games really have won us more games then Penner's?

2. Souray might not have been re-signed, he was given the same contract Smyth was offerd, I don't think that was coincidence.

3. Horc might have left via free agency (especially if Souray was signed) I would take 30 year old Horc over 32 year old Smyth at this point

4. We wouldn't have Gagner

5. We wouldn't have Plante...and even though he was questionable at first, he supposedly had a good camp... I can see him as a Matt Greene in a couple of years

6. Though I'm not betting on it, Nilsson obvoiusly has the skill set to be a solid 45+ point second line playmaker.

The trade itself was fair value.

The decision to trade him, at worst is still a (big) question mark... I for one see it working out in our favor.

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#17 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 08:51PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Mostly, I just don’t get the praise for O’Marra. I understand telling him he’s done a good job in camp, but comparing him to Smyth by implication is beyond me after 3 AHL goals in two seasons.

I don't really see where they compare him to Smyth? They simply state that he showed why they originally had interest in him.

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#18 Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009, 08:54PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

Fine, use logic to derail my assertions. Prendergast is guilty of no worse crime than selling sunshine on every Oilers' prospect in the system.

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#19 Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009, 08:55PM
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@ MovingForward:

Matheson article, linked above.

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#20 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 09:04PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Fine, use logic to derail my assertions. Prendergast is guilty of no worse crime than selling sunshine on every Oilers’ prospect in the system.

Ha-ha, hey I agree with you 96% of the time.... gotta keep you honest every once in a while though :)

(food for thought: People are saying TO overpaid by giving 2 x 1st + 2nd for 5 years of Kessel... we got 1st++ for 20 games of Smyth...)

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#21 Zamboni Driver
September 22 2009, 09:13PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

3. Horc might have left via free agency (especially if Souray was signed) I would take 30 year old Horc over 32 year old Smyth at this point

Hmmmm...what would be the 7 million dollar upside to that.

*trying to think*

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#22 Gunner
September 22 2009, 09:17PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Hmmmm…what would be the 5.5 million dollar upside to that.

Fixed before Ogden Brother sees it.

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#23 Chris
September 22 2009, 09:17PM
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@ Ogden Brother:

I'd like to add to your six points. 7) Three years out of the playoffs. 8) Difficulty adding many desirable UFA's thanks to a twenty game losing streak. 9) A multi year carousel at first line LW 10) Trouble with team culture. 11) Years later, Smyth is still tradeable but Nilsson, and O'Marra both suck.

You point out a chain of events/players to arrive since Smyth's departure; but neglect the obvious fact that other players would have still been drafted, other players would still have been signed, and even Smyth at a huge cap hit still has more cache around the league than Nilsson and O'Marra and Plante combined.

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#24 Jay
September 22 2009, 09:41PM
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I for one would not want the Ryan Smyth of today eating up 6.25mil of our cap at his current ability. I think for once we unloaded a guy at the right time: in the decline of his career! instead of the incline, or during his prime. As nice as it is to keep guys who've made a valuable contribution to your team in the past, once they have nothing valuable left to contribute on the ice, it's time to move on (see: Pisani, Fernando). Hanging onto guys with big contracts who can't live up to them anymore beacuse they are in the twilight of their careers just hurts your team, and is a big reason for our failures the last few years. Smytty,as much as I love him, would've been another one of those guys

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#25 Archaeologuy
September 22 2009, 09:47PM
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@ Chris:

i tend to agree with you on this topic. I miss Smyth's heart. The team just didnt have it last year outside of Souray. I want to say that the team would be better off today if he hadnt have been traded, but there are a lot of variables at play. All I can say for sure is that the Oil havent replaced Smyth, Doug Weight, Marty Reasoner, or Jason Smith. No bigtime #1 centre, no solid LW option, no quality 4th line PK centre, no solid stay at home defenseman with a physical edge. If I start complaining about Smyth, I have to start looking back to those guys too.

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#26 Zamboni Driver
September 22 2009, 09:50PM
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Gunner wrote:

Zamboni Driver wrote: Hmmmm…what would be the 5.5 million dollar upside to that. Fixed before Ogden Brother sees it.

*laugh*

Thanks for looking out for me. Leave him to his delusions.

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#27 Deep Oil
September 22 2009, 10:11PM
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Hmmm.... didn't a fan get ejected on that evening when Lowe traded Smytty for posting a sign against the glass stating TRADE LOWE. Great that this high school graduate is now president of hockey ops, a promotion by extraction. This is easily recountable as the Global troubleshooter and the Edmonton Journal cornered the Oilers on this flub, and I believe the fan was given an apology etc..... as the sign was taken down and he was ejected for his free speech.

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#28 Deep Oil
September 22 2009, 10:22PM
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Chris wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I’d like to add to your six points. 7) Three years out of the playoffs. Difficulty adding many desirable UFA’s thanks to a twenty game losing streak. 9) A multi year carousel at first line LW 10) Trouble with team culture. 11) Years later, Smyth is still tradeable but Nilsson, and O’Marra both suck. You point out a chain of events/players to arrive since Smyth’s departure; but neglect the obvious fact that other players would have still been drafted, other players would still have been signed, and even Smyth at a huge cap hit still has more cache around the league than Nilsson and O’Marra and Plante combined.

i would also like to add to these six points...

Penner would not be here +++++++ Souray signed for mercenary money 1.omm more per year than market (montreal) Scuttlebutt around Villeneuve was he wanted out of here due to many lifestyle and coaching issues. Smyth has more heart than Horcoff Gagner not an oiler --------- Plante not an oiler - jury out Nillson - head case - resigned by lowe

With the addition of the new coaching staff replacing the professor, younger and more adaptable goalie, combined with Comrie who has something to prove.... this team may sqeak into the playoffs, despite the errors of previous management.

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#29 Mike
September 22 2009, 10:41PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

1. Penner certainly wouldn’t have been signed… first glance that seems like a no brainer, but would Smyth’s 40 goals over the last 2 games really have won us more games then Penner’s?

Well, we would have won the last two games for sure!

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#30 MattL
September 22 2009, 10:50PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

With the addition of the new coaching staff replacing the professor, younger and more adaptable goalie, combined with Comrie who has something to prove…. this team may sqeak into the playoffs, despite the errors of previous management.

I'm with Ogden on this one. First of all, it's hard to judge this trade for another couple of years until Nilsson proves or disproves his worth under a new staff, and until Plante matures enough to judge his worth too. Smyth was way too much of a gamble at the money he signed for. I'm glad the Oilers didn't roll the dice on him, no matter how much I miss the mou-let.

Deep Oil wrote:

Smyth has more heart than Horcoff

I have to borrow that heart-ometer from you some time. I have no question about Horc's "heart", I can't recall ever seeing him take a night off.

Deep Oil wrote:

Penner would not be here +++++++

Penner is cheaper and has produced better. Yes, his attitude stinks, so I call it a wash.

Deep Oil wrote:

Souray signed for mercenary money 1.omm more per year than market (montreal)

Actually, the "market" for Souray was EXACTLY what he's earning right now. It's called the "free agent market" and whatever he was offered is what he was "worth." That's how markets work. Semantics aside though, Souray has been worth every penny, a physical force, and PP assassin.

For the length and value of Smyth's contract: Penner + Nilsson > Smytty, IMHO.

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#31 Chris
September 22 2009, 10:51PM
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Jay wrote:

I for one would not want the Ryan Smyth of today eating up 6.25mil of our cap at his current ability. I think for once we unloaded a guy at the right time:

The right time? How about three years too early? Did you miss the part where Smyth would have led this team in scoring last season? Why are guys in "decline" who scores 60 points so much less desirable to you than guys with "potential" (like Nilsson) who score less than 40 points while making piles of costly rookie mistakes?

Lowe could have payed Smyth the 5.75/ season he wanted, made the playoffs last season, and then traded Smyth this summer to LA for Quincey, Preissing, and a pick! Whether or not this summer would have been the "right time" to deal Smyth would be subject to debate... What isn't debatable is the notion that Lowe "unloaded" Smyth at the "right time". Dropping Smyth was a mistake... Specially when you look at what the guys who came back have done, or rather, haven't done for the organization.

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#32 Joey Moss
September 22 2009, 10:55PM
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i like your version of the quote.

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#33 David S
September 22 2009, 11:00PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

With the addition of the new coaching staff replacing the professor, younger and more adaptable goalie, combined with Comrie who has something to prove…. this team may sqeak into the playoffs, despite the errors of previous management.

~Whew! Now I feel alot better about this upcoming season.~

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#34 MattL
September 22 2009, 11:01PM
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Chris wrote:

Lowe could have payed Smyth the 5.75/ season he wanted, made the playoffs last season, and then traded Smyth this summer to LA for Quincey, Preissing, and a pick!

That's a pretty huge what-if. The gamble with Smyth is that for the last years of his contract, there is a big potential for injury and statistical decline. What if they'd signed him but COULDN'T trade him? Could this city really make 94 the new whipping boy? Rednecks would all shave their mullets... People would stop saying giv'er....

Actually, that doesn't sound too bad.

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#35 Chris
September 22 2009, 11:01PM
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MattL wrote:

I’m with Ogden on this one. First of all, it’s hard to judge this trade for another couple of years until Nilsson proves or disproves his worth under a new staff, and until Plante matures enough to judge his worth too.

By your logic, if Tambellini traded Hemsky to the Islanders for their 2011 first round pick, nobody would be free to pass judgment on the deal till 2015:

Yet it wouldn't be hard to see the void left behind. Smyth left a similar void; one that three years later has still not been filled. Based on this alone.... I pass judgment.

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#36 Harlie
September 22 2009, 11:03PM
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Kevin "Ted Turner" Prendergast?

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#37 Chris
September 22 2009, 11:04PM
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MattL wrote:

That’s a pretty huge what-if. The gamble with Smyth is that for the last years of his contract, there is a big potential for injury and statistical decline.

No bigger than all the what-if's that come with playing prospects and teenagers. Nilsson defines what-if at two million a season!

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#38 TonyT
September 22 2009, 11:06PM
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I wonder how many more cups we would have won if we hadn't traded W Gretzky? I can't believe people are still crying over Ryan Smyth, sure it can be argued that he was the face of the franchise but I think we can all agree it was a pretty mediocre period in time for the franchise. What I'm trying to say is: Smyth is gone, move on!

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#39 MattL
September 22 2009, 11:08PM
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@ Chris:

Fair enough, it is a tough argument, but I don't think it's fair to call something a "bad" trade under the same circumstances. Saying it was a bad idea to trade someone IS a different argument. Although I'll still take Penner and Nilsson instead of Smytty's contract.

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#40 David S
September 22 2009, 11:10PM
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TonyT wrote:

I wonder how many more cups we would have won if we hadn’t traded W Gretzky?

I think it should be clear he was sold, not traded.

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#41 Chris
September 22 2009, 11:13PM
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TonyT wrote:

What I’m trying to say is: Smyth is gone, move on!

Sure, I've moved on... But I won't accept the argument that Lowe got a good return for Smyth, or that he unloaded Smyth at the "right time". Lowe and Smyth played a stupid game of chicken and it was the fans who got hurt. I paid thousands to sit through that twenty game losing streak... and thousands since to watch what has been an even more mediocre team ever since.

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#42 RV Cover Class A
September 22 2009, 11:14PM
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Your site is very full of good information. Everyone can learn so many things by reading here.

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#43 MattL
September 22 2009, 11:15PM
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Chris wrote:

No bigger than all the what-if’s that come with playing prospects and teenagers. Nilsson defines what-if at two million a season!

I think it's just as big a what-if. If Smytty goes down to injury, you're forced to go with even WORSE prospects and teenagers.

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#44 Fiveandagame
September 22 2009, 11:16PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

this team may sqeak into the playoffs, despite the errors of previous management.

OMG Deep Oil...did you say something *gasp* positive?

*hides under the bed sheets as he's sure the world is coming to an end*

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#45 Chris
September 22 2009, 11:16PM
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@ MattL: It's easy to argue that two or three guys at a 6 million cap hit are more valuable than one...

That way, you can have twenty middling forwards competing for fourteen jobs EVERY camp!

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#46 Chris
September 22 2009, 11:17PM
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MattL wrote:

I think it’s just as big a what-if. If Smytty goes down to injury, you’re forced to go with even WORSE prospects and teenagers

Worse than Nilsson?

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#47 MattL
September 22 2009, 11:17PM
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Chris wrote:

Yet it wouldn’t be hard to see the void left behind. Smyth left a similar void; one that three years later has still not been filled. Based on this alone…. I pass judgment.

I think we both have problems with this, yours is that Smytty was traded, my problem is that they did a bad job replacing him, but I still liked the choice, even if it hasn't worked out that well.

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#48 MattL
September 22 2009, 11:20PM
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Chris wrote:

It’s easy to argue that two or three guys at a 6 million cap hit are more valuable than one…

Not necessarily. For instance, Pisani, Staios and Pouliot are NOT more valuable than Smytty.

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#49 Fiveandagame
September 22 2009, 11:20PM
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Omarra was great in the world jr's.... It amazes me how some players that excel at that level don't end up as regulars in the NHL.

Steven Rice anybody? (he was captain of the WJC team the year Lindross was on the team.)

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#50 Fiveandagame
September 22 2009, 11:23PM
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How many guys that Gagner played with at the WJr's as a 17 year old are in the NHL?

It seems crazy as a kid who didn't excel at that level of the World Jr's to then make an NHL team 7 months later while some of the more successful players are still waiting for their chance...

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