CAN THE OILERS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?

Jason Gregor
May 24 2011 01:56PM

The Oilers are one month away from announcing their second consecutive first overall draft pick, but after that pick will they realistically be any closer to making the playoffs for the first time in six years? Another first overall pick will likely give the Oilers another solid prospect in the system, but a playoff appearance shouldn't, and likely won't, rest on his shoulders regardless of who they take on June 24th.

Can the Oilers go from 30th to a playoff spot? Surprisingly it might not be that far-fetched.

Before we look at what the post-lockout bottom feeders have done the year after finishing 30th, I took a quick peak to see what the Ottawa Senators did in 1997 after finishing 30th in 1995 and 1996. The Sens were awful in the strike-shortened 1995 season going 9-34-5, and then they followed that up with an equally inept  record of 18-34-5 in 1996. In 1997 the Sens shocked the league, and improved a whopping 36 points, going from 41 to 77 to finish 7th in the East.

If you do a quick glance you don't see many drastic changes player-wise. Their young offensive players had another year of experience, and scored more, while management made a few small moves that paid off. The Sens traded Trent McCleary and a 3rd rounder (Eric Naud) for Shawn McEachern;  who'd scored 24 goals in Boston in 1996. McEachern had a bit of an off-year in 1997, but he was a veteran presence in the room, and then scored 30+ in two of the next four seasons. Wade Redden tallied 6-30 (goals-points) as a rookie, and they signed unrestricted free agent Ron Tugnutt. Tugnutt was the backup for most of the year, but he got hot down the stretch and led them to the post-season where he played all seven games in their first round loss to Buffalo.

Here's a quick glance at the numbers of their top-five scorers and goalies.

1996                                                                              1997
Alfredsson         26-61                                               Yashin           35-75
Yashin                 15-39 (46GP)                                 Alfredsson   24-71
Cunneyworth     17-36                                              Daigle             26-51
Duchesne           12-36                                              Duchesne      19-47
Bonk                     16-35                                             Cunneyworth 12-36  

Rhodes was 10-22-4, .906 SV%, 2.77 GAA          Rhodes 14-20-14, 0.898 SV% and 2.72 GAA
                                                                                       Tugnutt 17-15-1, 0.895 SV% and 2.80 GAA

Their top-five scorers went from 86 goals to 116, while their goalie numbers weren't that much different from year-to-year. Outside of Tugnutt and McEachern they didn't add any other veterans, just some average players like Sergei Zholtok and Andreas Dackell. The Sens only had four players over 30, and most importantly they were fairly healthy with 15 players playing at least 65 games. In 1996, the Sens had 31 players play at least 10 games, and last year the Oilers had 30.

The Sens improved by 36 points, and if the Oilers come close to that they would be in the 90-point range and in the playoff hunt.

I should note that the Quebec Nordiques, who finished 30th three years in a row from 89-91, didn't make the playoffs in 1992, but they made a staggering improvement of 52 points jumping from 52 points in 1992 to 104 in 1993. So it possible for a last place team to make a significant improvement.

POST LOCKOUT COMPARISONS

The league has changed a lot since the Sens great turnaround in 1997, so I decided to look at the 28th-30th place teams since 2006 and see what kind of strides they made the following season.

2006

  • Chicago, 28th with 65 points
  • Pittsburgh, 29th with 58 
  • St. Louis, 30th with 57


The Blues drafted Erik Johnson, he didn't play, but they improved 24 points and finished 10th in the west.

Pittsburgh took Jordan Staal, he scored 29 goals, and they improved a mind-blowing 47 points to 105, and finished 5th in the East. Of course they had Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Whitney as sophomores.

The Hawks took Jonathon Toews, he didn't play, and they improved a mere six points and finished 26th. Of course they got lucky, won the draft lottery in 2007, and took Patrick Kane and then won the Cup in 2010. 

2007

  • LA, 28th with 68 points
  • Phoenix, 29th with 67 points
  • Philly 30th, with 56 points

Hawks won the lottery, so the Flyers drafted James Van Riemsdyk second, he didn't play, but the Flyers improved 39 points and finished 6th in the East with 95 points.  The Flyers made drastic moves that off-season though, trading for and signing Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen. They also signed Daniel Briere, dealt Joni Pitkanen to Edmonton for Joffrey Lupul and gave Martin Biron the starting job ahead of Antero Niittymaki. No other celler-dwellar has been able to sign as many big-names as the Flyers did that off-seasono they aren't fair comparable.

Phoenix took Kyle Turris third, he didn't play, and the Coyotes improved to 83 points in 2008, but that was only good enough for 12th in the West. The Coyotes couldn't spend any money and they never made the playoffs until 2010.

The Kings took a flyer on Thomas Hickey at number four, he didn't play, and the Kings only improved by three points in 2008, and actually dropped to 29th in the standings. The Kings had two more top-five picks before finally making the playoffs in 2010.

2008

  • Atlanta, 28th with 76 points
  • LA, 29th with 71 points
  • Tampa Bay, 30th with 71 points

The Lightning took Steven Stamkos, he tallied 23 goals, but the Lightning actually got worse dipping down to 66 points, and they ended up getting the 2nd overall pick again in 2009. The Lightning had the 6th pick in 2010 before finally making the playoffs this season.

The Kings gladly took Drew Doughty, he tallied 27 points, but the Kings only improved eight points and ended up with another top-five pick in 2009.

The Thrashers took Zach Bogosian, he only played 47 games, yet hescored nine goals and 19 points, but the Thrashers finished with exactly the same amount of points, 76, and ended up 27th. They've yet to make the playoffs since drafting Bogosian.

2009

  • Colorado, 28th with 69 points
  • Tampa, 29th with 66 points
  • NYI, 30th, with 61 points

The Islanders took John Tavares, he had a solid 24 goal-54 point campaign, and the Islanders improved by 18 points, but still finished 26th and got another top-five pick in 2010.  

The Lightning took rearguard Victor Hedman, and he had some growing pains as an 18-year-old D-man, while the Lightning saw some progress with him and Stamkos and jumped up to 80 points, which earned them the 6th pick in 2010.

The Avs took Matt Duchene and he surprised many with a solid 24 goals and 55 points, and the Avs improved by 26 points and made the playoffs in 2010. Duchene was a key cog, as was the addition of Craig Anderson, however, the Avs came back to reality in 2011 and finished 29th. 

2010

  • Florida, 28th with 77 points
  • Toronto, 29th with 74 points
  • Edmonton 30th, with 62 points
     

The Oilers took Taylor Hall and he tallied 42 points in 69 games, but the Oilers didn't improve in the standings and finished with the same 62 points. The Oilers lost in 2010 with a much younger group and they are hoping that getting some NHL experience for so many young kids will pay off in 2011.

The Leafs had traded their pick and the Bruins happily took Tyler Seguin. Seguin didn't play a lot as a rookie, but has been excellent in playoffs. The Bruins are the exception in this experiment, because they were a playoff team before getting hte 2nd pick and now  they are one game from the Stanley Cup finals. 

The Panthers took Erik Gudbranson, but they couldn't agree on a contract so he stayed in junior. The Panthers followed in the Oilers footsteps and lost with a young team and finished in 28th again. It will be interesting to see which team progresses quicker, the Oilers or the Panthers.

SUMMARY

While the Ottawa comparison proved it was possible to make a big jump after two consecutive 30th place finishes, the success, or lack thereof, of teams post-lockout makes it seem likely the Oilers are a year away from the playoffs. If they stay healthy they might be able to mirror the surprising Avs of 2010, but realistically I could see them making a 20-point improvement that sees them stay in the playoff hunt until late March.

***I know there are many variables to consider outside of just the top-pick, but it seems to take at least two, or sometimes, three years of getting top-seven picks before a team starts to see some improvement, unless you are the free-spending Philadelphia Flyers.** 

NEWEST ADDITION TO PACKAGE

I added the next prize to the Ultimate Sports Fan Package. A signed TAYLOR HALL stick. On June 11th,  I am riding in the 190km MS Bike Tour. To win the awesome package, CLICK HERE type in Jason Gregor and donate $100 and you will get an entry. We only have 45 entries left. If you donate $200 you two entries and so on. The winner will win a prize pack that includes:

  • Edmonton Eskimos season tickets
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  • A beer fridge and beer for a year from Big Rock Brewery.
  • A man-date with Ryan Rishaug
  • You and two buddies golfing at the Ranch Golf and Country Club with BROWNLEE
  • Signed Taylor Hall stick.
  • More great prizes that will include Oiler home opener tickets, other sporting events, and other cool things. 

You can help find a cure for MS and win a great sports prize pack. Thanks for your donations to the cause.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#101 dawgbone
May 25 2011, 12:37PM
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D-Man wrote:

I suppose you're right about 3rd line minutes - but Smytty isn't a 3rd line player; not with the likes of Hall and MPS ahead of him... As much as I love Ryan Smyth, and for the sacrifices he's made for the Oil - he simply doesn't fit what we need for this rebuild... If he were a hard-nosed shutdown defensemen or a faceoff winning, PK-killing centerman - then sign me up...

The Oilers just need good players period.

Why can't the Oilers play Hall/Smyth/MPS 15-18 minutes per night each?

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#102 D-Man
May 25 2011, 01:12PM
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dawgbone wrote:

The Oilers just need good players period.

Why can't the Oilers play Hall/Smyth/MPS 15-18 minutes per night each?

Sure - they could do that... But I'd rather see Hall and MPS playing 18 - 20 minutes/game... My point is that Smyth is a good player but not at his current cap hit. He also won't fit the 3rd line role he'd need to play behind MPS and Hall... He doesn't have the wheels or the aggression we'd need...

We don't just need 'good players'... We need good players who can fit the roles that we need... And Smytty doesn't fit any of those roles..

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#103 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 01:31PM
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D-Man wrote:

I suppose you're right about 3rd line minutes - but Smytty isn't a 3rd line player; not with the likes of Hall and MPS ahead of him... As much as I love Ryan Smyth, and for the sacrifices he's made for the Oil - he simply doesn't fit what we need for this rebuild... If he were a hard-nosed shutdown defensemen or a faceoff winning, PK-killing centerman - then sign me up...

1. He's still a long way ahead of MPS.

2. Why wouldn't Smyth be a 3rd line player because Hall and MPS are ahead of him.

We certainly do need a hard nosed Dman and a PK'ing centerman.... but those aren't our only needs.

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#104 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 01:33PM
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D-Man wrote:

Sure - they could do that... But I'd rather see Hall and MPS playing 18 - 20 minutes/game... My point is that Smyth is a good player but not at his current cap hit. He also won't fit the 3rd line role he'd need to play behind MPS and Hall... He doesn't have the wheels or the aggression we'd need...

We don't just need 'good players'... We need good players who can fit the roles that we need... And Smytty doesn't fit any of those roles..

That's balogne.

A Ryan Smyth type that can get you 20+ is far more valuable then a fast, hard hitting guy that gets you 0.

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#105 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
May 25 2011, 01:44PM
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Is it possible to report some of the Canucks players as terrorists and get their names on the "No Fly list"?

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#106 D-Man
May 25 2011, 01:55PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

1. He's still a long way ahead of MPS.

2. Why wouldn't Smyth be a 3rd line player because Hall and MPS are ahead of him.

We certainly do need a hard nosed Dman and a PK'ing centerman.... but those aren't our only needs.

Yes - he's ahead of MPS, but he won't be here when we're (hopefully) Cup contending... If we're rebuilding, MPS should be the one getting the ice time (assuming he continues to work hard and earns it). MPS is by far a better skater with a better shot, he doesn't have the savvy and NHL smarts Smytty has... He'll get that over time; let's say two years.

IMO - a 3rd line player is somewhat similar to Ryan Jones or a Curtis Glencross... He can skate, isn't afraid to bang and get involved physically (chipping in 10 to 15 goals/season)... Sure, Smytty might get 10 to 20 goals on the Oil - but that won't be without 2nd PP unit time. Face it - Smytty is great along the boards but doesn't have the same sort of speed to fit this role.. He's by no means afraid of getting involved with hitting - but that's not his style of game... He would have been an asset to this team - if we decided to rebuild after the cup run... Simply put - his price tag is too high for what he still has to offer...

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#107 D-Man
May 25 2011, 02:02PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

That's balogne.

A Ryan Smyth type that can get you 20+ is far more valuable then a fast, hard hitting guy that gets you 0.

First - no guarantee that Smyth gets us 20+ on the worst team in the league. Second - our 3rd line has the likes of Cogs (assuming Gagner/Horcoff are 1 and 2), Hartikainen, Jones, maybe Anton Lander, maybe Gilbert Brule, maybe Linus Omark, maybe a Horcoff (assuming we draft RNH)... That leaves our top six forwards as follows... Gagner, Hall, Eberle, MPS, Hemsky and a RNH or Horcoff...

Where do you put Smytty?? Do you take ice time away from the kids on the top two?? Do you ask him to crash and bang with a Jones or Hartikainen? I think we can agree that he won't be a 4th line player on this team (or any other in the NHL)...

For his price - no thanks... Now, should Smytty want to come back next year after his current contract is up for $1.5 million - sure I'd sign him...

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#108 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 02:15PM
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D-Man wrote:

First - no guarantee that Smyth gets us 20+ on the worst team in the league. Second - our 3rd line has the likes of Cogs (assuming Gagner/Horcoff are 1 and 2), Hartikainen, Jones, maybe Anton Lander, maybe Gilbert Brule, maybe Linus Omark, maybe a Horcoff (assuming we draft RNH)... That leaves our top six forwards as follows... Gagner, Hall, Eberle, MPS, Hemsky and a RNH or Horcoff...

Where do you put Smytty?? Do you take ice time away from the kids on the top two?? Do you ask him to crash and bang with a Jones or Hartikainen? I think we can agree that he won't be a 4th line player on this team (or any other in the NHL)...

For his price - no thanks... Now, should Smytty want to come back next year after his current contract is up for $1.5 million - sure I'd sign him...

Ah, I so we slot in inferior players just because they are already here.

Once again, it's simply a case of a guy blinded by $$$'s

We wont need the cap space next year and it isn't you cutting the cheques so get off the $$$'s.

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#109 D-Man
May 25 2011, 02:32PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ah, I so we slot in inferior players just because they are already here.

Once again, it's simply a case of a guy blinded by $$$'s

We wont need the cap space next year and it isn't you cutting the cheques so get off the $$$'s.

You probably aren't cutting the cheques either - and last time, I checked Katz was in the business of making money, not signing players of old and overpaying them... But I digress...

If we sign Smytty - where do you put him?? Where does he fit in our line up?? I'd like you to show me where he fits on this team.. Here's my lineup (assuming we draft RNH and he makes the team).

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle

MPS - Gagner - Hemksy

Hartikainen - RNH - Jones

Brule - COGS - Fraser (with SMAC up in the press box - with Omark)

And even if you find a spot for Smyth - how much better does he truly make us this year? Instead of 25th overall (which I'm predicting), what 23rd? 24th??

We're in a rebuild - we should not be signing aging veterans past their prime.

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#110 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 02:51PM
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D-Man wrote:

You probably aren't cutting the cheques either - and last time, I checked Katz was in the business of making money, not signing players of old and overpaying them... But I digress...

If we sign Smytty - where do you put him?? Where does he fit in our line up?? I'd like you to show me where he fits on this team.. Here's my lineup (assuming we draft RNH and he makes the team).

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle

MPS - Gagner - Hemksy

Hartikainen - RNH - Jones

Brule - COGS - Fraser (with SMAC up in the press box - with Omark)

And even if you find a spot for Smyth - how much better does he truly make us this year? Instead of 25th overall (which I'm predicting), what 23rd? 24th??

We're in a rebuild - we should not be signing aging veterans past their prime.

You honestly look at the line up you just posted and can't find a home for Smyth?

In order:

Bye bye Fraser/Brule/Cogs

And then slide one of Jones or Hartikainen to the 4th line.

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#111 Quicksilver ballet
May 25 2011, 03:01PM
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Hartikanen would still benifit from another full year in the American League, if injuries force him to be up here then so be it.

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#112 D-Man
May 25 2011, 03:07PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

You honestly look at the line up you just posted and can't find a home for Smyth?

In order:

Bye bye Fraser/Brule/Cogs

And then slide one of Jones or Hartikainen to the 4th line.

Not at a $6.25 million cap hit... Besides, I would still take Cogs over Smyth as Cogs is significantly faster and engages physically... I'd also give Brule a long look too - as he also has more of a physical edge (when he's healthy - and that's a huge IF)... No argument that Smyth is a better player than Fraser, but again - can Smyth win a faceoff?? Not likely any better than Fraser can now...

I can't disagree that a 'Ryan Smyth' on the wing of a RNH wouldn't help him learn to be a professional, but there are still a lot more younger, stronger players than come less expensive and more of cache than Ryan Smyth...

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#113 Peterborough
May 25 2011, 03:15PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Ryan could probably still lead the Oilers in scoring next season, would still be good for around 45-50 pts, may not be all that bad for a 2nd/3rd line winger. If LA wants that cap space, the Oilers could give them back that 3rd rounder they received in the Penner deal. His cap hit isn't an issue at all, maybe even extend him for 2 yrs. 3 yrs of Ryan Smyth for around 10 million over the duration of that deal isn't out of the question.

The LA pick is a second not a third so no to that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_NHL_Entry_Draft

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#114 Mantastic
May 25 2011, 03:28PM
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@Peterborough

i thought it was a 3rd rounder 2012 pick that was packaged for penner, the condition for it becoming a 2nd rounder was if LA won the cup this year

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#115 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 03:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Hartikanen would still benifit from another full year in the American League, if injuries force him to be up here then so be it.

Agreed, I can't believe people are penciling him in on the 3rd line after 15 games.

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#116 Quicksilver ballet
May 25 2011, 03:31PM
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Peterborough wrote:

The LA pick is a second not a third so no to that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_NHL_Entry_Draft

Even better then. The Oilers have two 3rd rounders this year. Give then the 61st or the Flamers one, still leaves the Oilers with two first rounders along with 2 second round picks.

Smyth for a third rounder is too much you figure?

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#117 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 03:32PM
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D-Man wrote:

Not at a $6.25 million cap hit... Besides, I would still take Cogs over Smyth as Cogs is significantly faster and engages physically... I'd also give Brule a long look too - as he also has more of a physical edge (when he's healthy - and that's a huge IF)... No argument that Smyth is a better player than Fraser, but again - can Smyth win a faceoff?? Not likely any better than Fraser can now...

I can't disagree that a 'Ryan Smyth' on the wing of a RNH wouldn't help him learn to be a professional, but there are still a lot more younger, stronger players than come less expensive and more of cache than Ryan Smyth...

Maybe you can give me a logical, rational explination as to how taking on a 6.25 cap hit for one year hurts a team with 10+ million in cap space, no key players to resign and about a .001% chance of attracting a big ticket from elsewhere.

I've yet to see anyone do it, maybe you can be the first?

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#118 D-Man
May 25 2011, 04:11PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Maybe you can give me a logical, rational explination as to how taking on a 6.25 cap hit for one year hurts a team with 10+ million in cap space, no key players to resign and about a .001% chance of attracting a big ticket from elsewhere.

I've yet to see anyone do it, maybe you can be the first?

You're right - I can't... But you can't give me a logical explanation on why you'd bring in a 35 year old veteran who's well beyond his prime and expect him to significantly make any sort of difference to a team who's finished last two years in row.. Give me a logical explanation on how Smytty would signficantly help the rebuild? Don't give me the veteran leadership explanation... We already have a significant leadership core in Horcoff, Whitney and Jones... Gilbert is emerging as a leader and Hall/Eberle will probably take on more responsibilities as well...

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#119 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 25 2011, 04:29PM
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D-Man wrote:

You're right - I can't... But you can't give me a logical explanation on why you'd bring in a 35 year old veteran who's well beyond his prime and expect him to significantly make any sort of difference to a team who's finished last two years in row.. Give me a logical explanation on how Smytty would signficantly help the rebuild? Don't give me the veteran leadership explanation... We already have a significant leadership core in Horcoff, Whitney and Jones... Gilbert is emerging as a leader and Hall/Eberle will probably take on more responsibilities as well...

I've explained it logically 4-5 times throught the thread.

- Depth

- PP prescence

- Net prescence

- Would likely be a top 5 scoring player on the team

- He probably has 3-4 more decent years in him, which would be more then enough to be a decent role player into PO years

- Don't belive me that the team needs more leaders? Ask some of the local media that see's the team behind the scenes, they'll tell you the same thing

Smyth on his own doesn't make a significant difference to the team.... however thier probably isn't more then a half dozen or so guys league wide that would... that doesn't mean you don't try to improve.

Their you go, logical, rational reasons as to why he'd be a good addition.

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#120 RobD
May 25 2011, 05:01PM
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@D-Man

Smyth would do nothing but help this team. This team definitely needs some more leadership I mean we have one guy over 30 on our team besides Khabby. If we were to draft RNH or Couturier I could see Smyth being put in a mentoring role much like he was for Wolski and Statsny in Colorado. It may not make a lot of difference on the point sheet but he can show the guys what it means to be professional and to be an Oiler!

Hall-Gagner-Eberle Smyth-RNH-Hemsky MPS-Horcoff-Jones Hartikinen-Cogs-?

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#121 D-Man
May 26 2011, 10:09AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I've explained it logically 4-5 times throught the thread.

- Depth

- PP prescence

- Net prescence

- Would likely be a top 5 scoring player on the team

- He probably has 3-4 more decent years in him, which would be more then enough to be a decent role player into PO years

- Don't belive me that the team needs more leaders? Ask some of the local media that see's the team behind the scenes, they'll tell you the same thing

Smyth on his own doesn't make a significant difference to the team.... however thier probably isn't more then a half dozen or so guys league wide that would... that doesn't mean you don't try to improve.

Their you go, logical, rational reasons as to why he'd be a good addition.

I'll agree with you about net/PP presence - there's no one better than Smytty at going to the net... But that's about it - he's 35 years old... He does not have 3 to 4 years left in him... He had the luxury of playing with Anze Kopitar the last two years on the PP, his 20 goals there would equate to maybe 10 to 15 goals here... If we want our kids to improve on special teams, Smytty should only get second unit power play time... Giving an aging veteran more ice time in a rebuilding organization does not make any sense.

IMO - If I'm a GM of a rebuilding organization - I'm trying to a) make the on-ice product better by winning hockey games and b) make the owner some money in the process. You said it yourself - he wouldn't make a significant difference to this team. So then why would I want to take $6.25 million against my cap, and add a $4.5 million dollar expense to my books - and not improve this team. Wouldn't it make more sense to find a younger developing player or a younger free agent at less money??

Smytty might help our PP and add a bit more leadership in our dressing room; but so would Hall, MPS and Eberle coming into this season with each a good rookie season under their belt. We could also resign Struds at the league minimum and save $3.5 million, and get another leader to our dressing room... I'm sorry - I appreciate your viewpoint but adding a Smyth or for example, a Jagr does not make any sense at this point of our rebuild...

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#122 D-Man
May 26 2011, 10:12AM
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RobD wrote:

@D-Man

Smyth would do nothing but help this team. This team definitely needs some more leadership I mean we have one guy over 30 on our team besides Khabby. If we were to draft RNH or Couturier I could see Smyth being put in a mentoring role much like he was for Wolski and Statsny in Colorado. It may not make a lot of difference on the point sheet but he can show the guys what it means to be professional and to be an Oiler!

Hall-Gagner-Eberle Smyth-RNH-Hemsky MPS-Horcoff-Jones Hartikinen-Cogs-?

Sure Smytty could show the guys what it means to be an Oiler... But so could Horcoff, Whitney, Hemsky, Gilbert, Jones, etc. And as I recall, we have a president in our organization (whether we like him or not) who has five Stanley Cup rings to share with our youth as well...

Like I said before - I appreciate the 'bring back Smytty' viewpoint, but adding that expense and not improving the 'point sheet' or product on the ice and getting older in the process, makes no sense to me with a rebuilding organization...

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#123 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 10:16AM
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D-Man wrote:

I'll agree with you about net/PP presence - there's no one better than Smytty at going to the net... But that's about it - he's 35 years old... He does not have 3 to 4 years left in him... He had the luxury of playing with Anze Kopitar the last two years on the PP, his 20 goals there would equate to maybe 10 to 15 goals here... If we want our kids to improve on special teams, Smytty should only get second unit power play time... Giving an aging veteran more ice time in a rebuilding organization does not make any sense.

IMO - If I'm a GM of a rebuilding organization - I'm trying to a) make the on-ice product better by winning hockey games and b) make the owner some money in the process. You said it yourself - he wouldn't make a significant difference to this team. So then why would I want to take $6.25 million against my cap, and add a $4.5 million dollar expense to my books - and not improve this team. Wouldn't it make more sense to find a younger developing player or a younger free agent at less money??

Smytty might help our PP and add a bit more leadership in our dressing room; but so would Hall, MPS and Eberle coming into this season with each a good rookie season under their belt. We could also resign Struds at the league minimum and save $3.5 million, and get another leader to our dressing room... I'm sorry - I appreciate your viewpoint but adding a Smyth or for example, a Jagr does not make any sense at this point of our rebuild...

What I said was that their is likely only a handful of players who would make a significant in the standings.

That doesn't mean we don't add anyone because that person alone wouldn't make a huge difference in the standings.

Face it, all you've got is an infatuation with the $$$'s which in this case is irrelavant.

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#124 D-Man
May 26 2011, 10:26AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

What I said was that their is likely only a handful of players who would make a significant in the standings.

That doesn't mean we don't add anyone because that person alone wouldn't make a huge difference in the standings.

Face it, all you've got is an infatuation with the $$$'s which in this case is irrelavant.

Last time, I checked $$$ was extremely relevant for any and all of us... I sure Mr. Katz didn't buy this team, looking to lose money... I'm sure he doesn't want to spend $100 million of his own money (along with the $100 million he had previously invested in land) and not make any sort of return on this investment...

An effective business gets results at the lowest cost possible. The business is 'in tune' with its culture and moves as one in a unified direction. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't add bodies to improve our situation. We all know we are riddled with holes. But this organization has also indicated through its trades and buyouts over the last two years that it's going to improve by building from within and through the draft. Bringing in a 35 year old veteran who won't significantly impact the on ice product goes against everything this organization has tried to accomplish. That argument alone is only accentuated when you take Smytty's price tag into consideration.

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#125 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 10:53AM
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D-Man wrote:

Last time, I checked $$$ was extremely relevant for any and all of us... I sure Mr. Katz didn't buy this team, looking to lose money... I'm sure he doesn't want to spend $100 million of his own money (along with the $100 million he had previously invested in land) and not make any sort of return on this investment...

An effective business gets results at the lowest cost possible. The business is 'in tune' with its culture and moves as one in a unified direction. Now I'm not saying we shouldn't add bodies to improve our situation. We all know we are riddled with holes. But this organization has also indicated through its trades and buyouts over the last two years that it's going to improve by building from within and through the draft. Bringing in a 35 year old veteran who won't significantly impact the on ice product goes against everything this organization has tried to accomplish. That argument alone is only accentuated when you take Smytty's price tag into consideration.

The funniest part is that Smyth's actual salary next year is 4.5 million which is basicaly what 20 - 25 goals 45 - 50 points cost you on the UFA market.

Odds are we can't realistically attract a more productive player for less $$'s in the UFA market.

I also find this line especially humourous:

"Bringing in a 35 year old veteran who won't significantly impact the on ice product goes against everything this organization has tried to accomplish"

Gee, should we switch directions a little and try to win some games???

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#126 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 10:55AM
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Smyth alone probably doesn't make a huge difference, but Smyth along with a couple 3/4 dman and a FO winning bottom 6 center probably does make a HUGE difference.

And no, any of those other guys alone probably doesn't make a huge difference either.

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#127 D-Man
May 26 2011, 11:19AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

The funniest part is that Smyth's actual salary next year is 4.5 million which is basicaly what 20 - 25 goals 45 - 50 points cost you on the UFA market.

Odds are we can't realistically attract a more productive player for less $$'s in the UFA market.

I also find this line especially humourous:

"Bringing in a 35 year old veteran who won't significantly impact the on ice product goes against everything this organization has tried to accomplish"

Gee, should we switch directions a little and try to win some games???

Good catch on my line - too funny when I re-read that... The point is we will change direction via youth improvement. I truly believe that if Tambo does nothing for FA's or trades that we'll improve this year winning another 5 games to last years 25... The improvement we'll see in the kids alone will add those wins...

But back to Smyth's $4.5 million - you're right about what his salary is worth - that's about a 50 point player... You forget that those last two years he had the luxury of getting his 40 to 50 points with Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, Johnson, Justin Williams.. Asides from Whitney and maybe Hemsky - we don't have that talent pool yet. Perhaps we'll be close after another season of Hall/Eberle/MPS - but do you truly believe Smyth will have the same talent to play with to generate that level of offense? If I were to guess, he'd be lucky to get 25 to 30 points on our current team.

Call me pessimistic but I don't see a 40 to 50 point player - hence Smytty becomes another old, overpaid veteran that goes against this rebuilding project.

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#128 D-Man
May 26 2011, 11:24AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Smyth alone probably doesn't make a huge difference, but Smyth along with a couple 3/4 dman and a FO winning bottom 6 center probably does make a HUGE difference.

And no, any of those other guys alone probably doesn't make a huge difference either.

Of course - but you'd see a huge difference without Smyth too... If we add two 3/4 defensemen (shedding mostly likely Foster and Strudwick) and a faceoff winning bottom six center (shedding Fraser) - we're probably close to competing for a playoff spot...

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#129 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 11:42AM
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D-Man wrote:

Good catch on my line - too funny when I re-read that... The point is we will change direction via youth improvement. I truly believe that if Tambo does nothing for FA's or trades that we'll improve this year winning another 5 games to last years 25... The improvement we'll see in the kids alone will add those wins...

But back to Smyth's $4.5 million - you're right about what his salary is worth - that's about a 50 point player... You forget that those last two years he had the luxury of getting his 40 to 50 points with Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, Johnson, Justin Williams.. Asides from Whitney and maybe Hemsky - we don't have that talent pool yet. Perhaps we'll be close after another season of Hall/Eberle/MPS - but do you truly believe Smyth will have the same talent to play with to generate that level of offense? If I were to guess, he'd be lucky to get 25 to 30 points on our current team.

Call me pessimistic but I don't see a 40 to 50 point player - hence Smytty becomes another old, overpaid veteran that goes against this rebuilding project.

You've got to prove to me that the quality of his linemates really affected his production.

I've got lots of proof that would state quality of linemates (within reason) has little to no affect on a players numbers.

Oh and just so you know he spent way more time with Stoll and Williams, decent but not spectacular offenisve players

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#130 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 26 2011, 11:43AM
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D-Man wrote:

Of course - but you'd see a huge difference without Smyth too... If we add two 3/4 defensemen (shedding mostly likely Foster and Strudwick) and a faceoff winning bottom six center (shedding Fraser) - we're probably close to competing for a playoff spot...

You missed the point.

Non of those players *on their own* would make a huge difference.... just like Smyth wouldn't.

It's the collection of players that would make the teams better.

If we added Smyth, just one 3/4 dman and a FO bottom 6 center we're probably close to a PO spot as well.

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