SOME SERIOUS BS WITH SMYTH

Wanye
March 12 2012 01:05PM

 

Every now and again your ol' pal Wanye will stumble on information while standing in line at the bottle depot. It doesn't happen often and we don't make stuff up the rest of the time like other fake named internet bloggers.* So you can trust us when we say that the Oil are jerking around Ryan Smyth and that it is another example of how the organization is effing up in so many ways.

We recently had a conversation with someone connected to the Smyth camp. And when we say had a conversation it was the farthest thing from pretending to be some puffed up Media wannabe. No we came across as a tearful Oiler fan happy to be talking to someone who knows the scoop with Smytty.

This is the second time we have had a chat with this cat. The last time ol' #94 was still an LA King. At the time we drunkenly pleaded “Smytty needs to come home. He is probably peeling from the Sun down in LA and we miss him so much” before dissolving into tears and needing to be led away.

As we were being dragged from the conversation, this person lifted our spirits to the moon when they called out “that isn’t the craziest thing you’ve ever said. He does want to return to Edmonton, not because he doesn’t like LA but because he wants to come home for the rest of his career.”

ONE YEAR LATER

Almost a year to the day we ran into them again and gushed about how happy we were that ol’ Smytty was back where he belonged in Oil City. “An then he scored all them goals and he looked so happy and then the NUUUUUUUGE was happy and Eberle already has 30 goals an then Taylor Head got his coconut stomped on an we were all so sad an then -” began our “interview.”

“You know,” the person replied good humouredly, “it’s great how happy you are to have Ryan back in the fold. He is thrilled too and honestly can’t believe the reception Oilers fans have given him. It is killing him how contract talks are going and that he doesn’t have an offer yet from the Oilers.”

INSERT OUR STUNNED SILENCE HERE

Doesn’t have an offer? How is this possible we wondered – ostensibly in our head but infact aloud continuing the most painful conversation this poor person has probably had in months. “Well when he was considering leaving LA the Flames came to the table to make a serious pitch for him. He certainly didn’t ever think too hard about going to Calgary (insert our relieved face here) and then Katz phoned him personally and said that if he came back to Edmonton it would be for the rest of his career.”

“Then at the deadline he had heard rumours the Oilers were listening to offers for him. It didn’t go very far but that plus the fact they haven’t made him an offer even though the season is winding down is upsetting for him. He just wants some stability and to stay in Edmonton for the rest of his career. It’s too bad really.”

TOO BAD DOESN'T BEGIN TO CAPTURE IT

First of all Ryan Smyth is a Saint and the best Oiler in the past 20 years hands down. Guys with his heart, devotion to the team and long term output come along once in a blue moon. His shoddy treatment by this organization disgraces us all.

We would rather the entire brass, coaching staff and front office be summarily fired and shipped out of country than for Ryan Smyth to have another moment of his unhappiness on their account.

This organization doesn't deserve Ryan Smyth and it seems convinced to prove this time and time again. Think a world class outfit like Detroit would treat it's Ryan Smyth like this? Right.

WHAT IS GOING ON?

What about all the talk we saw on the TSN that said they were in talks with Smyth? How does a franchise that has serious issues inspiring loyalty among players, a franchise with a reputation for alienating NHLers and a franchise who has already boggled the ball with Smyth once allow these things to go into the eleventh hour?

This reminds us of the BS between the Oilers and Hemsky as was reported so well by Jason Gregor a few weeks back:

 “The trade deadline is 24 days away, and so far Ales Hemsky hasn't heard anything from the Oilers regarding his future with or without the team. How is this possible? Does Steve Tambellini believe that top-six forwards grow on trees, and that it will be easy to replace Hemsky?”

“It is ridiculous that the Oilers haven't approached him with anything significant to see if he'd be willing to re-sign. Maybe they will have differing opinions on terms of a new deal, but if the Oilers don't at least approach him and his agent then they have failed big-time in trying to ensure that this team becomes competitive.”

YOU KNOW

For an organization that has made some puzzling signings in the past 24 months – Barker and the three year contracts for Belanger and Eager spring to mind – how is it that the Oilers leave cornerstone contracts like Hemsky and Smyth contracts until the 11th hour?

This front office is something else. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the slow painful climb out of the league basement does it? We can't wait until this abrasive group are focusing their attention on re-signing Hall, Eberle and our precious Nuge.

SIGN SMYTTY FOR HEAVEN’S SAKES TAMBO. WE KNOW YOU READ THIS**

*Confirmed E5

** He doesn’t.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#3 Archaeologuy
March 12 2012, 01:33PM
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Classy Organizations are classy from the top down. The team didnt deserve a single NHLer demanding to be traded here, yet they were gift wrapped Smyth (Which they almost bungled).

Tambellini is out of his gourd if he doesnt want a Ryan Smyth on this team.

What exactly has Tambellini been doing for the past 6 months? Didnt start working on a Deal for Hemsky until about a month ago. Hasnt started on Smyth. No waiver pick ups, unless you count Chorney. 1 trade since the summer (To jettison one of the team's best defenders).

Honestly, how much Solitaire can one man play before he actually feels compelled to do something?

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#4 Travis Dakin
March 12 2012, 02:44PM
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Stupid people don't know they're stupid.

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#7 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 12 2012, 04:40PM
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smyth is literally one of the few players who requested a trade TO edmonton. the giant game of chicken they played a few years ago blew up in everyones face, and in hindsight i bet things would be different if both sides could do it over again.

i dont fault smyth one bit for going for the home run. i also dont fault him for not signing back here that summer. we can rehash the details of the trade if needed i guess

The oilers have a guy who has been willing to do anything for the franchise, and has proven it in his play on the ice over the years, his HUGE off ice efforts in the community, and his trade request to come back.

the fact (if true) that the oilers havent even got down to offering him something is mind blowing to me. (and given the debacle that has been the oilers the last few years that says alot)

im not saying the oilers have to sign smyth, but for the love of gretzky at least negotiate with the guy and make an attempt to keep him.

/rant

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#8 friday the FISTeenth
March 12 2012, 01:30PM
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AND LOOK I HAVE THAT MAN YOU WERE WRITING ABOUT RIGHT IN MY AVATAR!!!

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Wanye wrote:

Do I think one of the most loyal players to his team in the NHL who is in the twilight of his career should be signed to what could be his final contract of his career sooner than in the 11th hour?

Yes.

They have roughly 2,640 hours until the 11th hour.

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#11 Dan the Man
March 12 2012, 02:26PM
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Is it possible that the Oilers feel that signing Smyth is a given and therefore aren't in a hurry to get a deal done?

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#12 Bleak Winter
March 12 2012, 02:29PM
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As much as I'd normally support any old excuse to break out the torches and pitchforks when it comes to current Oilers' management, I'm having a bit of trouble getting worked up about this one. Basically we've got hearsay from an unnamed source presenting one side of the story? I'll trust you if you say the source is impeccable, but we don't know any of the circumstances on the other side.

I'm predisposed to thinking Tambellini/Lowe is an idiot as well, but for all we know they could already be handcuffed as part of a "management replacement strategy" playing out. Maybe there are reasons nothing is getting done contract-wise that have/had nothing to do with Smyth or Hemsky.

Well, a guy can dream, can't he?

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#14 Dipstick
March 12 2012, 02:30PM
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I don't get the impression that there is going to be an issue with re-signing Smitty. I'll wait until the end of June to start panicking. He'll get a short term contract for a bit of an overpayment. He deserves it.

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#16 Dodd
March 12 2012, 02:51PM
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Argue about Smyth's value all you want to - I'm not getting in on that.

The real trouble is Oilers Mgmt. seem to view players as "assets" instead of "loyal athletes with hopes and fears", and they seem to deal with them as such.

Anyone defending Tambellini would say "on a 29th place team, why should we appear eager to re-sign any veterans who have participated in many losing seasons?"

Not a completely wrong way to see it, but I choose the former. Sign Smytty!!

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#17 gcw_rocks
March 12 2012, 02:55PM
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Actually, Tambo might be right to wait. If you were valuing Smyth based on his first 30 games this season, you might shell out some big bucks. If you evaluated him on his last 30 games only, you would pay very little because the offense has dried up. Giving him more games to play with a complete line up rather than an injury depleted one will help the Oilers and Smyth establish his true value, which is probably somewhere in the middle.

The Oilers would be well advised to establish a Selanne like relationship with Smyth, one where he gets a series of 1 year deals as long as he (a) wants to play and (b) shows he is still capable of playing. These are "Over 35" contracts and the Oilers need to be careful.

As long as its established that an offer is coming, and its just the amount in question, based on his full year performance, then he shouldn't be "stressed" or "upset". The guy has made some serious coin over his career and if he never made another dime from hockey he would be fine.

Time for Katz to make another call and tell Ryan to chill. The offer is coming. The Oilers just need to establish what the number should be based on a full years' worth of work.

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#18 Robin Brownlee
March 12 2012, 03:02PM
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@Wanye

Only those more interested in splitting hairs than anything else didn't get the hang of your message from the hop -- RESPECT.

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#19 dougtheslug
March 12 2012, 05:03PM
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I'm joining this discussion late and can't be bothered reading through 100 plus posts but it needs to be said the Oilers willingly took on a salary of 6.25 million dollars for a player on the downside of his career whom nobody believed would produce numbers worthy of the dollars being paid. If that isn't a sign of respect, what is?

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#20 Clyde Frog
March 12 2012, 08:09PM
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zed fox wrote:

12-13 season as a third line left winger. Not what we need. Let him go.

Yes, because all contenders are built out of rookies and having a vet with some actual gamesmanship is obviously terrible.

A player who has come back into a game after half his teeth were scraped up off the ice only 10 minutes earlier, is not the type of character you build a team out of...

Why even make an offer? Who cares that he is number 3 in scoring on our team right now...

Especially since he made 6.25 million this season... His take home before taxes was 4.5 but I am sure that is just some sort of mumbo jumbo to save on taxes, obviously he will want 6.5 million next time!

Good on Tambellini for not even wasting time on this player, just another boat anchor making too much money... Right boys? ***

*** Starred for those who only read the last paragraph... That last paragraph was sarcasm!

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#23 vetinari
March 12 2012, 01:49PM
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Smyth is not a whiner. Smyth is not a bad teammate or a bad role model for the kids. Smyth is not someone to desert a sinking ship. Smyth is not a quitter.

Someone, grab Tambi, pull him off the magical unicorn that Katz bought him to ride into work everyday-- you know the beast-- the one with the lucky horse shoes on each foot that prevents its' rider from getting fired-- and march Tambi over to Smyth with a contract in hand. We can even help Tambi fill it out if he's forgotten how. It can even be a one year contract. Probably with a NTC to make sure no one gets trigger happy and tries to trade him again.

Do it. Now. Please.

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#25 KHR
March 12 2012, 01:54PM
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Let me see, has Ryan been traded or signed with another team yet? No? Then I think we still all have time don't we? Sheesh! Settle down people there is a lot time left to figure this out. The whole "What happens with the new CBA" is a huge thing too that is part of this mix.

If nothing happens and the Flames or some other team signs Ryan away from the Oilers then scream bloody murder. If he really wants to stay, and Katz PERSONALLY phoned him to say that he will finish his career here then what the heck are you all getting your panties in a knot about! The deal will get done when it gets done. If he signs somewhere else then I guess he really didn't want to be here did he?

And to all of you jumping off the emotional cliff today if Ryan wants another 3 year deal at $4.5M are you okay with that? Are you going to pat Tambo on the back for signing that deal? Personally I'm not comfortable with that deal and if that is what we have to do to keep Ryan then I thank for the year and wish him luck wherever he plays next year. It takes two to Tango as they say, let's just see where the dance ends up.

And for the record I want Ryan back, I really do! And I'm a season ticket holder so I'm at least speaking with my wallet too.

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#26 Cru Jones
March 12 2012, 02:10PM
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Wanye wrote:

Do I think one of the most loyal players to his team in the NHL who is in the twilight of his career should be signed to what could be his final contract of his career sooner than in the 11th hour?

Yes.

Not at all if it means an overpayment. Regardless of who you believe, Smyth left Edmonton because there was at least some uncertainty as to his value - a fact that was made more than clear with his performance during the duration of the deal - he wasn't worth it.

Tambellini was able to sign Hemsky for 2 years - a term that few were willing to consider - by playing a little brinksmanship. I wouldn't expect things to be any different with Smyth.

And yes, I am a Ryan Smyth fan.

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#27 Dog Train
March 12 2012, 02:11PM
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What a joke. What happened to all of that Smytty is going to stay an Oiler and we aren't listening to offers for him. Not that I wanted us to trade him but are we seriously pulling this crap when teams like the Red Wings were supposedly very interested in Smyth. So we decided to keep him with no plan of offering him a contract or at least discussing terms anytime soon. This management group keeps on saying one thing and then doing another.

You're right, Smytty deserves better. Knowing one way or the other what his future holds is better than not knowing at all.

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#28 Bucknuck
March 12 2012, 02:12PM
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I really thought Katz was a fan of the Oilers. IF he is, then Smytty should be concern #1 right now, since playoffs are over.

Katz, phone your employees (Lowe, Tambellini) and give them a deadline to meet your target (signing Smyth). The conversation should end with: "or else you are fired."

I sure hope Tambellini doesn't get an extension.

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#30 Bucknuck
March 12 2012, 02:26PM
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@Cru Jones

Actually he made 4.5 million this season. Get your facts right, man.

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#31 Bucknuck
March 12 2012, 02:33PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Doesn't really matter when you are talking about living up to the whole contract he signed.

Well, since he only listed the stats from the 2011-2012 season, the pertinent number to use would be the wage in that particular season.

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#32 Bucknuck
March 12 2012, 02:53PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

If this is what you think of 94 you need to take a long look at your status as a Ryan Smyth fan. People thought he wouldn't live up to his last contract and clearly that wasn't the case.

This is what I was referring to. You can't just start picking and choosing years when you are talking about a whole contract.

I suppose in the end it's all semantics, really. cap hit vs Salary, one years stats vs contract duration stats.

This discussion really isn't about that, anyways.

It's about respect. Does Oilers management treat it's players with respect? There is a lot of speculation that they don't.

Part of respect and good management is communication, and many folks have opined that the oilers brass need a little bit of work in that department.

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#33 Hemmercules
March 12 2012, 03:05PM
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Whats the huge hurry to sign him to an immediate contract? They have months to get it done, he wants to stay and I imagine they want him on the team. Let the season play out and start signing contracts while the rest of the league enjoys the playoffs.......I have forgotten what playoffs even are at this point.

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#34 etownman
March 12 2012, 03:08PM
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Trevor wrote:

As far as the negotiating proceedings and the "brinkmanship" go, I am as naive as the next guy - who has never seen or heard the back-and-forth of a multi-million dollar contract dispute.

But, I think what frustrates me about all of this - and you all too, if I could be so bold as to put words in all of your mouths - is that it takes Tambellini far too long to asses the strengths and weaknesses of his team and his players.

I mean, sometimes he impresses us (Hemsky, 2yrs-10mill) and other times he disappoints us (Sutton extension/Gilbert for Schultz), but either way the man moves by sundial. A GM's job is to asses their team and make adjustments, not wait for the calendar to force their hand. I would say the later comes awfully close to incompetency.

What's not to like about the Sutton extension for 1 yr? I really like the Gilbert/Schultz trade? Schultz is outplaying Gilbert stats wise to date & there's lot's to his game I like!

My feeling is if there had been a half decent return for Hemmer at the trade deadline, he's gone! The Oilers like Paajarvi & Hartikainen but need somewhere to play them. The Oilers know they need to get bigger & more aggressive & it's not Nuge, Hallsy or Ebs that are going anywhere! I also predict Gagner will be moved at the draft!

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#35 neojanus
March 12 2012, 03:09PM
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I don't think it's so much about whether he is ultimately signed.

It's the fact that one of the most important Oilers in franchise history feels (apparently) disappointed by something involving Oiler management of his contract.

Here's a guy that still bleeds oil, wants to be here, showed up to play, and somehow feels some negativity.

A player of that history should feel great about being an Oiler given his time with the franchise.

Do you think the Avalanche played shrewd with Joe Sakic and let feelings of negativity creep in? Not a chance.

If they want to sign Smyth in the off-season, great... then where the f*** is the disconnect between management and the player?

Sounds more to me like posturing and idiocy or Smyth would be saying (or his source anyway) "Smyth can't wait until the summer to get his contract extension."

They'll sign him, but they shouldn't be jerking him around now for any reason.

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#37 Buzz Lightbeer
March 12 2012, 03:52PM
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If someone said to you, the owner, if we just have a little patience until we see what will shake out and transpire before the end of June I might just be able to save you a million bucks, would you say no? How about 1/2 million. Money always matters to an owner. Smyth will get his piece of pie, Katz is a fan too.

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#38 Spaceman Spiff
March 12 2012, 03:54PM
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Wow, you people have to chill out a bit. Breathe. Take it easy. Hell, take a trip. Calm down.

I agree with Bleak Winter and others - I'm having a hard time working up much bile about this.

And that's even if I believed and trusted the source that Wanye is citing here (I mean that with all due respect to Wanye, who is merely reporting here).

My skepticism comes mainly from the fact that I'm not currently working as a general manager, or in any other capacity, for an NHL team. That means that I am really not qualified to know what unwritten statutes govern how long it should take a GM to make a formal contract offer to a player with whom he's publicly confirmed his intent to re-sign.

I just don't know the right number - days, weeks, months, whatever. I have no idea what's been promised to Smyth and what hasn't. I don't know the standard operating procedure is.

For those of who you do, or think you do, bless your hearts. You're brave to be guessing so much with so little information.

At this point, I feel compelled to remind you that a month ago, everyone (fans, bloggers, most mainstream media) all thought Hemsky was gone, too. And much of the media were ready to play up the story of an Oiler who was the exception: A star player who dearly wanted to stay in Edmonton but who was being railroaded out of town by an uncaring front office completely tone-deaf to its fanbase.

Of course, Hemsky signed - and to a fairly digestable two-year deal and Hemmer's still an Oiler. Why? Because this front-office (pardon the cheesy saying) knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. They probably deserve more credit.

As for Smyth - again, who the heck knows what the proper time is for offering a contract? Can any of you honestly say that you do? And, given what happened with Hemsky, are you willing to stake your best-guesses on that again?

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#39 Clyde Frog
March 12 2012, 04:03PM
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Since there are so many insiders on this site, can someone forward the following to Tambellini? http://www.businessballs.com/psychological-contracts-theory.htm

I can also supply a couple text books, if the links are too simple.

For those who dislike reading other websites, here is a synopsis: Between every employee and manager there exists a Psychological Contract that defines the expectations and boundaries an employee exists in. If you void that contract in the employees eyes there is serious consequences in an employees want to work and perform.

No-one can argue that the players on the Oiler's roster are not incredibly talented hockey players and yet they never reach a performance plateau that allows them to compete with top the 70% of the league...

Maybe instead of hiring sports psychologists, new coaches, throwing bags of money into the dressing room, etc.. They should focus on the type of managerial style and corporate culture they are formenting in the organization as a whole to find that way of helping players realize their performance.

(This boiled down is that you meet players in a way they expect to get them to reciprocate. IE if you have prominent players expressing their bafflement at the lack of contract communication, you freaking change your approach!)

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#40 Word
March 12 2012, 05:19PM
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Someone who worked in the Oilers PR department back in the day once told me that getting Ryan Smyth to participate in unpaid volunteer activities, etc. was like pulling teeth. Can't say I believed her at the time because he seems like such a nice "aw shucks" guy.

The truth is, (most of us) don't actually know anything about the guy on a personal level other than that he's media savvy enough to play like he'd gladly have a tooth knocked out every day for a "W" if that was all it took. With a few exceptions, he's won the fans over and that should create value to Oiler Management.

I'm not sure that management sees things the same as we fans do, but what scares me the most is I'm not sure that management even sees the fans.

As GM, it's Tambellini's job to commoditize his players so long as that doesn't prejudice his ability to hire replacements. But during that process, the one thing he can never do is alienate the Oilers fan-base. Wanye got so mad today he pooped a little*. I don't know how your supposed to treat Smyth, but I do know that's not how you treat your fans.

I read a business article about a guy who formerly managed a sports team and took one guiding principle into the business world that made him very successful: treat your repeat customers like season ticket holders. It seems like simple advice, but sometimes the Oilers don't even treat season ticket holders like season ticket holders...

* Pure conjecture. Likely accurate.

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#41 MistaWes
March 12 2012, 05:49PM
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im curious as to why Tambi is going to go out of his way to sign more players when he himself does not even have a contract extension in place nor Tom Renney. Until we know with out any shadow of a doubt that he will be our GM next season I say no contracts until our GM situation has been finalized

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#43 Hogan
March 12 2012, 06:38PM
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Every step, everything Smyth has done, has always been about the $$$. He has always put every team feet to the fire. Ask Lombardi. 1 year term 1.5 max. He has little/no leverage. He doesnt want to move. Tired of this guy & his camps posturing

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#44 Clyde Frog
March 12 2012, 08:27PM
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SteadyEd wrote:

How about Brouwer, J. Stall or Getzlaf?

Are you looking at this summer or next years? I can see how not signing Smyth this year will help us sign all those guys 2 years from now...

The fact you didn't see Smyth in your Capgeek list didn't tip you off?

Lol

http://capgeek.com/free_agents.php?year_id=2012&team_id=-1&position_id=F&fa_type_id=2

Your illustrious list adjusted for the coming free agent period...

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#45 Clyde Frog
March 12 2012, 08:41PM
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SteadyEd wrote:

Yup I'm talking about 2013. Iginla, Neil, Torres....

Again- Smyth for I year at 2 million. Max.

Lol, yes none of the teams who have those players now will try and sign them...

We also better limit our 3rd best scorer to 2 million on a one year term! If we pay him more on a 1 year contract that will somehow affect our ability to sign your fantasy worlds worth of free agents next year.

That all makes sense... complete sense...

Damn, you need to keep dropping truth bombs on us Ed!

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#46 Clyde Frog
March 12 2012, 09:03PM
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SteadyEd wrote:

I like Smyth. I just don't see him as a very good 3rd line winger. He's not going to be anything more at his age and skill set. IMO.

Smyth has character in abundance, gamesmanship in abundance, can produce right now like a decent 2nd line LW player.

You don't make winners by dumping people who produce for nothing and handing ice time to unproven AHL players...

You make the kids take their spot by out-producing and out-working them. You keep players who can and do produce on your team and rotate those who can't. Smyth is #3 in scoring, so I'm not sure why we are so hot to drop him.

Also I will bet the 2013 free-agent list will look MUCH different this time next year, in much the same way as this 2012's did.

So staring at the free-agent list now is not a good way to build your team.

Lastly 40+ points on your third line == very, very good third line production... (Especially if that player is #3 in production on your team)

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#47 Slats
March 12 2012, 11:19PM
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Dallylamma wrote:

"Yeah, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money too."

- Patrick Ewing

Latrell Spreewell "I've got my family to feed"

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#48 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
March 12 2012, 01:15PM
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Seriously, Dithers? What the hell?

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#49 VK63
March 12 2012, 01:21PM
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Tambo doing "nothing" is not only believable.... it is status quo when subjects called "contracts" are afoot.

Then again..... he has also forgotten to ask for an extension himself..... just so we are all on the same page.

Avatar
#50 The Farmer
March 12 2012, 01:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I love Smyth , but sometimes I wonder if he isn't the be all and end all we think he is. Stauffer won't come out and say it ever, but the way he beats around the bush, I get the feeling that 94 isn't as good of a teammate as we would all like to believe.

Personally I think they want him back, and I know I do. But it has to be a very reasonable contract. I wonder if the organization is worried about low balling him, or at least giving that impression, when they approach him with an offer of what he is actually worth. Thus making the negotiations a little stagnant.

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