What about Ladislav Smid?

Jonathan Willis
March 12 2013 12:18AM

Of the Oilers’ pending unrestricted free agents, none is more vital to the team than Ladislav Smid.

The Player

It’s been a long, hard road for Smid and the Oilers. When Edmonton acquired him as one of the key pieces in return for Chris Pronger, Smid was a mess. He arguably wasn’t ready for the NHL in 2006-07, when the combination of injuries and a thin blue line propelled him into a role that saw him play more than 19:00 per game – including, remarkably, an average of 1:11 per night on the power play. The seasons that followed featured an abundance of growing pain as the prospect developed into a player.

But all the developmental pain associated with turning Smid into a top-four defenceman has had a payoff. Oilers assistant coach Steve Smith described the player he’s become back in January:

He’s a guy who will block a shot, will take it in the teeth, well, there’s no teeth left because he’s taken so many, but he’s a guy who will do whatever is asked of him. He’s a great leader in the locker room. He’s a vocal guy… he’s accepted his role, and he’s very good at his role, and because of that he’s going to play for a long time. He was a guy that was a little bit almost schizophrenic two or three years ago, but now he’s settled into really comfortable place where he knows what he has to do to have success, and because of that has really helped our team success.

Smid isn’t the most gifted player in the world offensively, but he can both pass and skate with the puck and he’s solid defensively. His 2013 season has had some ups and downs, but based on the last few years it doesn’t seem unreasonable to imagine a contending Oilers team with Smid on the left side of the second pairing. Add in the fact that the coaches like him in the room, and that he wants to stay in Edmonton (something Bob Stauffer has repeatedly asserted on his show), and he seems like a natural fit for another contract.

The Contract

Interestingly, it seems that contract hasn’t been the topic of much discussion between Smid and the Oilers. The following comes from the always-excellent Elliotte Friedman:

The Oilers have some big decisions to make, too. Ryan Whitney is getting traded for sure. What's interesting is it doesn't seem like there's been much conversation with UFA-to-be Ladislav Smid. The defenceman is just 27. The only other free agent who will be younger than him and really plays is teammate Mark Fistric. I'm a little surprised they haven't talked much, because that position is a weakness for Edmonton.

Friedman’s surprise is understandable. It’s been about two weeks since Lowetide wrote a piece on this very subject, and he laid out a similar case. From his conclusion:

Some decisions are tougher than others. No matter how the Oilers proceed with roster makeup plans, Ladislav Smid is vital to the blue. He is still young enough to be here when the team starts winning, he has a lot of experience he can pass along to youngsters who are perhaps overwhelmed by the leap, and he is (from all we know) a solid citizen. Losing him would set back an already thin blue line and mean the club gets even younger defensively.

Dollars might be an issue – players like Josh Gorges ($3.9 million/season) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4.25 million/season) representing the upper limit for a pure defensive defenceman. It would be understandable if the Oilers wanted to see Smid sign more in the range of a Willie Mitchell ($3.5 million/season) or even a little lower given the falling salary cap.

A bigger issue might be whether the Oilers see Smid the same way – as a top-four defenceman on an eventual Stanley Cup contender. If they feel they need a different type of player long-term – perhaps, for example, somebody a little more adept with the puck – than a short-term deal or a trade could theoretically make sense. Given the weaknesses of the free agent market on defence, the difficulties in trading for such a player, and the amount of time necessary to groom a prospect for that role (something Smid, a ninth overall pick, bears witness to), in practice such a move would be problematic.

As Lowetide put it: sign the man.

Lowetide also comments on Friedman's article.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Toro
March 12 2013, 03:31AM
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Gotta resign this guy he's a warrior

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#2 Curcro
March 12 2013, 05:19AM
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plikestechno wrote:

Great guy, tries hard, but is severely overrated and always has been because he was drafted so high. Brings a lot of grit but is still not a really good defenseman. Gets beat on plays and caught out of position all the time and he's 27. His offense has actually regressed over the past few years along with his ability to cycle and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Given the chance I actually think Fistric and Peckham (in time) will be better than him and they're mean.

The oilers need grit but i dont think they need to overpay for grit. That's my biggest worry. That they'll overpay the grit we have and overrate and overpay for some other guys. This city overrates him but on the open market no one would pay him a cent over 2 million. Every organization has guys like him. We don't need to overpay for him. Like Hemsky, no one's going to pay him more than we will.

Our D is awful. Justin Schultz is the only legitimate top 4 guy on this team. We just have a lot of bottom pairing D or guys that would be in the minors on other teams.

Hits and blocked shots aren't stats to be proud of. It means we don't have the puck most of the game and are just chasing the play and praying. If we had goof defensemen they'd be winning the battles for the puck and creating turnovers.

By regress you mean improving. 09-10 - 9 pts 10-11 - 10 pts 11-12 - 15 pts

J Schultz is just an offensive stud. He isn't very good in his own zone. His Corsi is worse than Smid's by the way.

The Oilers D is not great but I think your analysis is out to lunch.

I think there are 29 teams that would take Smid if offered to them. I don't think either Fistric or Peckham will ever be better than him. Although Peckham's played well enough in the 4 games he played to show he deserves to be ahead of Potter & Whitney.

Generally forwards do most of the cycling, so I'm puzzled why you would consider it a necessary skill. I'm trying to think of any defenseman who cycled on any sort of regular basis.

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#3 DieHard
March 12 2013, 08:53AM
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6 years 20M - get him signed!

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#4 unknown666
March 12 2013, 11:23AM
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@bdiddy18

teubert is a 7thd-man at this point,fedun is a puck mover,fistric is a perfect 5/6 d-man who will destroy you,peckham can destroy you if he decides to show up and plante will never play in the NHL again.

smid is a 3/4 shutdown d-man ho can play important minutes. hes top 5 in hits and blocked shots as a defenceman.

if you put any of the guys you just mentioned in smids place, the oilers ould be a much worse team.

something in the 2.8-3.3 milion range would be cool

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#5 Spydyr
March 12 2013, 11:51AM
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Easy answer. How much heart do the Oilers have?

Not enough .Right. So how is it a good idea to let a player with a huge heart go.

Did he hear Dubbie of Oil Change. He is everything a goalie could ask for and more and more.

It took years of grooming to make him the player he is.He is 27.

How can people even consider letting this guy walk. Unless he is asking for the moon and stars. According to Smid the Oilers have not even contacted him about a contract.

Typical Oiler asset management.

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#6 mike
March 12 2013, 12:31AM
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I hope they re-sign him.

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#7 Muji
March 12 2013, 01:11AM
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Who needs Smid when you have SETH FREAKING JONES. YEAA

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#8 count
March 12 2013, 01:30AM
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Oil99 wrote:

He is not a top 4 dman this is the biggest problem with oilers fans that they think somebody blocking shots is good. Why would he be blocking shots all the time if he was that good. He is overrated.... If oilers pay him 4 million it's an overpayment . He is worth 2.5 to 3 million.

Huh,wait is block shots not a job.He is the only defensive defance men on the team excluding Shultz Sr.Give your head a shake

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#9 Bryan in SK
March 12 2013, 06:59AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the fact they haven't talked much. Ricky Olczyk will probably read Oilers Nation this morning and conclude for the first time that Smid will be a UFA. He'll spend the rest of the day wandering the halls muttering, "Somebody oughta DO something about this."

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#10 washed up
March 12 2013, 08:32AM
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I hope they sign him. He's probaly the Best proven NHL defencemen on the oiler's, but because of that they will likey overpay to keep him.

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#11 Rick
March 12 2013, 09:53AM
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If they trade Smid this team offcially enters the NY Islanders stratosphere of ineptitude.

As it is they are teetering on the precipice.

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#12 Oilfred
March 12 2013, 10:08AM
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DieHard wrote:

6 years 20M - get him signed!

That would be my prefernce for him. Every team needs this type of guy and the next 4-5 years will be the best of his career.

Sign the man.

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#13 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 10:19AM
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We should trade Belanger to Florida for Goc. They want to rebuild, Belanger will help them get some top 5 1st round picks to help the process along.

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#14 Will
March 12 2013, 10:29AM
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I refer us all to Devan Dubnyk on Oil Change. He said Smid is a goalie's dream. Guy blocks shots and makes the right decision on breaks so Dubnyk knows which angles to take away.

However, I also don't think he's up at the top of Defensive minded D men. Is he gets more than Seabrook. It'll be an overpayment.

I think it's fine to say the league is loaded with Smid's, but he's got a nastiness to him that might be hard to find in guys like Nick Schultz.

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#15 Will
March 12 2013, 10:30AM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

it will be $3.25 because of the Thumbellini 20% Northern living allowance that is attached to all Oiler contracts.

At least he's not giving out the Southern Alberta no trade clause along with the Alberta living allowance.

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#16 Dog Train
March 12 2013, 12:27PM
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It pisses me off that they haven't at least begun talks. We've put a lot of time into developing Smid and now we're going to let go of him as he enters his prime? I think Smid can play second-pairing LD if we add another puck mover in the top 4. Even if he is only signed short-term, we don't have anybody even close to being ready for Smid's minutes. We all know how hard top 4D can be to find. If they let both Whitney and Smid go then rush Klefbom and some other unproven commodity into the lineup then we might make the playoffs by 2030. I echo the sentiment: sign the man.

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#17 Spydyr
March 12 2013, 12:44PM
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bdiddy18 wrote:

I'd rather save the money and upgrade to a legit 2nd pairing Defenseman in the off season.

If you pay more than 2.9 million a season for Smid your paying to much.

AS DEPTH GETS BETTER - Smid falls into final pairing.

Smid as a final pairing d-man is a win in my book.

Man. I wish we had that kind of depth there.

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#18 OilClog
March 12 2013, 02:26PM
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How can people realistically expect Smid on our 3rd pair.. If that happens, I bet we're hard pressed to roll out two scoring lines upfront. To have such amazing d-core that Smid is bottom rung, I imagine our forwards have been purged horribly in trade.

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#19 unknown666
March 12 2013, 03:26PM
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bdiddy18 wrote:

@unknown666 @Smokey

Oilers fans are a funny bunch - we are a horrible team and should trade everybody but no not Smid he is to valuable.

Smid is an OK 3/4 defenceman - remember in this NHL you need offense from your defence and at the very least puck moving defenceman. Smid fails on both fronts, but makes up for it by blocking shots, also he doesn't punish forwards enough in front of the net to make you think twice about getting in front of the goalie.

Smid is a GREAT 5/6 defenceman - and really you can find that if you don't sign Smid at the right price. You want to pay 3M + for a 5/6 defenceman?

On the Oilers he is top 4 - again on the Oilers. Any contender he would not be a top 4.

Don't get me wrong - I love Smid's passion and his give it all on the ice attitude. But in an honest fair assessment in comparison to playoff roster teams.. Laddy Smid is NOT a top 4 defenseman.

Matt Greene much more punishing defenseman - shot blocker and top 4 defenseman makes an avg 2.95 M

Comparables

Andrew Ference 2.25 Matt Niskanen 2.3 Marc Stuart (182 blks last year) 1.7 M

youre clearly an idiot who doesnt watch any oiler games.

you say teams need a puck mover and then you bring up matt greene.

smid(430games played)

greene(460 games played)

2011-2012 season

smid GP-78 HITS-186 BKS-184 GVA-47 TKA-31

Greene GP-82 HITS-241 BKS-112 GVA-44 TKA-10

I loved greene and i agree that he plays with more of an edge but you said he blocks more shots(wrong).about the same amount of giveaways,smid has 20 more takeaways.

theyre basically the same player except smid has more takeaways,put up more points,blocks more shots and isnt that far behind on hits(4 more games could have had him in the 200 hits column)

check some stats before being an idiot and claiming greenes top 4 while smid is 5/6.

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#20 Time Travelling Sean
March 12 2013, 12:59AM
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If we wanted someone more adept at moving the puck we never would have traded Gilbert for Schultz Sr., although I've always had the notion Gilbert wanted to be traded.

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#21 VK63
March 12 2013, 01:07AM
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As i recall, a similar wonder was being expressed last year when no one in the organization had apparently approached the Hemsky camp about a new contract.

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#22 LoweBlow
March 12 2013, 01:07AM
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With Whitney's contract finished out this season, they'll be able to pay Smid top 4 money rather than wasting it on Whitney's top 6 performance. Money isn't that much of an issue here. They'll get it done.

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#23 Oil99
March 12 2013, 01:08AM
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He is not a top 4 dman this is the biggest problem with oilers fans that they think somebody blocking shots is good. Why would he be blocking shots all the time if he was that good. He is overrated.... If oilers pay him 4 million it's an overpayment . He is worth 2.5 to 3 million.

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#24 common sense
March 12 2013, 01:08AM
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Undoubtedly this guy is a battler, a great shot blocker and courageous but I don't think he's in the upper echelon of defensive d-men in the NHL. He hasn't been nearly as big a part of the answer on defense that the Oilers so desperately require. Not all that great or dependable winning pucks in our end. Poor distributor of break out passes. Relies far too much on panicky chip outs of our end. Despite this, I would sign him if the deal was reasonably cheap which I see as unlikely.

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#25 mr. Sense common
March 12 2013, 01:55AM
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Oil99 wrote:

He is not a top 4 dman this is the biggest problem with oilers fans that they think somebody blocking shots is good. Why would he be blocking shots all the time if he was that good. He is overrated.... If oilers pay him 4 million it's an overpayment . He is worth 2.5 to 3 million.

I agree with you. Skid is NOT a top 4 dman, he still cycles the puck backwards in his own zone instead if move the play forward out of the zone, causes confusion and is never delivers a Jason smith grab-you-by-the-throat and slam you down hit, he just lays down on the pk. Really, I don't know what he does exceedingly well....he is the definition of average

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#26 plikestechno
March 12 2013, 03:18AM
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Great guy, tries hard, but is severely overrated and always has been because he was drafted so high. Brings a lot of grit but is still not a really good defenseman. Gets beat on plays and caught out of position all the time and he's 27. His offense has actually regressed over the past few years along with his ability to cycle and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Given the chance I actually think Fistric and Peckham (in time) will be better than him and they're mean.

The oilers need grit but i dont think they need to overpay for grit. That's my biggest worry. That they'll overpay the grit we have and overrate and overpay for some other guys. This city overrates him but on the open market no one would pay him a cent over 2 million. Every organization has guys like him. We don't need to overpay for him. Like Hemsky, no one's going to pay him more than we will.

Our D is awful. Justin Schultz is the only legitimate top 4 guy on this team. We just have a lot of bottom pairing D or guys that would be in the minors on other teams.

Hits and blocked shots aren't stats to be proud of. It means we don't have the puck most of the game and are just chasing the play and praying. If we had goof defensemen they'd be winning the battles for the puck and creating turnovers.

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#27 106 and 106
March 12 2013, 05:47AM
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JW,

Sign the man.

Do you think they haven't talked because of the 9 game road-trip and they'll (agents, Tambo, KLowe) will sit down when the Oil come home?

It's probably a distractor - travelling, contract, playing every two nights, losing.

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#28 non descript
March 12 2013, 06:12AM
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"but now he's settled into really comfortable place where he knows what to do to have success. and because of that he's really helped our team success" according to steve smith......please, steve, elaborate on which team success you are speaking of....

the only thing this team has been successful at in years is finishing last and likely taking the wrong player at the top of the draft multiple times.

would this "team" be worse without smid? likely. do they ever win anything miscasting smid as a top four? no.

so there are three options:

1)deal him at the deadline

2)him what hes worth and play him in your third pair

3)claim hes a top four shutdown d, overpay him, overplay him, continue to lose because there is a pretend tough defenceman who 400 games into his nhl career still doesn't understand his positioning or which man to take while defending.

the oil will probably take three, and that will be one more reason why they are drafting in the lottery for the forseeable future.

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#29 unknown666
March 12 2013, 06:15AM
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plikestechno wrote:

Great guy, tries hard, but is severely overrated and always has been because he was drafted so high. Brings a lot of grit but is still not a really good defenseman. Gets beat on plays and caught out of position all the time and he's 27. His offense has actually regressed over the past few years along with his ability to cycle and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Given the chance I actually think Fistric and Peckham (in time) will be better than him and they're mean.

The oilers need grit but i dont think they need to overpay for grit. That's my biggest worry. That they'll overpay the grit we have and overrate and overpay for some other guys. This city overrates him but on the open market no one would pay him a cent over 2 million. Every organization has guys like him. We don't need to overpay for him. Like Hemsky, no one's going to pay him more than we will.

Our D is awful. Justin Schultz is the only legitimate top 4 guy on this team. We just have a lot of bottom pairing D or guys that would be in the minors on other teams.

Hits and blocked shots aren't stats to be proud of. It means we don't have the puck most of the game and are just chasing the play and praying. If we had goof defensemen they'd be winning the battles for the puck and creating turnovers.

brooks orpik on the penguins has the same amount of blocked shots. penguins must be a bad team by your logic...if youd like to call it that.

teams are built up of role players and smid looks like a 2nd pair shutdown d-man.

Alexei Emelin on montreal has 88 hits this year...what a bad team montreal is hey?derp.

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#30 Johnny
March 12 2013, 07:22AM
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Sign Smid for a number that starts with a 2.

What about FISTRIC?!? I like him better than Smid.

If they let Fistric, an ACTUAL tough, intimidating, hard nosed, banging defensemen slip through their fingers, I liken that to letting Glencross go. If so, this mangement group has not learned anything and should be sent packing...

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#31 j
March 12 2013, 08:58AM
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As a fanbase, we are generally guilty of overvaluing our players' skill levels. That said, we are also probably guilty of undervaluing the overall contribution a player makes to his team - this includes locker room leadership, blocked shots, compete levels, confidence he injects into the lineup, intensity etc. Smid is a perfect example - from a skill perspective there is a lot to be desired for a 3-4 defenseman. For the other stuff - we have no idea. It really isn't Smid's issue that the team doesn't have a legitimate number 1-2 defensman. He has been miscast for years and has been a warrior. Ready to play every game, every shift. That has to be worth something in this league.

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#32 StuckOutHere
March 12 2013, 09:10AM
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I like Smid a lot, but he's a #5 on a playoff team, with the ability to move up the depth chart if need be. We should pay him accordingly. He is expecting a raise, so $2.8-3.2 should do it. He would get that, plus maybe more on the open-market.

Sign him, deal N. Schultz, deal Whitney, deal Potter for whatever you can get, deal Hemsky for Sekera plus, spend Whitney money to sign Ian White, or offer sheet OEL.

White/OEL-J Schultz, Sekera-Petry, Smid-Fistric/Peckham/Klefbom if he comes up next year.

I don't hate that.

Thoughts?

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#33 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 09:28AM
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I wouldn't sign Smid for anything more than 3.5 and I'd try to get less. The simple fact of the matter is hes an average defense man on the worst team in the league three years running basically. I think that pretty much says everything. Smids been playing out of position, he's a 5th D-man that can fill in as a 4th(I feel the same about N Schultz). If this team has any hope of becoming a continual Stanley contender they need to be much better in their top 4. Personally I would use Smid to find that top2 defender.

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#34 CaptainLander
March 12 2013, 09:32AM
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@StuckOutHere

Nice idea, OEL is not going anywhere, Pheonix/Seattle will match the offer. Ian White I am okay with but will get some attention this summer and may be overvalued.

To be honest I just don't see this team having a lot of success in the d-zone until it looks something like this:

J.Shultz Klefbom Marincin Gernat Musil Petry

Not that these will be the exact players but my point being until the Oil have developed that kind of depth where a decent number of our prospects are good NHL players things will be tough. UFAs are often old or require large contracts. When I look at the Oilers D, there is just to many weaknesses.

As for Smid I would love to keep him but if some team out there offers 4.5 I am okay to let his go. For Smid to stay it is all about the dollar dollar bills yo!

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#35 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 09:54AM
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@CaptainLander

I think its going to be at least another two years before the likes of Musil, Gernat, and Marincin will be ready. Kelfbom will likely need half to a full season in the AHL after being injured.

I've been saying for a long time that the only two players I see as top 4 are Petry and J Schultz but I also think that N Schultz, Peckham, and Fistric are a good setup for 5th,6th,7th for now. I'd say they fill in the other two spots with guys like Streit. Mid 30's players with lots of experience.

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#36 StuckOutHere
March 12 2013, 10:03AM
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@CaptainLander

While I agree that those prospects are our future, we need legitimate short term solutions to make us competitive next season. Why not over pay Ian White for a couple seasons until the cavalry arrive?

And to that, why not make an unreasonable offer for OEL, we know he's worth the money, and Phoenix not really having an owner may be forced to give him up due to the budget issues.

OEL 3 years $15 mil? And if they can match that, go higher.

No more hoping kids are ready.

The fact that people are already talking about Yak being the wrong pick, and Schultz falling off exemplifies this. Don't put pressure on rookies to be your salvation and they will develop much better.

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#37 michael
March 12 2013, 10:03AM
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Smid is a 4/5 guy who has been asked more times than not to play a 3/4 role. Moving forward the Oilers will be looking at developing their prospects in the minors for a 2-3 seasons.Till then Smid will remain as a stalwart on the Oilers defence for years to come. A salary in the 3.25-3.5 range is reasonable for what Smid brings to the table. Term is more likely the issue rather than dollars. I think 3 years at those dollars is fair ecuase by that point you'll either have developed Musil,Gernat,Klefbom to a point where they'll step in or else you'll be looking to reup Smid once again. Hedging our et is not a bad gamble.

Nick Shultz has been awful.What is with his game this season? Perhaps a change of scenery will e in order sooner than later for him.Whitney. What he plays 5-10 good games and he is back in the good books. His play has certainly raised a few eyebrows of late.Where was that urgency earlier this season? Or last? Sure he wants to stay here. But he sure has not played like the guy we thought we traded for.Even post surgery. Whether its confidence, fear or whatever he has certainly stepped up his game lately to a point where his play makes one rethink a trade. I for one see the value in trading him in a shortened season. Take the pick or package him with Hemsky for a pick that is more in the mid range. Look at a team like Pittsburgh who will be loading up for bear come the trade deadline. Hemsky could be that winger that gives the Pens another shot at a cup. With Crosby healthy and Malkin kinda healthy it should be Pittsburgh's year if they can add a player or 2 at the deadline. How good would Smyth look on a third line in Pittsbugh? Win a cup and retire ala Doug Weight. Smyth deserves at least that. Or Iggy? Chicago certainly wouldn't sneeze at having a Smyth or an Iggy. Chicago vs Pittsburgh for the final.

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#38 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:10AM
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plikestechno wrote:

Great guy, tries hard, but is severely overrated and always has been because he was drafted so high. Brings a lot of grit but is still not a really good defenseman. Gets beat on plays and caught out of position all the time and he's 27. His offense has actually regressed over the past few years along with his ability to cycle and keep the puck in the offensive zone. Given the chance I actually think Fistric and Peckham (in time) will be better than him and they're mean.

The oilers need grit but i dont think they need to overpay for grit. That's my biggest worry. That they'll overpay the grit we have and overrate and overpay for some other guys. This city overrates him but on the open market no one would pay him a cent over 2 million. Every organization has guys like him. We don't need to overpay for him. Like Hemsky, no one's going to pay him more than we will.

Our D is awful. Justin Schultz is the only legitimate top 4 guy on this team. We just have a lot of bottom pairing D or guys that would be in the minors on other teams.

Hits and blocked shots aren't stats to be proud of. It means we don't have the puck most of the game and are just chasing the play and praying. If we had goof defensemen they'd be winning the battles for the puck and creating turnovers.

What?!? "Hits and blocked shots aren't stats to be proud of" ?? Why..that's just a bunch of plikestechno.....

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#39 VK63
March 12 2013, 10:11AM
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Bryan in SK wrote:

I wouldn't worry too much about the fact they haven't talked much. Ricky Olczyk will probably read Oilers Nation this morning and conclude for the first time that Smid will be a UFA. He'll spend the rest of the day wandering the halls muttering, "Somebody oughta DO something about this."

LOL.

*shudders*

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#40 StuckOutHere
March 12 2013, 10:13AM
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@Old Retired Guy

Hits and blocked shots are great, but when they come with taking yourself out of position and out of the play they can really hurt a team.

How many times have you seen Smid fall to the ice for a shot block when he instead should've stayed on his feet and taken his man?

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#41 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:14AM
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Johnny wrote:

Sign Smid for a number that starts with a 2.

What about FISTRIC?!? I like him better than Smid.

If they let Fistric, an ACTUAL tough, intimidating, hard nosed, banging defensemen slip through their fingers, I liken that to letting Glencross go. If so, this mangement group has not learned anything and should be sent packing...

Would love to see him signed for a number that starts with 2.....but I think its going to be around $3.25

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#42 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:22AM
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StuckOutHere wrote:

Hits and blocked shots are great, but when they come with taking yourself out of position and out of the play they can really hurt a team.

How many times have you seen Smid fall to the ice for a shot block when he instead should've stayed on his feet and taken his man?

Let me think.....uuhhh.....7 times ??

Players who consistently block shots (especially without being constantly injured) are highly sought after in todays NHL....

Smid's a good 3-4 Dman and will only get better... (and hopefully meaner)

Pay the man.....

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#43 CaptainLander
March 12 2013, 10:24AM
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@StuckOutHere

"The fact that people are already talking about Yak being the wrong pick, and Schultz falling off exemplifies this. Don't put pressure on rookies to be your salvation and they will develop much better"

Could not agree more and if Ian White is willing to sign a 2 year deal great but it seems 28 year old UFAs want the long term big contract, even take less money for term. If he is 37 then ya he looks for the 2 year deal.

I just can't see the Oil getting better until their youth is not so "youthy".

When the Nuge is 23ish and the D prospects I mentioned are old enough to compete against men. That is when the Oil will be potential cup contenders. In the mean time you can tweek your roster all you want and hope to get lucky with some good chemistry but the reality that is just chucking coins in a fountain.

Oil fans may just have no other option then to wait. Impatiently wait.

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#44 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:26AM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Would love to see him signed for a number that starts with 2.....but I think its going to be around $3.25

it will be $3.25 because of the Thumbellini 20% Northern living allowance that is attached to all Oiler contracts.

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#45 StuckOutHere
March 12 2013, 10:26AM
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@Old Retired Guy

I think you're wrong when you say he'll only get better. He's hitting his prime. He is now the player he is going to be, and then in a few years the decline will take place.

He is not a #3 dman. It is this rational that has us at the bottom yet again.

Sign him to what he deserves. 2.8-3.2. I'd rather give him term than give him salary.

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#46 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:35AM
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StuckOutHere wrote:

I think you're wrong when you say he'll only get better. He's hitting his prime. He is now the player he is going to be, and then in a few years the decline will take place.

He is not a #3 dman. It is this rational that has us at the bottom yet again.

Sign him to what he deserves. 2.8-3.2. I'd rather give him term than give him salary.

not to be argumentative but....

You think he's not a 3-4 Dman ?

and

Do you not think that most Defensive NHL Dmen come into their prime starting at 26-27 and are still in their prime at 28, 29, 30, 31... ?

Just asking.

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#47 Phixieus666
March 12 2013, 10:38AM
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@StuckOutHere

Exactly, your top3, and I would argue top 4, need to be able to transition the puck up the ice. Smid can't he spends more time in his own end and that is also part of the reason he has so many blocks, fistric is similar in this regard.

Kruger has mentioned it as well throughout the season that in order to be a successful team in today's NHL your top 4 need to be able to pass the puck effectively.

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#48 vetinari
March 12 2013, 10:40AM
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It's got to be hard for Smid to suffer losing, year after year, and he's likely got to get overpaid to stick with this team because he could easily find work on 20 other teams at the drop of a hat.

However, he is too valuable as a shutdown defender to let him walk for nothing-- either start discussions now and pitch a 2 to 4 deal with a slight overpay (basically, he gets a slice of Whitney's money) or a 5 to 7 year deal at market rate before the deadline-- otherwise, put him on the block and see what comes back (preferably a blue chip defender).

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#49 Old Retired Guy
March 12 2013, 10:43AM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Exactly, your top3, and I would argue top 4, need to be able to transition the puck up the ice. Smid can't he spends more time in his own end and that is also part of the reason he has so many blocks, fistric is similar in this regard.

Kruger has mentioned it as well throughout the season that in order to be a successful team in today's NHL your top 4 need to be able to pass the puck effectively.

Interesting.....(I say that with no sarcasm)... So do you also agree that Smid is not a 3-4 pairing Dman?

And do you also agree that he's hit his prime and won't be improving much from this point forward?

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#50 StuckOutHere
March 12 2013, 10:44AM
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@Old Retired Guy

No he is not a top 4 dman on any contending team, though he would contribute beautifully on the bottom pair, with again the ability to move up if need be due to injury.

I think his development is done. He is not getting better than he already is, or if so, marginally at most.

I do think he will be a very serviceable NHL Dman for years to come. Which is why I said I'd give him term rather than salary. 6 years @ $18 mil.

That way we know we have a solid #4/#5 for years to come, whose contract is moveable if need be.

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