March 31 2013 02:14PM
The single biggest issue for the Oilers to resolve between now and the NHL trade deadline is the uncertainty of Ladislav Smid’s future with the club. On that note, those hoping to see the Czech rearguard signed to an extension got good news today.
According to the Twitter, a contract extension may be imminent.
I'm hearing four years, $16-million ball park for Smid. Could be done soon. #Oilers— Derek Van Diest (@SUNdvandiest) March 31, 2013
Smid sounding optimistic today, hopes to have something done in then next few days, says he wants to remain an Oiler.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 31, 2013
A $4 million cap hit – the number Van Diest suggests – is less than ideal, but with a weak group of free agents on defence this summer it might be less than what Smid would get on the open market. Given the player’s repeatedly stated desire to stay in Edmonton, I wonder if the team might not be able to knock down the cap hit a little – perhaps by offering another year or by frontloading the deal a bit. Even if they can’t, Smid is the best left-side defenceman currently on the roster and is only replaceable via trade – something that’s likely to be a costly proposition.
In other words: in a perfect world, the dollars would be a little lower, but the critical thing is getting an important player under contract.
Plus, it means Oilers fans will continue to be treated to this once or twice a year:
"I blacked out. Last thing I remember is Petry getting me the puck. I closed my eyes and shot it." - Ladi Smid on his goal— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 31, 2013
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