Is a Ladislav Smid deal imminent?

Jonathan Willis
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.

Twitter Attack!

According to the Twitter, a contract extension may be imminent.

Good News?

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:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Oilfred
March 31 2013, 02:15PM
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FIST off this better get done!

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#2 Spydyr
March 31 2013, 02:25PM
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Smid is the best defeceman on the team right now but 4 million a year.

Ouch!

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#3 Alsker
March 31 2013, 02:26PM
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Still hope the cap-hit drops a bit but we need him here, 3.25-3.5 would help both our caproom going forward and the fans disapproval of another overpaynent, in our eyes anyways

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#5 jeanshorts
March 31 2013, 02:31PM
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Blocks every puck he can get in front of, tough as nails, solid in his own end, and most of the Canuck fans I know absolutely hate him.

There are far worse things this team could spend $4 million a year on...

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#6 Butters
March 31 2013, 02:36PM
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There are far worse things this team has spent $4 million a year on...

fixed

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#7 michael
March 31 2013, 02:50PM
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The 4 million dollars is not a big deal. Whitney's salary will either dissappear next season or if he is still here will be greatly reduced. I see N Shultz's 3.5 heading out the door either Wednesday or on draft day. Sooner rather than later would net the Oilers a better draft pick. Where is the room on defence? With Klefbom in the mix come next season we'll see added pressure on Tambo to move someone. Peckham?RFA? Walk away? Whitney? UFA.Trade or sign for 2.25ish. Smid.4 million. Justin Shultz. 3.5ish? Petry.Its going to be tough to retain N Shultz moving forward.

Crosby gone for a while. What do you do if your Ray Shero? Going to interesting.

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#8 messyEH!
March 31 2013, 02:53PM
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5 years at 18 mill would be ideal. I like the player but if he costs 4 million a year we are spending too much.

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#9 Archaeologuy
March 31 2013, 02:59PM
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At less than 4 million the Oilers will get a steal of a deal. On the Open Market Smid would make at least as much or more. Someone his age with his experience is hard to get.

The Oilers suffered long enough through his younger days just to let someone else reap the benefits. And if things change in the future a sub 4 Mill contract wont be difficult to move either.

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#10 see-alice
March 31 2013, 03:21PM
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It is quite amusing reading about what some sportswriters/bloggers/broadcasters say about specific dollars that such and such a player deserves or the team onership should pay.

If it were Katz writing here then I'd be glad to read his opinion. It isn't and I don't think it is anybody's right to yap about the appropriateness of any player's deal.

It's not your money wise ones so talk about something that is your business. This includes you too Stauffer. When you put your money where your mouth is then you'd have some credibility at least.

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#11 John Chambers
March 31 2013, 03:25PM
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Amazingly, the same ppl who are angry we didn't trade for Z Michalek and his $4M cap hit are angry we're paying Laddy the equivalent sum.

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#12 Smokey
March 31 2013, 03:25PM
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Its market value. If he plays as a 4 deman, u live with it. If he becomes a third pairing defender it hurts. Pretty much says goodbye to Whitney. Oilers gotta find some value contracts soon.

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#13 Professor
March 31 2013, 03:40PM
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The same people who were all up in arms over Smyth leaving over $100,000/year are now saying that they are ok with Smid getting 3.7 or 3.8 but if it's 4 million that's too much. We need him. Smid and his agent know that. Would I prefer his salary was closer to 3.5...absolutely but I wouldn't trade him or let him walk for a difference of .2 or .3 million. Sign him.

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#14 Toro
March 31 2013, 03:41PM
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If Smid is our best defenseman , and we are paying N Schultz 3.5 mill a year , then paying Smid 4 mill doesn't seem too bad, if you guys think he only deserves 3.5 or less then maybe it's Nick Schultz and his contract that need too leave.

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#15 Bonvie
March 31 2013, 04:10PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Despite the Van Diest rumour, I believe we'll see Smid sign a deal closer to $3.5 million than $4.0 million.

I hope you right with 3.5. We really need him but we need some good contracts on this team eventually. Petry is likely to outplay his contract, but very few can project to do so.

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#16 Mac962
March 31 2013, 04:34PM
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Paying Laddy 4 Million is less painful than what what they pay Horcoff. It is what it is, we would take it too.

Laddy could wear the C on this team and i think every player would applaud him, he is a Jason Smith Type, terrible fighter though. But a warrior. Is he worth 4M, Nope but.... who is ?

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#17 DigDeepNBleedBlue
March 31 2013, 04:39PM
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I like Smid, but I don't like a 4mil a year cap hit for him. I would prefer 3mil, but, I think, the cap could live with something in the middle.

My concern is that Smid's puck distribution skills are limited. I believe that the ability to move the puck is an important quality when you're discussing 4mil a year for a D-man.

Some examples of 4mil-ish D-men:

Giordano (33GP, 9pts) - 4.02mil Erhoff (34GP, 17pts) - 4mil Staal (21GP, 11pts) - 3.975mil Quincey (26GP, 2pts) - 3.775mil Gilbert (31GP, 9pts) - 4mil Carlson (34GP, 16pts) - 3.966,667mil Ballard (27GP, 2pts) - 4.2mil

Smid currently sits at a cap hit of 2.25mil with 34GP and 3pts. I understand that Smid brings an array of qualities aside from point production and puck distribution, but do those attributes combine for a worth of 4mil a year? I'm not convinced.

Based on some of the examples above 3mil and at a lesser extent 3.5mil would be a more beneficial salary for this player type in the overall scheme for the team. JMO

I hope the speculation on Twitter is wrong.

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#18 vetinari
March 31 2013, 06:50PM
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Pay the man... whether he gets $3.5M or $4.0M per year, he's worth it as he's hitting his prime and no one else is in the pipeline who can replace him... just no NTC please.

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#19 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 31 2013, 06:50PM
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Double wammy on this if it goes through. Not only will this create a hardship filling out the rest of support player roster spots on the roster, it's much more difficult to move a player with Smids limited abilities when accompanied by an awfully optimistic contract.

An overpay here and there force you to fill out your roster with players who'll come here for league minimum. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It's rather obvious the Oilers will never be able to get their act together under this regime. Why always the need to feed the pig more than it needs...

They should let him explore his options July 5th. Offer him a 5 yr 15 mill deal on that date. Lets see where his heart is, if the money is the most important thing to him, let him leave. Edmonton will have alot more impactful players more deserving of the funds.

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#20 DSF
March 31 2013, 07:01PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Double wammy on this if it goes through. Not only will this create a hardship filling out the rest of support player roster spots on the roster, it's much more difficult to move a player with Smids limited abilities when accompanied by an awfully optimistic contract.

An overpay here and there force you to fill out your roster with players who'll come here for league minimum. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It's rather obvious the Oilers will never be able to get their act together under this regime. Why always the need to feed the pig more than it needs...

They should let him explore his options July 5th. Offer him a 5 yr 15 mill deal on that date. Lets see where his heart is, if the money is the most important thing to him, let him leave. Edmonton will have alot more impactful players more deserving of the funds.

Exactly.

Overpay 4 or 5 guys by half a million per season and you're seriously handicapping your ability to fill out the roster with quality.

Anything over $3.5M is an overpay.

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#21 Will
March 31 2013, 07:32PM
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It would be nice if he took the home town discount at 3.5, but the team isn't negotiating with Smid, they're negotiating with Smid's agent, and it's his job to get him as much as possible. However, if I were Smid, .5 mill less a year would almost be worth it to not have to go through what Horcoff did. It really doesn't matter how good he plays, he isn't worth 4 mill, and the fans will leap down his throat every chance they get if he's getting paid that much.

With any luck Smid shows he's a character guy and takes a discount to stay and play with the copper and blue.

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#22 Will
March 31 2013, 07:40PM
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Hmmm, I wonder what kind of picks we'd get if someone put an offer sheet in on Gagner. That might be the best case scenario if it's someone, like oh say Nashville.

Especially if we end up drafting one of the big centers this year (which as it's going looks like we might be out of that list). However if we get one of them, maybe that first round pick we hypothetically get back in an offer sheet gets packaged up to bring back a top 2 defense, or a less skilled, but bigger two way center. Or even a power forward LW with an edge (sorry Magnus).

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#23 Czar
March 31 2013, 08:01PM
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Smids a frickin Warrior and exactly the kind of guy you want to see sitting next to you in the playoffs! We Should have signed him before the lockout, his value has only gone up.

With regards to the cap, a certain poster has stated that the cap will be up to $90 million within 5 years or is that just for his favorite teams? I don't suggest we throw away money, but will it really be that big an issue? Can we afford to lose Smid on the ice or in the room right now? Not to mention the guy's on a scoring streak to boot!

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#24 Hair bag
March 31 2013, 08:13PM
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Will wrote:

It would be nice if he took the home town discount at 3.5, but the team isn't negotiating with Smid, they're negotiating with Smid's agent, and it's his job to get him as much as possible. However, if I were Smid, .5 mill less a year would almost be worth it to not have to go through what Horcoff did. It really doesn't matter how good he plays, he isn't worth 4 mill, and the fans will leap down his throat every chance they get if he's getting paid that much.

With any luck Smid shows he's a character guy and takes a discount to stay and play with the copper and blue.

I understand what you're saying here but I don't think that .5mil is going to get the fans after Laddy for overpayment, especially if in the next couple years the salary cap goes up, he will be right in the ballpark - Horcoff on the other hand is somewhere around a $4mil guy who's cap hit is $1-1.5mil over where is should be, possibly more. That overpay in itself could get you a decent depth player - but alas it is what it is and you can't blame Horcoff for signing what was put in front of him...Lowe is the dummy!

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#25 DSF
March 31 2013, 08:21PM
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Czar wrote:

Smids a frickin Warrior and exactly the kind of guy you want to see sitting next to you in the playoffs! We Should have signed him before the lockout, his value has only gone up.

With regards to the cap, a certain poster has stated that the cap will be up to $90 million within 5 years or is that just for his favorite teams? I don't suggest we throw away money, but will it really be that big an issue? Can we afford to lose Smid on the ice or in the room right now? Not to mention the guy's on a scoring streak to boot!

The problem won't be five years from now. It'll be the season after next when Schultz and Hopkins get paid.

Overpay everyone else like Smid and Eberle, and you'll have to overpay them too.

Death by paper cut.

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#26 Hair bag
March 31 2013, 08:23PM
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Will wrote:

Hmmm, I wonder what kind of picks we'd get if someone put an offer sheet in on Gagner. That might be the best case scenario if it's someone, like oh say Nashville.

Especially if we end up drafting one of the big centers this year (which as it's going looks like we might be out of that list). However if we get one of them, maybe that first round pick we hypothetically get back in an offer sheet gets packaged up to bring back a top 2 defense, or a less skilled, but bigger two way center. Or even a power forward LW with an edge (sorry Magnus).

I think with the way Gagner has played this year there is no way you can let him go. He is still only 23 and with the experience he has, let alone the points he has finally put up consistently, combined with heart he shows and his desire to be an Oiler....very tough to replace those characteristics. I think it would be better to try and add some size on the wings (easier to find those kind of guys than a big, skilled center) and keep Gagner as the number 2 guy. If we were able to draft a big skilled center (pretty much the only way to get one) then you could look at either trading Gagner down the road or making him the number 3 guy when Horcoff is done...

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#27 Czar
March 31 2013, 08:37PM
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Hair bag wrote:

I think with the way Gagner has played this year there is no way you can let him go. He is still only 23 and with the experience he has, let alone the points he has finally put up consistently, combined with heart he shows and his desire to be an Oiler....very tough to replace those characteristics. I think it would be better to try and add some size on the wings (easier to find those kind of guys than a big, skilled center) and keep Gagner as the number 2 guy. If we were able to draft a big skilled center (pretty much the only way to get one) then you could look at either trading Gagner down the road or making him the number 3 guy when Horcoff is done...

I'm with ya,it would be crazy to let Gagner go now. Add a couple of mean SOB's on the point and everyone's bigger. Say what you will about Andy Sutton but he didn't need to be told when to stick up for his teammates.

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#28 Oiler Al
March 31 2013, 09:36PM
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Not a great puck mover or passer, no big shot from the point, won't hit to hurt, great shot blocker, positional play fair....on a cup team is No.5.... He likes Edmonton, and to be fair has been a loyal troopers....

5 years - $16 million.

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#29 Hair bag
March 31 2013, 10:39PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Not a great puck mover or passer, no big shot from the point, won't hit to hurt, great shot blocker, positional play fair....on a cup team is No.5.... He likes Edmonton, and to be fair has been a loyal troopers....

5 years - $16 million.

I'd go with that - give him the extra year to keep his cap number down....

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#30 RexLibris
March 31 2013, 10:41PM
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Regardless of the amount, I personally will be looking forward to the editorializing about it from the Calgary Flames twitter account.

$4 million a year is high, and others are correct when they say that a few overpays here and there can gut a team's depth. However, I also strongly believe that the league revenues are going to make a salary cap rise to the $70 million range fairly quickly.

This coupled with some expiring contracts on Khabibulin, Whitney, Horcoff (eventually) and others means that the eventual graduation of one or two prospects should be enough to allow room for depth UFA signings.

Also, I may need to sign up for a Twitter account just to read more from Smid. That was great.

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#31 Eddie Shore
March 31 2013, 10:56PM
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DSF wrote:

The problem won't be five years from now. It'll be the season after next when Schultz and Hopkins get paid.

Overpay everyone else like Smid and Eberle, and you'll have to overpay them too.

Death by paper cut.

Eberle an overpay? Huh?

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#32 Smokey
March 31 2013, 11:07PM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Eberle an overpay? Huh?

The Eberle contract is an overpay in the first couple years like Tavaras, Skinner, Benn was. A player with one good year gets paid based on potential to hopefully keep the cap down, rather then paying him once hes earned the contract over a number of years. You see what the Oilers did, and then teams like Montreal with Subban, and Colorado with Duschene naking their young players earn their contract

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#33 Will
March 31 2013, 11:57PM
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Hair bag wrote:

I think with the way Gagner has played this year there is no way you can let him go. He is still only 23 and with the experience he has, let alone the points he has finally put up consistently, combined with heart he shows and his desire to be an Oiler....very tough to replace those characteristics. I think it would be better to try and add some size on the wings (easier to find those kind of guys than a big, skilled center) and keep Gagner as the number 2 guy. If we were able to draft a big skilled center (pretty much the only way to get one) then you could look at either trading Gagner down the road or making him the number 3 guy when Horcoff is done...

No I'm with you on keeping him. But if Smid gets 4, how much do you think Gagner will want? I just can't see how we keep Smid, J. Schultz, Hall, Ebs, Nuge, Yak, and Gags, all under contract in the next few years, and still have enough money to build a decent team around them. At some point, either someone needs to get less money,or we have to ship them out.

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#34 vetinari
April 01 2013, 08:21AM
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We need The Smid (see, it rhymes)! Again, Smid's in the driver's seat on this because the alternatives are to either trade him within the next day (imagine a playoff race without him), or keep him, insult him with a lower offer than fair market value, and lose him in July for nothing. If he gets a slight overpay of a few hundred thousand dollars, I'm fine with that. I saw Smytty leave this team when he was in his prime, and I don't want to see Smid being another team's top shut down guy when we need a guy like that!

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#35 dawgtoy
April 01 2013, 08:32AM
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From Jim Matheson's Edmonton Journal article this morning, he has a quote from Smid.

“I’d like a five years, around that term. Yeah five years at $3.5 million (a season), that would be nice. I’d be more than happy with that. Obviously you look around and see what other guys are making. I do think we’re getting closer (to a deal). Negotiations are pretty good right now. We have three days left and I’m really hopeful we’ll get a deal done. Obviously we have to have something done by Wednesday. I would hate to be traded. We have a great thing going on now and I’d hate to leave.”

Get this done immediately!!!

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#36 Shane
April 01 2013, 09:08AM
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Smid resigns, 4yrs 3.5mil per

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#37 The Soup Fascist
April 01 2013, 09:15AM
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Shane wrote:

Smid resigns, 4yrs 3.5mil per

Heard the same numbers. Very good signing. Despite the fact he brings little to no offence to the table he is the type of defenceman good teams have playing in their 2nd pairing - problem is right now he is sometimes in our first pairing, but I digress. The guy is a warrior and is typically a nasty guy to play against. Loved his fight against the LA King who clocked Eberle early this year (I think it was Nolan).

Guy is a leader (even though for some reason Nick Schultz is wearing his letter). Nice to have Smid locked up. Looks like a lot of money, but I think he would have easily gotten this offer come this summer's UFA sweepstakes and is on par with other D-men of his ilk.

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#38 hemi
April 01 2013, 09:16AM
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Nobody can knock this signing. Good job!

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#39 Quintana
April 01 2013, 09:19AM
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Shane wrote:

Smid resigns, 4yrs 3.5mil per

Good work Tambo!!!

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#40 dawgtoy
April 01 2013, 09:21AM
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Perfect contract IMO. Go Oilers Go.

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#41 Rob...
April 01 2013, 09:22AM
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hemi wrote:

Nobody can knock this signing. Good job!

Oh, I bet there's at least one troll that does.

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#42 CaptainLander
April 01 2013, 09:26AM
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Have no issues with the numbers.

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#43 geoilersgist
April 01 2013, 09:32AM
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Solid signing IMO

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#44 RexLibris
April 01 2013, 09:33AM
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Bring on the Flames.

Am I the only one who would like to see Fistric dress tonight? Just something about seeing that Flaming C brings out the truculence in me.

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#45 Fresh Mess
April 01 2013, 09:38AM
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God bless Ladi ! He left a couple of bucks on the table to remain an Oiler. What a guy.

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#46 Smokey
April 01 2013, 09:43AM
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3.5 4/years. Give props to Tambo...cough cough...

Congrats to Smid, tonight he will probably block 5 shots, two with his ass, one with the back of his calf, one in the gut, and a riser in the face. But he won't miss a shift.

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#47 vetinari
April 01 2013, 10:04AM
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Entirely reasonable numbers! I wonder with the team being within a few points of a playoff spot if this means that they'll keep Whitney rather than trade him at the deadline?

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#48 wiseguy
April 01 2013, 10:14AM
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Rob... wrote:

Oh, I bet there's at least one troll that does.

But...but... Vancouver is getting so much more in the Garrison signing. Smid is a bum. The advanced stats say so. The Oilers and 28 other teams are so stupid to think he's worth that this summer... Vancouver would never sign him for that because they're so smart... $3.45 million per year is the most they should have given him...

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#49 DSF
April 01 2013, 10:15AM
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Rob... wrote:

Oh, I bet there's at least one troll that does.

Nope.

A very reasonable signing at fair rates.

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#50 DSF
April 01 2013, 10:24AM
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wiseguy wrote:

But...but... Vancouver is getting so much more in the Garrison signing. Smid is a bum. The advanced stats say so. The Oilers and 28 other teams are so stupid to think he's worth that this summer... Vancouver would never sign him for that because they're so smart... $3.45 million per year is the most they should have given him...

Garrison has 5 goals and 8points.

Smid has 1goal and 3 points.

Offence costs money.

Also worth noting that Smid is -2 while Garrison is + 11

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