RYAN SMYTH: END OF THE LINE?

Robin Brownlee
April 17 2013 10:57PM

As somebody who has watched Ryan Smyth since he was a baby-faced rookie with the Edmonton Oilers, who has witnessed him grinding out a better NHL career than he had any reasonable right to based on natural talent, it's been difficult to watch him in the twilight of his career.

Smyth's departure from Edmonton at the trade deadline in 2007 after so many seasons of taking a beating, spitting out teeth and defiantly refusing to a take a backwards step despite being out-sized and overmatched in the trenches was gut-wrenching.

His return to Edmonton in the summer of 2011 by way of trade with the Los Angeles Kings after being exiled to New York, Colorado and Tinseltown was a feel-good story, a nostalgic stroll down memory lane welcomed by a lot of fans and more than a few media types.

When Smyth started the 2011-12 season like a house on fire, it looked like he might be the guy to defy time and show the kids how it's done for at least two or three more seasons. Then, 20 games or so into it, he hit the wall -- then came the touchy question of a new contract. Re-sign him? For how much?

Smyth got a new deal, two years at a greatly reduced salary, but this season has been, to be kind, disappointing. Now 37, Smyth looks spent. He's scored 2-8-10 in 41 games. The tank looks empty. The legs look gone. It looks he's reached the end of the line with one year remaining on that new deal.

A TOUGH ROAD

Jim Matheson, clearly, is seeing the same things I and a lot of other people have seen this season and wrote a terrific piece in the Edmonton Journal taking a look at what might be next for Smyth. The entire item is here.

Writes Matheson: "One longtime pro scout feels for Smyth, for all the battering he’s taken during nearly two decades playing in the NHL.

"He’s been a warrior, a great warrior,” said the scout, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But when he picks them (his feet) up and puts them down now, they come down in the same spot.

"I don’t know if he’s got the legs anymore."

Last summer, some people made the case – statistical and otherwise -- that despite his decline and obvious struggles in the second half last season, Smyth might actually slot into this edition of the Oilers as a second-line player, given the potential make-up of the team.

Despite Smyth's best efforts, as usual, that's clearly not the case. Smyth isn’t a second-line winger now. He isn't staking his turf in front of the net and giving goaltenders fits nearly as effectively as he used to. He's a fourth-line centre – barely – who gets some added time on special teams.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Take the results, or lack of same, we've seen from Smyth this season and frame them with new GM Craig MacTavish's words about making some tough decisions about re-jigging the roster, and you have to wonder what's next for No. 94. Nostalgia, after all, only goes so far.

Smyth, of course, believes he can still find a way to contribute to the rebuild beyond this season. He wants to stick with it. What would you expect from a player who has always taken "stick with it" to the extreme?

Might the Oilers buy Smyth out? Might he, after a conversation with MacTavish over this summer, decide to retire? Or might the trainers have to cut the jersey he's worn so proudly and so well off his back when he insists on showing up for training camp next September?

I don’t know for sure, but I’d lean toward the latter. One thing I do know – if Smyth becomes one of the tough decisions MacTavish has referred to, we'll know the GM means business because he and Smyth are very close. There's a lot of mutual respect there.

No matter what happens, Smyth has most certainly earned that respect.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#1 DSF
April 17 2013, 11:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Smyth has earned all the dignity the Oilers can bestow on him as his career winds down.

How he is treated this offseason will be a bellwether for the organization.

Let's all hope it's done with class.

Avatar
#2 Jay
April 18 2013, 10:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I have a dream, that next year we make the playoffs and smytty wills this team to the finals once more and retires with the cup over his head

Avatar
#3 t-dogg
April 18 2013, 08:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Smyth has made over $50 Million in his NHL career. If he's not right for the Oilers NOW, then make the tough decision and move on. Settle it with him in private. Allow him to reveal the plan, etc. Do it in a way that shows respect and class. But don't feel sorry for him.

Avatar
#4 OilClog
April 18 2013, 12:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Ryan Smyth can play a much more effective role on this roster.. if this roster was built to properly compete.

Ryan Smyth as a 4th line C is insane and completely unjustified IMO. If MacT is serious about turning this around, a signed Ryan Smyth for next season isn't a problem.

How much can we expect this guy to bleed for the Oilers, take his lumps on the ice and in the media? Ryan Smyth playing 4th line center?!?! really?? and we're questioning if he has the legs. We've turned a effective long career grinding gritty winger into a 4th line center and defensive roles.. Ok.

If articles are to be written about Ryan Smyth, I would say they should go along the lines of..

"Can you believe that Ryan Smyth has even been able to get to 10 points this season with the way Edmonton has been using him. Playing out of position with Lennard Petrell, and Mike Brown. Or lining up beside Eric Belanger when Healthy.. How does this guy do it? after 16yrs in the league, still showing up and putting on his blue collar. What a competitor, he's a real inspiration for the kids to look up to. Doing anything he can to help the team, even if it means his personal stats take a complete and utter poop kicking. That Ryan Smyth, what an Edmonton Oiler"

Or you know we can scream "you're done old man! those legs are over! hang em up! why can't you make petrell score!?!? you suck!"

;)

Avatar
#5 Supernova
April 17 2013, 11:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

He needs to be respectfully sent out to pasture.

Next season will get embarrassing for him and the organization if they don't end his playing career.

Avatar
#6 JRock
April 18 2013, 12:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
The Worrier wrote:

I am of the same vintage of Brownlee. I have seen the the great Oilers (Toby Peterson, Roman Oksiuta, Alex Selivanov) and I remember the day #94 was drafted. However, I have never understood the love affair with him or how he got the label "heart and soul" don't get me wrong he played hard. He's an old time hockey player. When I think of 'heart and soul' guys in recent years I think of: Doug Weight and Jason SMITH.

If you don't see Smytty as a heart and soul player then you haven't been watching the games. He was a player who gave 200% every single night and never backed down. He'd get smashed in the back a million times and keep screening the goalie. He'd take a puck in the face, blood and teeth all over the ice, and I'm not sure if he missed more than one shift for it. If there was a guy who embodied the heart and soul of Edmonton, of the Edmonton Oilers, it has to be Ryan Smyth. He wasn't big, he wasn't skilled, but no one worked harder for their success.

Avatar
#7 Reg Dunlop
April 18 2013, 01:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Smitty appears done. Certainly he deserves a night of appreciation after he hangs up the blades and hopefully that happens after this season. The consensus is that Ryan deserves to be kept in the organization in some capacity but isn't that an example of the 'old boys club'? Isn't that practice what caused many of our problems in the 1st place? Screw it, Smitty belongs in orange and blue to the end.

Avatar
#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 05:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I'd guess Smyth is given an option something like:

1) you can retire and we'll give you a plum job and a fancy retirement cake. "we take care of our own" kind of thing.

2) you can stick it out, but you may only play 40 games and primarily in a 4th line/PK role. no renewal beyond that.

3) if 1 and 2 don't work for you, we'll do all we can to find you another team and failing that buy you out and wish you well. come back when you want a mgt., coaching or scouting job. it will be waiting

Avatar
#9 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 08:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
DSF wrote:

Smyth has earned all the dignity the Oilers can bestow on him as his career winds down.

How he is treated this offseason will be a bellwether for the organization.

Let's all hope it's done with class.

Class?

Better keep Lowe away from that press conference.

Avatar
#10 t-dogg
April 18 2013, 09:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I find it amusing how many posters are suggesting Smyth be given a role in the Oilers organization. Fan relations, scouting, whatever... Are these the same fans that loved the hiring of Lowe back in the day? Do we really want Smyth to be around long enough to eventually resent him also? Will anyone cry out "Old-boys club!" if Smyth is given an office position? Not sure what I'd do...

Avatar
#11 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 09:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
t-dogg wrote:

I find it amusing how many posters are suggesting Smyth be given a role in the Oilers organization. Fan relations, scouting, whatever... Are these the same fans that loved the hiring of Lowe back in the day? Do we really want Smyth to be around long enough to eventually resent him also? Will anyone cry out "Old-boys club!" if Smyth is given an office position? Not sure what I'd do...

What does Lowe's overstay at GM/Pres. have to do with Smyth's potential competence in any given roll?

What in Smyth's record suggests to you he wouldn't have a successful career in hockey beyond playing if he wants it?

Avatar
#12 Serious Gord
April 18 2013, 09:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Throttlehead wrote:

Lowe traded him away over 100,000. Smyth was previously playing for the "home town discount", I assume you supported the signings of Horcoff and Pisani? What did Lowe get in return for Smyth, he just came off a 31 goal season in 53 games. Lowe looked in to his stanley cup genie rings and got the wrong answer AGAIN.

My comments are directed at those who put Smyth on a pedestal as somehow the preeminent player who bled cooper and and blue who put the oil first.

I argue - and point out instances - that that is not the case that he like many other players is concerned about himself first - dignity (not retiring) and respectful business practices (demanding publically a trade back to EDM) be damned.

Avatar
#13 G Money
April 18 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Smyth somehow fit a 6'5" 245lb heart inside his 6'2" 190lb frame.

I wonder if he regrets missing out on LA's Stanley.

I hope he retires with the pride of such a wonderful career behind him.

If he comes back, I hope it is on the wing of the 4th line, where he might still be able to contribute. Perhaps alternating games with the facepunching flavour-of-the-year we have next season (if any) will keep him fresh.

Whatever happens, the team needs to ensure he's treated with class.

Avatar
#14 Quicksilver ballet
April 18 2013, 09:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I know time catches up with us all eventually, it has a firm grasp of our Smytty now it appears. I'm not willing to give up on him just yet. He's far from an impact player now but that doesn't mean he still can't be helpful in a smaller role on this hockey club.

Let him be one of the guys, the rest of his teammates make better. Sort of, he's only as good as his line mates. He's a better player than this, especially given managements goal was tanking his last two seasons here.

A lot could happen with the handcuffs being removed from the General Manager now. If the Oilers are going to carry a player with a smaller role on this club, i'd rather it be Ryan Smyth than say a Horcoff or a Hemsky. Things will certainly be different now that everyone in the Oilers organization is back, committed to winning again. It could be worth the wait to see Smytty on the left side of Nathans, MacKinnon and Horton.

It may not be of popular opinion right now, but i'm going to say it....

One more year Smytty!

Avatar
#15 closetgm
April 18 2013, 09:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@The Worrier

If you cant see the heart and soul of Ryam Smyth you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Is this post seriously a joke?

If one moment defines smytty its the 06 playoffs when he spits out his chicklets after getting hit in the face by a pronger slap shot and goes on to score the winning goal that game. if thats not heart i dont know what is.

You should be ashamed of yourself

Avatar
#16 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 10:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
leadfarmer wrote:

Normally I wouldnt want him to continue the inbreeding of this organization by him getting a position in management with this club, but I would be ok with him becoming a consulting coach who teaches Hartikainen and MPS how to stand in front of the net and score dirty goals.

Not sure if you can teach that. If you could wouldn't every player be doing that. After all it is where the most goals are scored from.

It takes a special player to score those type of goals.Ryan was one.

Avatar
#17 Rob...
April 18 2013, 10:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Jay wrote:

I have a dream, that next year we make the playoffs and smytty wills this team to the finals once more and retires with the cup over his head

Since it's so far fetched, can we add to your dream? Perhaps also adding in Kate Upton marrying an Oiler, moving to Edmonton and faithfully cheering on the Copper'n'Blue, promising to perform a 'shirts off for Horcoff' if they win the cup.

Avatar
#18 Jodes
April 17 2013, 11:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well he's definitely sacrificed it all for the Copper and Blue, but time is catching up with him.

Would love to see him stay with the organization. Maybe as a Pro Scout? God knows we need a change in that department!

Hopefully Mac T fires them all and replaces them with people that won't scout garbage! (Hey, one can dream).

Avatar
#19 Oilcan
April 17 2013, 11:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If the Oilers truly want to take the next step Smyth has to go he could have some value as a 30-40 game guy he slides in on the 4th line but I don't think thats in Smyths DNA.

I would hope if he is going to be shown the door that Mac T and him have that discussion before the season ends I would love to see him announce that he will retire after the season and he can play these last few home games with passion and get the standing ovation that he truly deserves that last game of the year.

I just hate seeing veteran guys stay past their due date, Smyth was a great Oilers and a heros send off is what he deserves but THIS SEASON.

Avatar
#20 Darrell
April 17 2013, 11:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
DSF wrote:

Smyth has earned all the dignity the Oilers can bestow on him as his career winds down.

How he is treated this offseason will be a bellwether for the organization.

Let's all hope it's done with class.

Thanks for taking the high road as your critical words were tough to read all year but you were right on with your non-playoff prediction. Cheers to some off season moves that turns you back into an Oiler fan as right or your I can't take your sh!t next year :)

Avatar
#21 NewAgeSys
April 17 2013, 11:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
DSF wrote:

Smyth has earned all the dignity the Oilers can bestow on him as his career winds down.

How he is treated this offseason will be a bellwether for the organization.

Let's all hope it's done with class.

That sums up my feelings nicely, well done.

I might add a position organisationally in some capacity would also be a nice touch after the final buzzer sounds.

Avatar
#22 The Worrier
April 17 2013, 11:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I am of the same vintage of Brownlee. I have seen the the great Oilers (Toby Peterson, Roman Oksiuta, Alex Selivanov) and I remember the day #94 was drafted. However, I have never understood the love affair with him or how he got the label "heart and soul" don't get me wrong he played hard. He's an old time hockey player. When I think of 'heart and soul' guys in recent years I think of: Doug Weight and Jason SMITH.

Avatar
#23 common sense
April 18 2013, 12:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The shortened season didn't do old-timer Smitty any favors. He didn't play much hockey during the lockout like several of the other Oilers like Hall, Eberle, and Yak. No training camp. He might have a little left for one more kick at the cat if he attends Gary Roberts training centre in Ontario in the off-season.

Avatar
#24 common sense
April 18 2013, 12:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The shortened season didn't do old-timer Smitty any favors. He didn't play much hockey during the lockout like several of the other Oilers like Hall, Eberle, and Yak. No training camp. He might have a little left for one more kick at the cat if he attends Gary Roberts training centre in Ontario in the off-season.

Avatar
#25 Dog Train
April 18 2013, 12:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's tough to watch him play right now. He's the reason that I became an Oilers fan in the first place and the first Oilers jersey I bought was of #94. It will be interesting to see what happens in the off-season. I could be wrong but even if he retires, I think his contract still counts against the cap as he signed it over the age of 35.

Avatar
#26 cabaj
April 18 2013, 02:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Doesn't help that he was playing center for most of the season in a compressed schedule. Krueger's is a system where center's skate and change directions A LOT.

With a summer of rest and a normal season next year, its possible that he could still play good minutes as a depth winger, not center to finish out his contract. Also quite possible that management doesn't take that risk.

Avatar
#27 106 and 106
April 18 2013, 05:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Heart and Soul Smyth.

Gave up a cup to play in Edmonton.

Always believed he could win it here.

Avatar
#28 Hockeyfan_99
April 18 2013, 06:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Smythy still has that huge heart. I say offer him a front office position of some sort....keep him in the organization.

Avatar
#29 The Beaker
April 18 2013, 07:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If you dont think hes been a heart and soul guy... just look at his nose.

Avatar
#30 Aitch
April 18 2013, 07:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Smythy's been a beast, but right now, he can't skate well enough to play for the Oilers. Too many times, I've seen him carry the puck only to be stripped of it by a faster backchecker. It isn't even close.

About the best I can hope for, for Smyth is that he watches most games from the press box next season and only comes into play when there are injuries. (There will be injuries.) But he shouldn't be pencilled into the top 12 to start the season.

Avatar
#31 Serious Gord
April 18 2013, 07:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Disagreed with signing him for two years.

Supported lowes trading him away.

Earlier this season said he should have retired as it was clear that he had dropped below NHL caliber.

Retiring midseason was the gentlemanly way out. It would have been the selfless way to do it.

But me Smyth was selfish when he wanted more than the oil could give - and got traded.

Then he was selfish to his employers the kings by publically demanding g he be traded back to the oil

Again he was thinking if himself first by asking for two years (and KL&T were too generous in signing him to it.

Now finally he won't retire willingly for the good of the team.

I know many on this site and in the oilosphere think he is near god-like. I think at the very least he had a fall from grace during the negotiations that ultimately sent him to Colorado. And since his return to the oil he hasn't exactly played the same work ethic he was reputed to have had when he was here originally.

Avatar
#32 Scary Gary
April 18 2013, 07:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I feel for captain Canada and appreciate all he's done representing Canada on the world stage but at some point it becomes evident that it's time to ride off into the sunset, and that time is now.

Avatar
#33 michael
April 18 2013, 07:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'd guess Smyth is given an option something like:

1) you can retire and we'll give you a plum job and a fancy retirement cake. "we take care of our own" kind of thing.

2) you can stick it out, but you may only play 40 games and primarily in a 4th line/PK role. no renewal beyond that.

3) if 1 and 2 don't work for you, we'll do all we can to find you another team and failing that buy you out and wish you well. come back when you want a mgt., coaching or scouting job. it will be waiting

Smyth as has been pointed out has played out of position. He looks done.He has spent every once of energy. Can he bring that energy back again for next season. Its a good question. I for one believe that a limited role is needed to ensure his energy. 40 games seems reasonable. Will Smyth accept it ? I think he would. But the other option is retirement. And that is where I see an opportunity for Ryan to do his best work. He can be an effective roving coach in the Oilers system. He can represent the Edmonton Oilers community foundation. Expand the work he does with the Stollery. He can be a key link in terms of a link between the players and management. The guy has so much more to give in terms of the impact he can have off ice. The respect and the cache he carrys in the community is enormous. You can't measure that kind of thing in dollars in cents. That what I would like to see Ryan Smyth's legacy be. A one where people regardless of whether they are hockey fans or not look at Ryan Smyth and see him as a man who represents his community and works as he always has to help others.

Avatar
#34 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 08:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

May the Mullet ride off into the sunset and not stay any longer past his due date.

Thanks for all your blood, effort and especially many, many great memories.

It is time warrior.

Avatar
#35 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 08:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Hockeyfan_99 wrote:

Smythy still has that huge heart. I say offer him a front office position of some sort....keep him in the organization.

Sure , put him in charge of fan relations. Lord knows they could use some good will there.

Please don't give another ex Oiler a position they are not qualified for. Just because they were once an Oiler or a Buddy of someone in the organization.

That is what created this mess in the first place.

Avatar
#36 Rob...
April 18 2013, 08:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is there a way for Smyth to step away from the active roster that doesn't harm the Oilers through an expended contract and salary cap hit? If we don't re-sign Khabi does that open up a spot for a fossil that plays 1 of every 3 games, hoping the extra rest time allows him to be more effective on those games he does get in for? If Smyth isn't open to that option and still insists that he should play every night then I question his grasp on reality.

Our administration is chalk full of examples of how well we treat players who have been dedicated to this team and this website is chalk full of rants on how those moves have harmed this team. Enough already. I want a team that wins much more often than it loses.

Avatar
#37 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 08:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Serious Gord

two years was a year too long.

but based on his performance last year and an understanding that he would be relied on even less, I think a one year deal would have been a safe bet.

it wouldn't have panned out... but at the time it would have been safe.

I think your comments on his selfishness are a bit off... he and lowe couldn't reach an agreement... is that selfish?

asking a guy to retire isn't asking someone to help you move on the weekend. being reluctant isn't exactly selfish... it might reflect a lack of perspective, but that seems pretty normal, rather than an aberration.

Avatar
#38 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 08:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Sure , put him in charge of fan relations. Lord knows they could use some good will there.

Please don't give another ex Oiler a position they are not qualified for. Just because they were once an Oiler or a Buddy of someone in the organization.

That is what created this mess in the first place.

I think he would have a lot of value in a variety of roles (scouting, coaching, mgt.).

and, you can't get experience/qualifications without someone taking a chance on you at some point.

that said, he shouldn't be given a large role or responsibility until he earns it and if he fails he should be moved along.

but don't write off his possibilities yet... no one knows what they even are yet.

Avatar
#39 Shredder
April 18 2013, 08:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'd guess Smyth is given an option something like:

1) you can retire and we'll give you a plum job and a fancy retirement cake. "we take care of our own" kind of thing.

2) you can stick it out, but you may only play 40 games and primarily in a 4th line/PK role. no renewal beyond that.

3) if 1 and 2 don't work for you, we'll do all we can to find you another team and failing that buy you out and wish you well. come back when you want a mgt., coaching or scouting job. it will be waiting

That's a pretty good summary of his options. I'm hoping he sticks it out as a 4th line guy. We need a 13th forward like him. That being said we currently have about 6-7 13th forwards and he's the best of them.

I doubt any other team is interested in taking him though.

Avatar
#40 TeeVee
April 18 2013, 08:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Aitch wrote:

Smythy's been a beast, but right now, he can't skate well enough to play for the Oilers. Too many times, I've seen him carry the puck only to be stripped of it by a faster backchecker. It isn't even close.

About the best I can hope for, for Smyth is that he watches most games from the press box next season and only comes into play when there are injuries. (There will be injuries.) But he shouldn't be pencilled into the top 12 to start the season.

This is exactly what I've seen of him this year. The hockey sense is still there and he always seems to get himself into a position to get a breakaway or two-on-one only to be stripped because of the lack of speed.

Avatar
#41 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 08:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Shredder wrote:

That's a pretty good summary of his options. I'm hoping he sticks it out as a 4th line guy. We need a 13th forward like him. That being said we currently have about 6-7 13th forwards and he's the best of them.

I doubt any other team is interested in taking him though.

there's one more I just thought of:

the "Gillis F U"

They could simply put him on the LTIR a la Malholtra and not even bother to try and trade him... just let him rot in the basement.

seems unlikely.

Avatar
#42 Throttlehead
April 18 2013, 08:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Serious Gord

Lowe traded him away over 100,000. Smyth was previously playing for the "home town discount", I assume you supported the signings of Horcoff and Pisani? What did Lowe get in return for Smyth, he just came off a 31 goal season in 53 games. Lowe looked in to his stanley cup genie rings and got the wrong answer AGAIN.

Avatar
#43 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 09:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
t-dogg wrote:

I find it amusing how many posters are suggesting Smyth be given a role in the Oilers organization. Fan relations, scouting, whatever... Are these the same fans that loved the hiring of Lowe back in the day? Do we really want Smyth to be around long enough to eventually resent him also? Will anyone cry out "Old-boys club!" if Smyth is given an office position? Not sure what I'd do...

That is why I said fan relations. Montreal has done it for decades. See if he wants to hang out at games mingle with the fans. Go to some schools and hospitals. Attend rubber chicken dinners. Maybe a golf tournament or two. Just be a good will ambassador for the Oilers. I'm sure many fans would love the chance to meet Ryan hear a few stories shake his hand and say thanks for the memories.

If you give him any scouting or hockey related position he should have to pay his dues in the minors and see if he has any aptitude for it before you bring him to the big team.

Avatar
#44 Buke
April 18 2013, 09:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Buy him out and offer him a VP job...something like VP of Community Relations.

I don't care if it is a bogus title but no fan will be upset with this.

Opening night retire the 94 jersey.

Avatar
#45 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 18 2013, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

That is why I said fan relations. Montreal has done it for decades. See if he wants to hang out at games mingle with the fans. Go to some schools and hospitals. Attend rubber chicken dinners. Maybe a golf tournament or two. Just be a good will ambassador for the Oilers. I'm sure many fans would love the chance to meet Ryan hear a few stories shake his hand and say thanks for the memories.

If you give him any scouting or hockey related position he should have to pay his dues in the minors and see if he has any aptitude for it before you bring him to the big team.

I completely agree with this.

I'm just saying there's no reason to get ahead of ourselves here.

Avatar
#46 Harlie
April 18 2013, 09:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I could see Smyth replacing Sillinger in the Player Development role upon his retirement. It's no secret that Smyth has built up alot of loyalty with the Oilers and as a cagey vet he can pass down some good info to the new blood coming up.

Also, this retains Smyth and keeps him local to keep contributing to the community (Stollery and hospital visits etc) that he is legendary for.

Yes, he had a wonderful career. Yes, he made a ton of scratch. No, I don't feel sorry for him if he is bought out, retires or plays only half of next season.

Avatar
#47 madjam
April 18 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Maybe let Smyth decide in off season if he wishes to play on or not . Not like we have any better upgrade at present , so he is still of some value . He opens himself up for trade bait if he remains obviously . Would be a downer to fans if he were required to be traded . I think he feels Oilers will make a breakthrough next year , and he would love to have that opportunity to contribute to it . He's not finished yet , but value not increasing in overall picture .

Avatar
#48 Spydyr
April 18 2013, 09:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
madjam wrote:

Maybe let Smyth decide in off season if he wishes to play on or not . Not like we have any better upgrade at present , so he is still of some value . He opens himself up for trade bait if he remains obviously . Would be a downer to fans if he were required to be traded . I think he feels Oilers will make a breakthrough next year , and he would love to have that opportunity to contribute to it . He's not finished yet , but value not increasing in overall picture .

He is finished. That's the whole point.

Avatar
#49 tileguy
April 18 2013, 09:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

will the rooster allow for a "player coach" scenario? (more coach than player)

Avatar
#50 The Soup Fascist
April 18 2013, 09:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
tileguy wrote:

will the rooster allow for a "player coach" scenario? (more coach than player)

Ryan "Reggie" Dunlop?

Don't think so.

It is a testament to Smytty that very few Oiler's fans would sweat it if he was given a position in the front office. Based on the recent concerns about the ol'boys club, if this would be suggested about virtually any other Oiler there would be hue and cry - rightly so. As many have noted, Smytty has given everything he could and then some.

My hope is Smytty pencils his own ending in collaboration with the Oilers. My personal preference is for retirement before next season, but I don't think his DNA will allow that. Storybook ending is he finds some of his old form and is a part of a team that finally gets back into the playoffs. Not sure that is too likely, given both the gaps the team needs to address and the steepness of the decline in Smytty's performance over the past 15 months or so. But if we have any markers with the hockey gods next season, let's call them in. Because if anyone deserves a last chance for a little glory, it is Smytty.

Comments are closed for this article.