3LW

Lowetide
July 27 2013 03:08PM

After years of pondering where the #1 overall pick will play in the fall, Oiler fans are forced to discuss other issues this summer. One of the main items--assuming the Oilers are finished shopping--is 3line LW. My belief is that Ryan Smyth has the inside track based on experience and ability. Agree?

In April, I wrote a Ryan Smyth profile (here) suggesting "these days, Ryan Smyth patrols the 3rd and 4th lines, mentoring the youth and passing the torch. The young men who hope to bring glory to Edmonton would do well to learn about heart, soul and dedication from Ryan Smyth."

In fact, Smyth was 6th among wingers in EV time on ice (11:35), 2nd among wingers in SH TOI (2:31) and played an hour with the man advantage. By any stretch, he was a 3rd line winger in 2012-13 for the Edmonton Oilers.

THE CANDIDATES!

 

Ryan Jones played about as much as Ryan Smyth at evens this year and posted a slightly better 5x5 points per 60 number. If he's fully recovered from his eye injury (and the after effects, I can't imagine how difficult it must be to suffer that injury and THEN return to a game that goes as fast as NHL hockey uncertain of visual range) I expect he'll give Smyth the toughest battle.

One area Jones will be counted on is the penalty kill, something he's done in the past and enjoys. In the article "A Chat with Ryan Jones" back in November Jones said this to Jason Strudwick:

  • Ryan Jones: "I really like the role the coaches have given me the last couple of years as well as the opportunity to kill penalties I have been given. I always loved killing penalties. It is not a glamorous role but I take a lot of pride in it. I shoot the puck down the ice a lot so they might as well let me do it without it being icing!"

Jesse Joensuu is the great unknown in this group--he's an interesting guy who does have NHL experience but we don't really know what he is; the closest I've seen to a reliable scouting report comes from the Hockey News

He has not been a penalty killer for any extended time in the NHL, but did kill penalties during his time in Europe over the last two seasons. He can be a physical player--he's 6.04, 210--and I think that element will get him into the lineup and help him sustain playing time this winter.

WILDCARD

The Oilers also signed veteran AHL winger Ryan Hamilton, and his agent (Tom Lynn) feels Edmonton is an outstanding landing place for his player. Why? Well, Hamilton has size (6.02, 230), knows the new head coach very well and his Hockey News bio is a nice fit for team needs:

If Hamilton impresses early, gets a couple of pre-season games and shows well, he could be here awhile. The opportunity is there.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Entering summer (and after free agency ran its early course) we've settled (uneasily) in to the idea of Gordon-Hemsky as 2/3s of that very important third line. The third member of the group could be Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Jesse Joensuu or Ryan Hamilton. It's possible Ben Eager may be part of the solution, and the club could add a veteran before or during the season.

As it stands now, I think it's a safe bet we'll see all of Smyth, Jones, Joensuu and Hamilton a lot this coming season. If true, I suspect Ryan Smyth will win the early battle for 3 LW--the question is can he keep it?

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Bleak Winter
July 27 2013, 04:11PM
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DSF wrote:

Jennifer Garner is the hottest woman on the planet.

Jennifer Garner??? Good Grief.

There's 29 teams with at least 8 hockey wives each hotter than her.

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#2 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 04:12PM
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@Bleak Winter

Elisha Cuthbert comes to mind. Good Canadian girl, too.

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#3 toprightcorner
July 27 2013, 05:09PM
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DSF wrote:

Jennifer Garner is the hottest woman on the planet.

At least your consistent, none of your comments hockey or non-hockey are interesting, researched or accurate

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#4 messyEH!
July 27 2013, 03:21PM
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Lowetide, where do you find the time?

Thank you for your great articles.

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#5 Quicksilver ballet
July 27 2013, 04:05PM
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Tis that subtle chill in the evening Edmonton air, that provides me with a pleasant reminder....hockey season isn't that far away.

Can't believe Weber isn't an Oiler yet. What up with that...

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#6 OilClog
July 27 2013, 05:06PM
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@DSF

Gonna have to be the Odd one out here it seems and disagree.. There's a few hips out there in youthful alignment that are ahead of her in my eyes.

http://rollingout.com/photos/mens-health-magazine-names-their-top-10-hottest-women-of-2013/attachment/esquire-2012-mila-kunis-cliff-watts-4545455/

like this for example

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#7 2004Z06
July 28 2013, 01:00AM
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I wish we could all stop with the Shea Webber talk. Why the hell is Nashville going to trade a guy that they just spent 27 million on for 48 games? If and it is a big if he gets traded, it won't be until next year at the earliest and only if Jones is ready to fill the void. And Edmonton would not even be in the ball park unless it is one of RNH, Hall, Yakupov, Eberle ++ going back.

Put down the bong!

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#8 DSF
July 27 2013, 03:21PM
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Jennifer Garner is the hottest woman on the planet.

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#9 Manfly
July 27 2013, 03:26PM
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i think Eager will get another shot and he's still very much in the picture.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
July 27 2013, 04:28PM
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With still a little over a month to go before camp. The waters here on Oilersnation are uncomfortably all too calm lately. It's time for a knock down, drag'em out slap fest type article. Get those moderators earning their keep again.

LT, you're just the guy to expand your horizons by submitting a pi$$ and vinegar type article, whip the masses here into a frenzy. A no holds barred character assassination of a/some members here perhaps. Put some passion in ON again during these dog days of summer. It's okay to laugh at ourselves every once in a while.

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#11 MessyEH!
July 27 2013, 04:31PM
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But the Eager Beaver does get the boobs.

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#12 Taylor Gang
July 27 2013, 08:07PM
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Let's be honest here, Natalie Portman is the hottest girl alive.

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#13 adams
July 27 2013, 11:50PM
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I've been contemplating a BOLD deal with nashville all week. It's no secret Nashville was forced into a big contract they don't want when they had to match the Philly offer on Weber. It's also no secret that they have Ryan Ellis and Seth Jones primed for top 4 roles. They are at the point where they don't NEED Weber anymore. What they do need is a scoring right winger or two. What they need is also a left handed dman or two. Josi is they only true NHL lefty they have right now. What Edmonton needs is a true top pairing dman and a gritty two way left winger for the 3rd/4th line. They could use a big gritty two way center as well. Something many of you have pointed out already is that NSH has a lot of centers. Gaustad is a great fit for EDM and his 3mil+ cap hit is unnessisary for a team like the Preds for a fourth line guy. so..... Proposal:

to EDM: Weber(7.8m), Gaustad(3.2m), Taylor Beck(.9m)

to NSH: Smid(3.5m), Petry(1.7m), Hemsky(5m), Marincin(.9), Rajala(.8)

The salaries work out well for both. The positional depth works out well for both teams even better. Check it out on cap geek's cap calculator. (ignore their r/l for dmen... its horribly wrong) NSH needs some depth on rw, Rajala (who is readu but will not get an opportunity to play top 6 behind Ebs and Yak), Hemsky (positionally wrong on a checking line). Edm would get size and grit in those 3 players as well. Beck 6'3" 200lbs right handed LW pretty decent numbers last year, Weber 6'4" 230lbs, Gaustad 6'5" 225lbs and a very capable 3/4th line center. win-win for both teams.

what do you think?

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#14 bazmagoo
July 28 2013, 02:29AM
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I keep hoping Selanne retires, so the Oilers can trade Hemsky to the Ducks for Winnick. He would be (imo) the perfect 3rd line right winger for us. Come on Teemu, you're 43, it's time to hang them up!

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#15 David S
July 28 2013, 02:33AM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

Hall Hopkins Eberle

Perron Grabovski Yakupov

Smyth Gagner Jones

Lander Gordan Eager

One center will be injured throughout the year, by the time Hopkins comes back someone else will most likely get hurt..

The top six are incredible and the bottom six centers are strong as any in the league.

You just sewered Sam Gagner's career.

Nice going.

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#16 SincetgeWHADays
July 28 2013, 07:31AM
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madjam wrote:

Not much on Nashville at a decent price for a 4th line center . Our top 3 are set in Hopkins , Gagner and Gordon . Mike Fisher might have been nice , but that would drop Gordon down to fourth line , and that's an awful lot to be paying a 4th line center . Options on farm not great , but beats a vast overpayment . Most problems we had last year are still in place and most still not possibly adequately resolved . To be honest , we have not adequately filled the new holes left by Horcoff leaving .

You get the feeling if we get off to a bad start , fans are going to be getting after MacT. in short order .

Yes, but unlike Tambo; MacT will do something before it too little too late. And just because Lander hasn't proven himself yet doesn't mean he's not the best option at 4C. All players are unproven until they get a chance and make good to prove themselves. Wether Lander proves himself thus season remains to be seen, but he's just the type of player that can turn out to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

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#17 toprightcorner
July 28 2013, 02:10PM
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DSF wrote:

Paul Gaustad.

6'5" 220 pound centre who wins 58% of his faceoffs and is signed for another 3 seasons at $3.25M.

Nashville has David Legwand, Mike Fischer, Matt Cullen, Gaustad, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg at C and almost nothing at RW.

A marriage made in heaven.

Craig Wilson has never played centre in the NHL, he has played RW his entire career. Craig Smith also mostly played wing and only played centre do to injuries. I don't see Forsberg playing centre ahead of Legwand, Fisher or Cullen so expect him to play on the wing if he makes the team.

You can't just look at nhl.com and get all the positions?? You probably one of those guys who though Ovechkin still plays left wing!

Foiled by lack of research again!!

$3.25M a year for 4th line centre, thats more than many 4th lines make. Steckel same player third the price and available.

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#18 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 03:15PM
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Eager could be exactly what we need, but a banger with concussion problems is a pretty big red flag. He sure can hustle for a guy his size though. And just look at this beauty he scored a couple years ago:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C73RC733qhk

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#20 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 03:23PM
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It's kind of a piss off that a player who's potentially a perfect fit for the team was sidelined by a guy we'll likely never see again. I'll give Dithers credit, I was up the wall when he signed Eager.

On his best night, he brings the perfect amount of crazy the Oilers need. I remember one game two years ago where Hordichuk was in the box, Eager had one of his freak outs and was sitting next to Hordi screaming at someone. Even Hordichuk was looking sideways at him with a "What the hell is wrong with this guy?" look on his face.

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#21 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 03:24PM
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@DSF

For once, I think we might be in agreement buddy.

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#22 messyEH!
July 27 2013, 03:27PM
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I think Smyth is pressbox bound this year. Joensuu likely gets a long look. Jones is a wild card. His flow alone my cause him to get 15g.

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#23 messyEH!
July 27 2013, 03:29PM
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DSF wrote:

Jennifer Garner is the hottest woman on the planet.

^^^THIS^^^

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#24 MessyEH!
July 27 2013, 03:31PM
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Manfly wrote:

i think Eager will get another shot and he's still very much in the picture.

29 other teams passed on him. For nothing.Eagers ship has sailed.

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#25 nuge2nail
July 27 2013, 03:52PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Don Malhoney(GM coyotes) said in an interview today that the teams biggest need is to acquire a SCORING WINGER- enter Ales Hemsky. David Runblad would be the pretfrct return but I'm not sure how desperate Don is.

Rumors on the net(Eklund) has a source that has the Oilers making a big push for Grabovski.

If the oilers dump Hemsky to the coyotes and pick up Grabovski...

That would BE BOLD...

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#26 Smokey
July 27 2013, 04:00PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

29 other teams passed on him. For nothing.Eagers ship has sailed.

Remove the ticket, and term he might of got picked up. He might be effective this year.

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#27 nuge2nail
July 27 2013, 04:02PM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

Hall Hopkins Eberle

Perron Grabovski Yakupov

Smyth Gagner Jones

Lander Gordan Eager

One center will be injured throughout the year, by the time Hopkins comes back someone else will most likely get hurt..

The top six are incredible and the bottom six centers are strong as any in the league.

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#28 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 04:03PM
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Grabo would play 2C until Nuge gets back, I imagine. But after his tantrum over playing bottom 6 for the Leafs it kind of makes you wonder if he would be willing to do it again for the Oil. It would be great to pick him up, we all know what our center depth looks like, but he would more or less automatically be our 3C with Nuge and Gags healthy.

Maybe MacT and Eakins can sell him on being part of the future?

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#29 Bleak Winter
July 27 2013, 04:15PM
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Bah, I can't say that with a straight face! Jennifer Garner is right up there.

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#30 MessyEH!
July 27 2013, 04:28PM
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Smokey wrote:

Remove the ticket, and term he might of got picked up. He might be effective this year.

Eager could bounce back. It is a contract year. I have never thought of him as being lazy. He is very fast for a big man.

Unfortunately he was born with 2 left feet where his hands should be, brittle glass for a jaw, and a brain that was cast from jello.

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TWO...count them TWO blogs in a row from Lowetide featuring the Beautiful and Talented Jennifer Garner.

What is this world coming to??

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#32 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
July 27 2013, 04:46PM
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@MessyEH!

That should be a recorded stat. "Number of boobs flashed while serving a penalty"

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#33 nuge2nail
July 27 2013, 04:52PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Grabo would play 2C until Nuge gets back, I imagine. But after his tantrum over playing bottom 6 for the Leafs it kind of makes you wonder if he would be willing to do it again for the Oil. It would be great to pick him up, we all know what our center depth looks like, but he would more or less automatically be our 3C with Nuge and Gags healthy.

Maybe MacT and Eakins can sell him on being part of the future?

Oiler Domination To Follow

I think if Grabovski develops chemistry with Yakupov and Perron, Gagner will be moved down to play 3rd line center.

Shouldn't be a big deal, worst case we trade one of the centers at the end of the year and we gain an asset.

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#34 Rama Lama
July 27 2013, 04:53PM
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Having a coach like Dallas Eakins coming from the Marlies farm system is very interesting.

There is no doubt that Mac T is listening to his new coach........let's hope that the internal intel on both Hamilton and Acton is accurate. Both of these players could be steals.......if they can play at the NHL level we could headed up in a real hurry.

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#35 Dog Train
July 27 2013, 04:56PM
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For the sake of the team, I hope that Jones or Joensuu wins the job. I'm a huge Smyth fan and always will be but we can do better on the third line. Smyth doesn't hurt us but he doesn't get around well enough for him to play that many minutes at this stage of the game.

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#36 Racki
July 27 2013, 05:05PM
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I have a tough time seeing how Hemsky really fits in here playing with types of players he'll be subjected to on line 3. I'd prefer a line with Jones on the right wing, Gordon on the dot, and pick-him on the left wing and use Hemsky's dollars elsewhere. But I know the likelihood of moving Hemsky is pretty low right now (and isn't likely going to get any better).

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#37 Bucknuck
July 27 2013, 05:13PM
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I think if Ryan Smyth can get minutes that aren't at centre and not against the teams top lines, he will be more effective that he has been the last two seasons. I have hopes that he will surprise a goalie or two.

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#38 Czar
July 27 2013, 05:22PM
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OilClog wrote:

Gonna have to be the Odd one out here it seems and disagree.. There's a few hips out there in youthful alignment that are ahead of her in my eyes.

http://rollingout.com/photos/mens-health-magazine-names-their-top-10-hottest-women-of-2013/attachment/esquire-2012-mila-kunis-cliff-watts-4545455/

like this for example

DSF wouldn't let Mila Kunis where his sharp jersey a couple days back? WTF??

Ingrid Eakins would be an obvious choice, why haven't you worked her into the mix Lowetide?

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#39 Bucknuck
July 27 2013, 05:40PM
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Czar wrote:

DSF wouldn't let Mila Kunis where his sharp jersey a couple days back? WTF??

Ingrid Eakins would be an obvious choice, why haven't you worked her into the mix Lowetide?

He might want to interview Dallas Eakins one day, and it just might not be politic.

The fact that a blogger on Oilers nation has a Blackhawks Jersey should be a red flag, should it not? If it's not an Oilers Jersey, why would you care!? I most certainly would not, no matter if it is a "collector's item". That is what eBay was created for.

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#40 hockeydud
July 27 2013, 05:48PM
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Smyth shouldn't even get regular ice time, much less 3rd line minutes. Too slow.

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#41 Spydyr
July 27 2013, 06:25PM
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MessyEH! wrote:

29 other teams passed on him. For nothing.Eagers ship has sailed.

30 teams passed over Tim Thomas he had to go play in Europe.He came back to you know win a Cup and the Conn Smythe. Some players do bounce back.

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#42 Spydyr
July 27 2013, 06:33PM
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hockeydud wrote:

Smyth shouldn't even get regular ice time, much less 3rd line minutes. Too slow.

I agree, tough to watch a old warrior hang on a year or two to long.If he is the best option at 3LW it will be another year outside the playoffs.For his swan song year he is a better fit for the 13th forward spending spot some time in the press box resting.

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#43 justDOit
July 27 2013, 06:59PM
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Bleak Winter wrote:

Jennifer Garner??? Good Grief.

There's 29 teams with at least 8 hockey wives each hotter than her.

http://playerwivesgallery.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/kyle-wellwood-and-fiance-bianca-win.jpg

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#44 fatso
July 27 2013, 07:00PM
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Hamlton vid was good, I like how he plays in the center of the ice and goes to the net, he looks big too. If he plays like that all the time I would love to have him on my team.

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#45 Rama Lama
July 27 2013, 08:23PM
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@Racki

Yea he will not be a good fit on the third line with all of his "end-to-end" fixations.......he will need to be on the top six to have any success.

The question then becomes just whom do you take ice time away from the top six, just so we can have Hemsky play a significant role?

No win situation for the player or the team unless he gets traded.

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#46 Buck
July 27 2013, 08:33PM
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Stop pushing Smyth already. We get it...its a mancrush.

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#47 andrewmk20
July 27 2013, 08:38PM
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@Lowetide

Hey LT have you heard anything more about Hemsky and the Senators. It seems to make sense on paper. They needed another top 6 a year ago and this off-season they basically offset the loss of Alfie with Ryan and still need another top 6. Zack Smith and Zibanejad basically occupy the same spot and now they have JG Pageau to occupy the 4th C role so Smith would be kind of appealing for the Oilers except for the cap hit of 1.8M, but he seems tradeable in the future or the Oilers could use their buyout next year on one of Smith or Gordon if one outperforms the other.

I also like Cleary and think he would fill the 3LW role perfectly. Does MacT not like him? These kind of changes would make their bottom 6 significantly more appealing and would make me feel significantly less uneasy.

Cleary-Gordon-Jones Joensuu-Smith-Brown

A lot more toughness,size, and defensive ability from Cleary and Smith.

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#49 Larry
July 27 2013, 08:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Jennifer Garner is the hottest woman on the planet.

I bet you would be a blast to party with! I want what your always smoking!

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#50 Dangolitis
July 27 2013, 09:27PM
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@nuge2nail

Eklund said smytty was signed long term 7 yrs ago. 1 hr later he'd been traded. I hate Eklund and believe the opposite of everything he says

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