Did Craig MacTavish move Ladislav Smid to Calgary just in time?

Jonathan Willis
January 14 2014 07:37AM

Something funny has happened since Craig MacTavish made the highly criticized trade that sent defenceman Ladislav Smid to the Calgary Flames in exchange for futures. Smid has imploded with the Flames, and that oh-so-weak Oilers defence seemingly hasn’t gotten any worse.

In fact, Smid’s departure appears to have marked bit of a turning point for the Oilers; after going 4-14-2 to start the year Edmonton won the first game post-Smid and has put together a still bad but much improved 11-14-3 record since.

As interesting as that won/lost record is, it’s nothing close to definitive. A lot goes into a win or a loss and often a team’s record with a given player on it is more luck than anything else. All it does is show that the sky hasn’t fallen in Edmonton post-Smid.

But other metrics show a lot more than that.

Ladislav Smid in Calgary

There’s something interesting that happens to Flames defencemen when they get paired with Smid: They get worse. Calgary gets out-shot by a 3:2 margin when Smid is on the ice, and no matter who he is paired with the partner has been better off with almost anybody else.

The following chart shows the percentage of all attempted shots taken by Calgary with a given defence pair on the ice. The break-even mark is 50 percent, with higher being better and lower being worse:

For pure puck-moving defencemen, like Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman, the addition of Smid to their pairing hurt. In Giordano’s case – and he’s the guy most worth paying attention to since a) we know he is an exceptional defenceman and b) he’s played the most with Smid – the difference was roughly 3.5 shots out of every hundred. In other words, Calgary went from being out-shot 52-48 with Giordano and X on the ice to being out-shot 56-44 with Giordano and Smid.

For guys who aren’t puck-movers, Smid was kryptonite. We’ll ignore T.J. Brodie, since the sample size is so small, but Chris Butler and Shane O’Brien both go from being bad without Smid to being outshot 2:1 when paired with Smid.

In short: in Calgary, Smid has been worse than useless when paired with anybody other than an exceptional puck-mover, and even in the latter pairing he has dragged down the results of that puck-mover.

Ladislav Smid in Edmonton

There is an idea floating around that Smid – a big, tough, physical defenceman who knew what do in his own zone – was carrying regular partner Jeff Petry and that with Smid gone Petry has been exposed as a bad defenceman.

It isn’t a theory that harmonizes with available fact. Let’s start by looking at Petry’s numbers with various partners this year:

The idea that Petry’s a trainwreck just doesn’t work because almost everybody he partners with gets better in the process. Petry has played with five regular partners this year, and it’s not a fantastic list – he’s played with Andrew Ference against tough opposition or he’s played second-pair minutes with a rookie (Anton Belov, Martin Marincin) or the remains of Nick Schultz or Ladislav Smid, who we’re discovering has major holes in his game.

Unsurprisingly, Petry’s looked bad at times. More surprising is this:

  • Ference has been at his best with Petry.
  • The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Belov on the ice with Petry
  • The Oilers out-shot the opposition by a wide margin with rookie Marincin on the ice with Petry

What about Smid’s Oilers numbers?

We’re looking at pretty small sample sizes here, but Smid was a disaster when not paired with Petry and this season he’s been a disaster with anybody other than Petry, Giordano or Wideman.

What to Make of It All

Ladislav Smid has been one of my favourite players to watch for a long time. In interviews he comes across as funny, upbeat and a consummate professional. On the ice, whatever his faults, I’ve never had any reason to doubt he was giving it his all. Blocking shots, making hits, taking hits, whatever; Smid was a guy who always showed up.

So it brings me no pleasure to say this: It looks like something has gone very wrong with the player. With numbers like he’s posting in Calgary, he’ll be lucky if he can hang on as a third-pair defender, and only then if he’s playing with a competent puck-mover. Maybe this is all temporary, and he’ll rebound (I hope so; I’ve always liked the way he plays) but this is an awful stretch of hockey for a guy who has three seasons left at $3.5 million.

As for Craig MacTavish, he was harshly criticized for the Smid trade. But right now, it looks like he cleared a bunch of money, added some prospects and moved a player who wasn’t furthering the cause. If trends continue as they have since the trade, that will be a monumental victory for Edmonton’s general manager. At the very least, it may be wise to tone down the rhetoric condemning him for making the unpopular move.

Finally: It isn’t easy to say nice things about Jeff Petry to Oilers fans. He’s a favoured whipping boy and he probably always will be. But it’s funny how good his partners always seem to look. First, it was Smid. Then it was Anton Belov – whose play fell off at right around the same time he got bumped to the third pairing. Now it’s Martin Marincin, a second-year professional in North America who miraculously seems to be handling second pairing minutes in his first dozen games in the majors. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to ask whether Petry has something to do with that.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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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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#51 Strange Tamer
January 14 2014, 09:22AM
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We do need some Smid type players on the roster, but as the numbers show, he is not a 3.5 million dollar player. Ever since Jason Smith and Steve Staios went out to pasture this team has longed for heart and soul defenseman, but we need ones that actually are good at defending.

Liked the nastiness and compete, but Smid always looked a little deficient and one dimensional, now the stats are starting to bear this out. If he is making 1.5 million you keep him, but the extra cash can be used for something better.

The return was also questionable, as at the time Smid was considered a real defenseman by most. Tambo really screwed this up as we could have got a decent ransom at the deadline last year for him, instead Tambo gave him an inflated contract, probably the last good reason to fire Tambo. Tambo could have easily got a first rounder plus in a deep draft. Maybe we could have had a Lazar or Mantha or Guathier for Smid instead of what we got.

Horak is a nice AHLer who can fill in at the top level when injuries hit. The goalie will be the key though, if he pans out into at least an NHL backup MacT wins this deal, if not then it is just a salary dump to clean up the garbage from the previous GM and very poor asset management, but hardly MacT's fault.

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#52 Freewheeling Freddie
January 14 2014, 09:50AM
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Smid was way overpriced at 3.5 million. He had heart and played tough, he was also very good at blocking shots. However it was nice Mact got 3.5 million off the books. People love to bash Petry, but is starting to play much better, he has been used as a 1or2 defencemen which he is not. If and when he is used as a 3 or 4 he will fit that role nicely. These advanced stats are quite useless .The only advanced stats that anyone should care about are wins and losses. And finally Sam gets to play with Hall and Nuge and looks completely lost. His game has digressed so much that he should get a couple of games in the pressbox. Really 4.8 million

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#53 Zarny
January 14 2014, 11:22AM
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Still Hopeful wrote:

Wasn't Smid the product of the great Kevin Lowe trade moving Chris Pronger quickly after he wanted a trade and getting Smid and Lupul in return.

Where are they now? Not in Edmonton. Burke clearly won that trade.

You don't trade the one guy who pushed the Oilers to the cup final within two weeks unless you get a blockbuster. He jumped the gun.

This was just the start of How Bad Management of the Oilers is.

Make no mistake, this team is going nowhere until Lowe and MacT are gone.

You should probably at least include the entire trade before driveling about who won.

The draft pick the Oilers also received was Jordan Eberle.

Like it or not, given the circumstances Lowe got good return for Pronger.

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#54 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 14 2014, 11:34AM
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Nimrod wrote:

When you're 29th in the league with an inverted bullet and allowing most goals in the league, pretending that the trade of a guy the team re-signed less than a year ago is somehow a triumph because the team decided to trade him to another team equally bad and that team remaining bad is somehow proof of a brilliant trade?

Desperately clutching at straws is what this is.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest you're a half empty kind of cat. No?

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#55 FireKLowe
January 14 2014, 12:29PM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

Lowe got Eberle in that trade as well....

Getting Eberle via the Pronger trade was pure fluke!

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#56 Still Hopeful
January 14 2014, 02:13PM
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pkam wrote:

The question is why Eberle was still available at pick 22nd? Why 21 GM passed on Eberle and Lowe and Tambellini didn't?

Other than Stamkos, Doughty, Pietrangelo, and Karlsson, who was drafted ahead of Eberle do you think is better?

No credit when they did a good job and only count their mistakes. All management will fail by the way you rate them.

I don't need to rate them. They are the worst team in the league overall since Lowe took over.

The facts speak for yourself. And that includes with Eberle playing (although I do think he is a great player).

Time for a change in management.

Would any other business or organization be so bad and not get rid of the problem. The losing stigma is not going to change with other players in the league until they see fresh faces in the front office.

Hey I wonder how many people employed by the Oilers are replying to the blogs right now? My guess, a lot!

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#57 Ed in Edmotnon
January 14 2014, 04:02PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

If I were Lowe I would've asked for someone of Scott Niedermeyer's stature in return. That would've been an apples to apples trade. Plain and simple dumb$hit!!!

A couple of years after the Pronger trade someone asked Lowe if there was anything he would have done differently over the previous few years. Lowe answered, surprisingly frankly, that he should have mage Pronger sit longer. I think this suggests that in hind site Lowe thinks he could have done better. Getting Eberle at 22 is quite fortunate.

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#58 Kypreos
January 14 2014, 10:16PM
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Wait until Edmonton signs Justin Schultz this year to 4.5-5.0 million per year this off season. Then we will talk about overpaid and a liability!

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#59 Mac
January 14 2014, 11:41PM
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Reading these comments condemning various Oilers for being the cause of their lack of success shames our city and the status as true sports fans. I as tired of losing as the next guy but I refuse to resort to this type of name calling. I believe the Oilers are a young team still learning how to win and as a group are lacking some yet to be acquired key ingredients. Until they get there, we as fans should be offering encouragement and support.

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#60 CaptainLander
January 14 2014, 08:11AM
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Petry reminds me of Tom Poti, Poti was a whipping boy for a while before being traded (along with Rem Murray)for Mike York. Not sure the Oil won that trade. Poti had a pretty decent career.

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#61 BingBong
January 14 2014, 09:32AM
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Smid is no doutb a great guy, but for the past two years he was the worst puck mover we had back there - and with our horrendous d, that's really saying something. When Smid had the puck on his stick, it was either a turnover (in our own zone or the neutral zone) or an icing the majority of the time. Plus he brings zero offense. He can use his body a bit, and wasn't afraid to block shots, but it's no surprise to me that he brings whoever he plays with down. He has zero puck skills. Not only that, but he's signed to a long-term deal worth over $3 million per year. Trading Smid was a salary dump, plain and simple, and definately a smart move from MacT.

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#62 pkam
January 14 2014, 09:57AM
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The problem with Petry is even he is playing well for most part of the game, he will make one or two mind boggling mistakes and usually it ends with the puck in our net.

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#63 Puck_In_Throat
January 14 2014, 09:59AM
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JW, this is a perfect example of how advanced stats ought to be used.

Sometimes it is hard to see which players are putting the team on their back, and which players are riding the coattails of their teammates. This type of analysis could be very helpful when deciding which free agent to sign or which player to trade/trade for.

I would be very interested in this analysis of the forwards. I believe you did one earlier on Arcobello (no surprise- everyone gets better).

My guess would be that Nuge and Hall are pulling the bus, while Gagner and Eberle are both dependent on linemates.

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#64 Cold Hard Truth
January 14 2014, 11:13AM
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Zarny wrote:

The hate some fans have for Petry is the same as the hate some have for Gagner.

It simply isn't rational and stems from them not meeting some delusional expectation some fans have. Gagner hasn't become a #1 C and Petry a top pairing D so the simple folk pile on the hate.

The reality is both are very good players who aren't fully developed and certainly aren't perfect; but both will be very good NHLers for many years to come.

Fans have enough reason to dislike them for what they are, let alone what they ought to be, actually.

I think its you who is over-valuing them.

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#65 Disagree
January 14 2014, 02:08PM
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@Dman09

No, disagree.

No other city really cares what happens in Edmonton, all they want is a good hockey player.

Lowe punched out way too early and got nothing.

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#66 nick
January 15 2014, 09:06AM
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This is the most ridiculous article you have ever written Willis and you have come up with some bad ones. You can take your stats and bend them whichever way you want but the bottom line is it was not a good trade. I think someone should come up with some stats on how bad your articles are on days ending with a Y.

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#67 Rod from Viking
January 14 2014, 09:01AM
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Good article, I don't think any fan could dislike Smid as a person, if he would have been on a competitive team he would have been a 4-5 and would not of commanded a $3.5 mil salary. I also think being on this team and seeing nothing but losing would have to take its toll, unfortunately that is going to continue for him, I hope he gets traded to a contender at the deadline. When the trade was made the Oilers were already out of the playoff race so it may look like a good move in the future. This team is going to have a lot of cap space to spend. Petry has size and is a great skater and I think there is still a lot of upside with him.

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#68 Bishai in the Benches
January 14 2014, 09:41AM
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Extremely interesting and well written article. Although the data suggests Smid is struggling mightily this year, and you have proved that it is not dependant on line mates with either team, I tend to view the situation similar to dubnyk. I highly doubt smid has magically become a bad D man, much the same way dubnyk didn't become an awful goalie. Neither of them are "good", but they still both deserve jobs in the NHL. I attribute the comparison of numbers between smid and petry to playing style, a defensive defensemen will always have worse Corsi numbers than a puck mover. In addition, Smid has made it clear before that he prefers the left side, and feels uncomfortable on the right. He practically begged Kruger to keep him on the left in one episode of oil change.

I tend to believe that NHL level players don't magically become bad, non NHL players when they are young and in the prime of their career. Dubnyk mostly bounced back, and so will smid.

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#69 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 14 2014, 09:57AM
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If ya watched the games this info comes as no surprise.

Said he was signed for too much as well. 2mil would've been fine for a bottom pairing D-man.

If Brossiot pans out everyone will understand why Feaster is wandering...in a desert somewhere.

The new NHL: Don't watch the game, read the stats. Hilarious....

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#70 Dave
January 14 2014, 10:15AM
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I'm not saying the two are remotely comparable in terms of talent or playing style, but the love-in with whoever Petry plays with reminds of when Pronger was on the team. I remember watching at least two special features on TV. One was on the resurgence of Jason Smith as a dominant, mean, shutdown guy, and the other feature was on how Mark-Andre Bergeron was suddenly defensively responsible. Both of those happened right after they got paired with Chris Pronger, who (as we believed at the time) was having a good (but not great) season.

Many good defencemen have an interesting ability to make everybody else look better than themselves. If this team improves and we can stop feeding Petry to the wolves people might learn to appreciate him. People seem to forget he has less NHL experience than Hall/Eberle and plays a less rewarding position.

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#71 Zarny
January 14 2014, 10:27AM
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I hadn't checked the stats but I'm not surprised. It was obvious Smid was playing terrible just by watching. 4th liners were walking out from the corner to net and Ladi was even brushing their jersey.

I always liked Smid. The guy was a warrior but his play dropped off a cliff this year. He was the worst skater and puck-mover on Edm's blueline this year. They certainly haven't missed him.

The "outrage" by some fans is based on wishful thinking that Smid was/is a top 4 D. Maybe at times in the past but not this year. Not even close. Given his salary and play MacT was right to trade him.

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#72 The Last Big Bear
January 14 2014, 11:10AM
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I am a huge advocate of "advanced" stats when looking for information about forwards, but Corsi measures of any kind are effectively useless when evaluating defencemen, especially defensive defencemen. As a descriminator of defenceman performance, I'd say they're about as useful as +/-.

And I'm not saying Smid has been a Norris candidate in Calgary, but Corsi numbers, even in a WOWY context, are not the metric to use to show this one way or the other.

I think the "advanced" stat metric that best reflects a defenceman's abilities is TOI, which is just another way of explicitly stating that we don't yet have a metric that outperforms a coach's subjective evaluation of defensive defenders.

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#73 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 14 2014, 11:41AM
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pkam wrote:

The problem with Petry is even he is playing well for most part of the game, he will make one or two mind boggling mistakes and usually it ends with the puck in our net.

That's the result of a guy being asked to do too much. He's trying to compensate for weak D partners. He looks like he could be an above average 3-4 Dman with a reliable partner. Let's hope they don't totally crush his spirit/diminish his skills before things get turned around.

He's not as tough physically as we'd like him too be, but his all round skills more than compensate for his lack of toughness. If Klefbom and J Schultz can develope their all round game, that will make three D men who are deficient in toughness....that's about the max any good team could endure on balance.....the other four need to be Nurse, Biufulyn, type of tough....Ferrence is a good balance of physical and skilled...good for now

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#74 The Last Big Bear
January 14 2014, 12:24PM
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hippohero wrote:

I don't think advanced stats are "effectively useless" when evaluating defenders. Most Norris trophy winners seem to have a positive corsirel.

Breaking out of the zone is an important duty for defenders, and should show up in their corsi. Add to that the fact that defenders seemingly cannot help or harm their goaltender's SV% to any significant degree, and looking at which D get outshot consistently seems like a decent proxy.

I'm not saying scouting is useless, or that stats should be the only factor, just that the stats should definitely show something. And in Smid's case it's not positive. I think he may be good at limiting chances while in the defensive zone, just that he cannot seem to break out of it.

Martin Marincin leads the NHL in CorsiRel among players with >10 games. Followed by Brent Burns and Jean-Phillipe Cote.

Did you honestly just try to defend using this stat to evaluate defencemen?

Anton Strahlman is barely even the best defenceman in the NHL named Anton Strahlman, but he's top 10 in CorsiRel, and even has tougher QoC and zone starts than several of the guys ahead of him.

Of the top 30 CorsiRel defencemen in the NHL, I would say 3 or 4 of them are even the best defenceman on their team.

On the other hand, look at TOI/60. See the difference? The worst you can say about any of those guys is that they're the best defenceman on a bad team.

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#75 Zarny
January 14 2014, 01:10PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

No he did not! You're an idiot for thinking that. Getting Eberle was pure fluke! Now had Eberle been a roster player or prospect for the Ducks then you can say Lowe knowingly made a good deal.

Spare me your drivel you dumb tard.

Lowe got a 1st round pick which turned into Eberle. That isn't pure fluke. Good fortune perhaps, but the intent of getting the 1st round pick was to draft a player of that caliber.

No different than Bos using the 2nd overall pick from the Kessel trade to draft Seguin. It wasn't a fluke. It was good fortune that the pick turned out to be #2 overall but a quality 1st round player is exactly what Bos knew they would draft with the pick. Same with Edm.

Had Eberle been drafted with a 6th round pick from the trade...that would have been a fluke because very few players drafted in that position turn out like Eberle. Middle first round? Not even in the same vicinity as surprising.

Like it or not, Lowe made a good deal under the circumstances.

But, of course, idiots like you who drivel away never actually have an answer for what Lowe missed out on...so let's hear it...what trade did Lowe miss out on when Pronger was moved?

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#76 Johnnydapunk
January 14 2014, 01:23PM
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I admit I always like articles that surprise me, meaning they pull out a fact that I was unaware of and changes the way I look at something. Well done Willis!

I can't say that I wasn't happy or sad over the trade, I thought that it was maybe a personality clash of some sort that just couldn't be fixed and the easiest solution was moving Smid. He was alright but seemed to be typical of the Oil player that kindof did my head in, he was good but not that good and the fact that he was good in a bad group made him look better. His contract was a bit fat for a player of his calibre, but he seemed to put an effort in and that was nice to see.

The only little thing about one of the comments made which also kindof makes me crazy is when people use a double negative "I don't disagree" for example. It seems more common nowadays and I'm baffled why.

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#77 Still Hopeful
January 14 2014, 02:24PM
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You know the interesting thing is the radio interview done where Lowe states he is involved in all hockey transactions.

It doesn't matter who is GM. The man at the top controls and drives the ship. If the ship is lost at sea (which seems to be the case when you look at the team standings in the league - last place over Lowe entire management career) it's is time to change the captain.

The thing is, it is statistically impossible over his time as GM and President to do any worse, which means, any one without any hockey experience could do as well, and statistically better than Lowe. This, of course, does not say that person is any good, but what is does say is Lowe is really really bad.

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#78 mr.patient
January 14 2014, 04:44PM
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@Cold Hard Truth

No you can't just "isolate any statistic" you want to prove a point. It can somethimes be unclear what the numbers mean but they never lie or "say whatever you want" Math doesn't work that way. And in this case, what the numbers say seems pretty obvious: Letting Smid go was, sadly, a good move.

"MacTavish's trade doesn't look as stupid as it initially did? So what. The bottom line is the same; that's the only thing that matters"

That's just silly. Are you suggesting that EVERY trade the OIlers make is bad unless it immediately improves the team to a winning record?! Have you seen this roster? There isn't a trade out there that can do that, short of trading our entire roster for Chicago's. Whatever improvements MacT (or perhaps a different GM in the near future will make will be incremental, as even a blockbuster trade will unlikely fix all this team's problems. Meanwhile we can at least be satisfied that this seemingly minor deal looks to be working out well for the OIlers.

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#79 Czar
January 14 2014, 05:57PM
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pkam wrote:

I hated Greg Chase as a Hitmen, now that he's an Oilers prospect he's dear to me.

Edit: Still can't believe he is a 7th round pick. Hope more 6th/7th round picks like him by MacT in the coming drafts.

Chase is the only thing worth cheering for in Calgary.

I hated Alex Plante as a Hitmen and even more as an Oiler draft pick.

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#80 Hangin@Bangin
January 14 2014, 07:01PM
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@JonathanWillis

Sometimes Jonny I don't know where you cook up these half baked ideas. Did you consider the fact that Smid got traded to a god awful team with possibly worst complete team defense than the Oilers posess. C'mon Jonny I know it must be hard to come up with new and insightful stories but geez put this one to bed.

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#81 Burnward
January 14 2014, 09:14PM
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I think this is one of those scenarios where we have to be careful.

The way that Smid plays...keep the guy to the outside, force shots from there, don't let them into the middle...lends itself to added shot attempts against.

Based solely on the numbers he would appear to be a terrible defensive liability.

But to the eye, anyone telling me Petry plays better defense than Smid is on crack.

The answer is probably somewhere in the middle though.

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#82 Andy7190
January 15 2014, 12:35PM
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Smid is fine. He hasn't imploded. I watch a ton of Flames games, and Smid is about what was expected, someone who keeps it simple, blocks shots and can play some minutes. He's alright.

Flames have more problems defensively than Smid, for instance (this should be familiar to Oiler fans) the smurf-like forward crew gets pushed around to much in both ends. This is probably the real reason Feaster was fired. Too small.

I'd rather have Smid than not have Smid, put it that way. The Oilers moved him because the weren't gonna use him going forward. Doesn't mean he isn't useful to the Flames.

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#83 hall the time
January 14 2014, 08:32AM
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Goes from one bad team to another, who knows maybe he's still playing the swarm.

Myself I would have liked to see Smid go to a good team that we could trade with.

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#84 Concur
January 14 2014, 09:25AM
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On another note, what I am curious about JW is what was/is the on ice save % with Smid for both Oilers and Flames? This to me would give a better understanding of Smids play as he is a defensive defenseman.

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#86 2004Z06
January 14 2014, 09:47AM
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Hmmm maybe this Mac T guy knows a little something about winning too? If there is ever any doubt.

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#87 Still Hopeful
January 14 2014, 10:53AM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

No, they got a draft choice and Eberle was available. Doesn't count. They sent, arguably, the MVP of the playoffs and got a draft choice.

The other two players were dudes.

Again, poor management.

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#88 The Last Big Bear
January 14 2014, 11:19AM
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For the record, Smid is 6th in Flames defence in TOI/60

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#89 Lochenzo
January 14 2014, 11:23AM
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Dman09 wrote:

JW,

I think your also missing a key point to the whole trade.... Laurent Brossoit. He has been more than exceptional in his stint in the ECHL. This guy looks to be a grade A prospect. Fully expect to see him in OKC next season and maybe even get some NHL the season after that. I think the trade was great at the time and it just looks better. However I don't think that trade would have happened if Laurent Brossoit wasn't part of it.

Terry Jones has a nice little story about him today.

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#90 Cold Hard Truth
January 14 2014, 11:42AM
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Nimrod wrote:

When you're 29th in the league with an inverted bullet and allowing most goals in the league, pretending that the trade of a guy the team re-signed less than a year ago is somehow a triumph because the team decided to trade him to another team equally bad and that team remaining bad is somehow proof of a brilliant trade?

Desperately clutching at straws is what this is.

That's all the writers are left to write about.

Common Willis foil: isolate a variable within the team, find a stat which challenges popular concensus, decide the parameters of the stat based on the argue bet you would like to make, then use into construct an argument which demonstrates what a genius MacTavish is.

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#91 tileguy
January 14 2014, 11:45AM
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Zarny wrote:

I hadn't checked the stats but I'm not surprised. It was obvious Smid was playing terrible just by watching. 4th liners were walking out from the corner to net and Ladi was even brushing their jersey.

I always liked Smid. The guy was a warrior but his play dropped off a cliff this year. He was the worst skater and puck-mover on Edm's blueline this year. They certainly haven't missed him.

The "outrage" by some fans is based on wishful thinking that Smid was/is a top 4 D. Maybe at times in the past but not this year. Not even close. Given his salary and play MacT was right to trade him.

Agree with everything JW and you have said except for one thing. I beleive the outrage was caused by the return and it will be very interesting to see what the flames get at the trade deadline when he is moved, if they can move him because of the contract.

All in all this is MacT undoing a tambo wrong.

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#92 Cold Hard Truth
January 14 2014, 11:59AM
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DigDeepNBleedBlue wrote:

And you what the "disgruntled" "fan" has left?

I'm not really disgruntled.

It would be nice to read a piece from Willis that is even mildly critical of management; instead, we just get palliative pieces.

Also, you can isolate any statistic, remove it from its context, then have it demonstrate anything you'd like.

Bottom line is the Oilers have done even worse this year than last -- which, considering how bad they've done in previous seasons, is an accomplishment in itself.

MacTavish's trade doesn't look as stupid as it initially did? So what. The bottom line is the same; that's the only thing that matters.

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#93 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 14 2014, 12:23PM
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FireKLowe wrote:

That is exactly what I have been saying for years. KLowe botched the Pronger trade big time and it's been downhill ever since. You don't trade a bonafide #1 D-man in the league for picks and unproven prospects. KLowe should've been fired for that offence alone.

Annnnd, here's one of those "disgruntled fans."

LOL

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#94 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 14 2014, 12:31PM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

I can't believe i'm sticking up for Kevin Lowe, but Kevin Lowe wouldn't have won Pronger trade no matter where he went. With his cap hit Kevin Lowe hands were tie. Looking back I wish the Oilers did to Pronger like they did to Souray.

I wish they did to Souray what they did to Pronger. Put your ego aside and make the trade.

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#95 FireKLowe
January 14 2014, 12:33PM
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Dman09 wrote:

You also need to remember that it was public that Pronger wanted out which would have greatly effected the Value Lowe could get out of the trade.

No it wouldn't have. Pronger didn't want out because he had problem with the team but rather for personal reasons. Waiting for a better trade would not have diminished Pronger's value given that he was the best D-man in the league by a mile. KLowe rushed the trade when he could've used the entire summer to find a better deal.

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#96 FireKLowe
January 14 2014, 12:35PM
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Zarny wrote:

You should probably at least include the entire trade before driveling about who won.

The draft pick the Oilers also received was Jordan Eberle.

Like it or not, given the circumstances Lowe got good return for Pronger.

No he did not! You're an idiot for thinking that. Getting Eberle was pure fluke! Now had Eberle been a roster player or prospect for the Ducks then you can say Lowe knowingly made a good deal.

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#97 Jonathan
January 14 2014, 03:18PM
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@pkam

As I said, I haven't watched how Smid has been used in Calgary. Was merely commenting based on personal observations.

I certainly won't argue Smid shortcomings.. he has never been a strong puck handler, has limited offensive abilities, and these would play a large part in the numbers listed. My point is that, at least in Edmonton, he routinely saw stronger competition on average than the other d-men.

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#98 FireKLowe
January 14 2014, 03:51PM
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Zarny wrote:

Spare me your drivel you dumb tard.

Lowe got a 1st round pick which turned into Eberle. That isn't pure fluke. Good fortune perhaps, but the intent of getting the 1st round pick was to draft a player of that caliber.

No different than Bos using the 2nd overall pick from the Kessel trade to draft Seguin. It wasn't a fluke. It was good fortune that the pick turned out to be #2 overall but a quality 1st round player is exactly what Bos knew they would draft with the pick. Same with Edm.

Had Eberle been drafted with a 6th round pick from the trade...that would have been a fluke because very few players drafted in that position turn out like Eberle. Middle first round? Not even in the same vicinity as surprising.

Like it or not, Lowe made a good deal under the circumstances.

But, of course, idiots like you who drivel away never actually have an answer for what Lowe missed out on...so let's hear it...what trade did Lowe miss out on when Pronger was moved?

If I were Lowe I would've asked for someone of Scott Niedermeyer's stature in return. That would've been an apples to apples trade. Plain and simple dumb$hit!!!

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#99 Chainsawz
January 14 2014, 09:57PM
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Raine wrote:

I wrote about Smid and his blocked shots as being over rated prior to his contract extension. I knew putting value on Smid blocking shots was wrong and he was going to be awarded. http://www.oilogosphere.com/blog/dont-base-smids-contract-on-over-rated-blocked-shots/

Smid's blocked shots were highly over rated. When you get hemmed in your own zone and allow more shots towards the net it's likely you'll have a higher blocked shots count. Problem with Smid is he's always premeditated blocking a shot rather than forcing a turn over or preventing the shot. He simply collapses and everyone calls him a warrior. Blocking a shot should be done in desperation and not premeditated, in Smid's case he allowed the shooter to take the shot - whether Smid blocked it or not I'd much prefer the defensemen forcing a turnover and gaining possession of the puck.

Did MacTavish move Smid in time? That'll be determined at the trade deadline if Calgary moves him and we might get to see what they get in return. Even if they move at sometime prior to his contract being up, an answer could be had to that question.

Was it a good trade? The only stats I need are Smid 30 games played for Calgary to 1 game played by Horak and Brossoit for Edmonton to make a call on that for now. If, and that's a HUGE if, one of those guys can become something of an NHL regular, the trade can re-evaluated.

As for the stats... Are there any historical numbers on Smid showing that he was ever a player that improved another defensemans shot attempts?

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#100 camdog
January 15 2014, 07:03AM
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For what it's worth I talked with a coworker today and he said that yesterday on the Calgary talk shows they were all pumping up Smids game, saying that they loved it. Sort of ironic that the Edmonton media are saying he is struggling and the Calgary media are saying the opposite on the very same day...

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