Maybe we should be writing something about what a gangster pimp Kay-Z is now that he owns the team. Maybe we should be writing about what a douchebag Hossa is for not taking 97 trillion of Katz’s dollars to come suit up for the Oil. All in good time – there is something else that needs to be talked about. In light of all the contract signings and talking about long term deals, we have a problem Nation. We have a problem and it’s this:
Leave Ryan Smyth the hell alone.
Stop ruining his legacy as one of the best Oilers of all time.
Stop calling him injury prone, and suggesting he is anything less than 51 flavors of awesome.
Stop saying it was a cunning move that Lowe didn’t sign him to the deal.
Not only is this extraordinarily poor taste, but it is a slap in the face to any player who has ever played through an injury, thought twice about going down to block a shot or going into the corner with (insert giant goon here.)
It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy to knock Smyth for being injury prone – the very same injuries that he sustained bleeding for the Oil so that they can win a game in February to get them to 2 games under .500. It’s not as though he was doing part time work on the side as a hit man and was sustaining these injuries.
How on Earth does a team preach sacrifice and playing at 100% only to turn around later and say “he can’t be signed to a long term deal. He is too injured from blocking our shots, playing the body as we have been telling him to for years and working tirelessly while others on the bench have barely broken a sweat.”
Trading Smyth in our opinion is one of the worst things the Oilers have done in years, in terms of damaging their reputation amongst NHL players. It was widely recognized in the league amongst NHL players that Smyth epitomized Oilers hockey – a brand many players have famously demonstrated they have no interest in. When Smyth was traded, it was another strike against the team for many in the NHL. “If they will send Smyth packing, they will do it to anyone. The Oilers have no loyalty to their players” was the common sentiment amongst the Under Armor Set.
You wonder why some players don’t want to sign with the Oilers?
We will bet you dollars to doughnuts that sending Smyth out with the trash – less than a year after he shaved a decade off his life going to the Cup Finals – has more to do with it than the fact we get the Arctic high pressure system moving in the odd time in the winter.
Even in his final years and even if he was riddled with injuries and seeing limited ice time, Smyth would have given 100% of what he was able to give until his very last shift as an Oiler. You know that, we know that and anyone who has watched him play knows that.
He would have practiced what the coaching staff preached and would have bled, broken, dislocated or torn any part of his body to see the Oilers win. If that means he is expendable to Oilers Brass, then don’t be surprised to see floater after floater come in here *cough* Pitkanen *cough* lured by big money, do a few loops on Rexall Ice and go sit on the bench confident that their style of play won’t lead them to be injury prone in later years.
Smyth is gone. He is one of the few elite players in the league who would have gladly taken an AM-RAM missile to the sternum for this team and for this city. Show some bloody class and leave him alone.
Oh yeah, and did you see Daryl Katz’s hair? Wasn’t it awesome?