Alright people. Enough is enough.


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?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I agree with this article. It bothers me when Prendergast talked about commitment from players then talked about how getting rid of Smyth was wise

  • I'm a Scientist!

    No question that Smyth was a great Oiler, my favorite hockey player. But, if he was such a GOD, what is wrong with taking 5.4 mil???????? That was the day hockey, to me, became a buisiness. If a guy can't make it on that then what????? I am sorry, and I wish him the best in his career, but 5.4 mil ain't the home town discount.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    You hit it, Milli. The Oilers didn't throw Smitty under the bus. We offered what I thought was a ridiculous sum of money (aka a generous retirement package) to an aging player who wanted to (supposedly) finish his career in one place. Smitty turned it down and chose to seek life elsewhere, evidently looking at the grass growing greener. Farewell then, Smitty, and Good Luck and God Speed. Tell me again, though, how the Oilers are the bad guy for not giving him everything he asked for and the moon too?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    LARAQUE UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Georges. His deal with Montreal is for three years and is worth $4.5 million, so he actually gets a raise.
    By the way, Laraque strongly considered the Oilers — and I confirmed this morning they had the door open for him — but he opted for the Habs.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I can live with him going to Montreal, as they're my Eastern team. It is interesting, though, that he was willing to consider Edmonton. I wonder if a couple of years elsewhere changed his mind about whatever he had against MacT (and vice versa).

  • I'm a Scientist!

    You have to get over your mancrush on smyth man. Yes, he was a great oiler, and it was a shame to see him leave. But at the end of the day, the NHL is a business, not a relationship. I beleive it was a good move to trade him away. And as to market value… maybe this year 5.5 might be considered correct, but at the time of the trade, it was would've been an overpay for a guy who did end up injury plague in his first year of the big contract.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Darren: While a degree of input from mouth-beathers is accepted and even promoted here at ON, can we please raise the level of insults above the trite and time-worn "man-crush?"

    In the world of trash talk, it's weak, predictable and lazy — like "your momma's basement." Besides, in the real world, somebody will punch the saliva down your throat if you say it.

    Ramp it up. Be inventive. Have some flair. If you word it right, they won't even know you're saying "bugger off Nancy Boy, So, instead of leaning on the man-crush crutch, try . . .

    "Your heartfelt feelings for Smyth make me uncomfortable . . ." or "I can picture your delicate fingers wisking across the keyboard in producing a tome so sweet in tribute to your Mullet Man . . . "

    You get the picture.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Amen! The only thing that makes it palatable is that they got both Nilsson and Gagner out of the deal, so in the end it was a brilliant hockey move. Would you rather have 8 – 10 years of Gagner or 3 years of Smyth?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Gee wiz Smyth is gone he played a full 82 game season with the Av's last year. Well not a full 82 game season, since the guy's injury prone. Ryan played his hand, Lowe called it, he cried his tears and cashed his check.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    They have to stop moving players that are beloved by the fans.

    It's like a relationship with your spouse. If you hurt your spouse in a certain way then you try to avoid it for future so that you don't end up hurting them more since that particular wound is still open and they will tend to prospects a lot: Gretzky, Messier, Weight, Guerin, and you get the picture. We are a pretty touchy bunch when it comes to losing our #1 for up and comers. Since we are so touchy about one subject you would think that they would be more careful with our hearts when it comes to matters like this. I believe Smyth was the kind of guy that would have been sorted out by July 1 one way or another so there was really no need for the trade.

    One of these days they are going to have to have a player on the Oilers for his entire career. They have to pick someone good and also someone who embodies what the team and city represent. Smyth was that guy… now we have to wait for the next one, maybe it's Gagner. After what we have been through as fans, I believe the organization owes that to us. I am afraid to call a player my favorite for fear he will be dealt. Everybody needs someone who is synonomous with the franchise (ala Sakic, Yzerman, Lecavalier)

    In answer to another poster, I would rather have had Smyth showing our rookies what hard work and dedication and being an oiler is all about than anyone else. We would have had a good draft pick and other prospects without trading smyth, so it is hard to make a statement like that.