Ryan Rishaug of TSN has generated some buzz by throwing it out there that a return to the Edmonton Oilers by Ryan Smyth might make sense if the right cards fall into place.
Rishaug’s offering is mostly what-if stuff contained in a series of Twitter messages he sent out:
- "Oilers need veteran leader to play 3rd line-top 6 fill in minutes. Have extra cap space. How bout trading for Ryan Smyth? Very good fit.?
- "I believe mgmt would strongly consider it if the right deal were there. Had the kings gotten Kovalchuk, it would have made sense for both."
- "Re: Smyth Enough time has passed, all wounds would be healed instant captain. The trick is getting l-a to do the deal, I think he’d waive NTC."
- "If I had to venture a guess on Smyth, I’d say if it happens, it’d be an in-season deal if the right pieces fall into place with LA’s needs."
Rishaug later expanded on this on Oilers Lunch with Bob Stauffer today, and while I think it’s a longshot that the Oilers and Los Angeles Kings will work a trade for Smyth, a deal at some point isn’t out of the question.
Those who think it is should know better.
IN THE KNOW
Rishaug’s a connected guy in this town and has been for several years now, although his profile has only been given a bump recently, notably after all the inside stuff he uncovered going into and coming out of the Entry Draft in Los Angeles. He’s sharp, make-up pad and all.
I talked to Rishaug after his spot on Stauffer’s show, and he made it clear he hasn’t been told Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and the Kings are talking about a Smyth trade now — there is nothing on the table.
He does feel, however, that something could happen down the road. I tend to agree — I’m not saying I think a return to Edmonton by Smyth is a good idea, because I don’t, but I’m not going to call Rishaug’s instincts into question when he’s been working the phones, which he has.
IF the Kings get in on Ilya Kovalchuk and IF they’d take Sheldon Souray and his $5.4 million cap hit in exchange for Smyth and his $6.25 million cap hit, then maybe there’s a deal to be done at some point.
UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES
I’m with Rishaug when he says Souray is done as an Oiler and might start 2010-11 in the minors after running his mouth at the end of last season and, in general, bitching and moaning his way through the past 18 months or so behind closed doors.
There is no kiss-and-make-up for Souray and the Oilers and I can’t see Tambellini or Tom Renney allowing Souray to poison the dressing room next season. Still, he has some value for the right team.
I also believe Smyth would waive his NTC in a second if it meant a chance to return to the Oilers, and that he’d be a leading candidate to be captain of this team — if a deal was done over the summer.
The Oilers could certainly use Smyth’s grit and worth ethic as examples for all the baby faces who’ll be here and I’d be stunned if Tambellini and Renney don’t recognize that — even if Smyth and Shawn Horcoff would form the most expensive third line in the NHL, as an e-mailer to Stauffer’s show pointed out.
Will Smyth make a (tearful) return to Edmonton? I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t discount the possibility.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.