RYAN SMYTH BACK IN EDMONTON?

Bob McKenzie just put an interesting twist in draft week regarding the Edmonton Oilers. Today McKenzie wrote that Ryan Smyth would like to return to Edmonton. Read HERE.


Smyth has a cap hit of $6.25 million for next season, but he will only make $4.5 million in actual dollars. Smyth scored 23 goals last year in LA, and while his best days are clearly behind him, his work ethic is still top-notch.

The Oilers need a guy with Smyth’s work-your-ass-off-every-shift attitude, but would you take him at that cost?

Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi are the LW of the future in Edmonton, but would a year or two of Smyth as a veteran 3rd liner be a good thing?

Would the Kings take Sheldon Souray in the deal? Or do the Oilers want to keep him? How much can the Kings really ask for? They are giving up a 35-year-old with a high salary who is one year from being an UFA. This deal shouldn’t be that hard if the Oilers want to make it.

Normally I’m not a guy who likes bringing back a player for a second tour of duty, because rarely, if ever, are they as good as the first time around, but I can’t recall a player publicly saying he wants to return to the place where his career started.

Would you bring him back?

  • Ender

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    The only downside to that thought process is that Smyth is still a useful player for the Kings, so it wouldnt be a salary dump a la Drury/Redden. They might actually want decent players in return.

    ~Decent players? For their 4th-highest scoring forward? Do you really think?~

    TigerUnderGlass wrote:

    Jones and fraser the other way. I could actually imagine LA liking Jones . . .

    If this were the deal, or if it were anything involving Souray, Tambellini should be looking frantically for a pen – stabbing his finger and signing in blood if necessary. It won’t be anything like either. Contrary to prevailing opinion, Lombardi isn’t completely stupid. Even those of us who didn’t like Penner all that much were wondering at the time if Teubert and the pick coming back the other way was enough. We’ll take that deal now, but still . . . give Lombardi some credit, people. He’s not going to give Smyth away.

    Max Powers wrote:

    Absolutely take Smyth back. Crazy not to as long as your not giving up any real assets.

    Waaaay too many people have this idea . . . that we will be getting Smytty back without giving anything except the cash up. It’s not going to be like that. Reconcile yourself to the fact that whatever the price for Smytty is, it won’t be spare parts and you aren’t going to be breathing a happy sigh of relief that so-and-so is on their way out of town. LA needs good young talent as much as Edmonton does and that’s what they’re going to ask for.

    David S, props to you for at least thinking about this somewhat rationally.

    If Ryan Smyth was a free agent, would I be willing to pay him $4.5M (and even tie up $6.25M in some special free-agent cap-space) for a year? Yeah, maybe I would; one year for old-times sake so that I could unofficially retire his sweater in the halls of Rexall II. Would I be willing to give away a bunch of younger future talent for the privilege of doing so? Not unless I had shares in the LA Kings organization I wouldn’t. It’s a nice dream, people, but there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Before you starting ordering a big serving of Ryan Smyth, you should check out the price on the menu next to him. It’s a lot more than $4.5M.

    • Ender, I dont know how much needs to go back. They have a disgruntled player with a public desire to play for another team. For much better players, bit parts have been returned in such situations.

      They can want something really bad, but in the end they now have a serious problem to deal with. They COULD choose to do nothing and say “shut up and play”, but that almost never happens and you know that.

      The Kings arent rebuilding. They dont value their picks above money and the ability to win now. This is an opportunity to get Smyth and provide the Kings with the ability to spend real dollars and get a WIN NOW player.

      No. This is not ideal for the Kings. And thats exactly why it wont cost the Oil more than an Omark and change to get their guy back.

      • DieHard

        Please explain your outright hatred for Omark. I think he’s just scratching the surface. He’s worth a lot more that a 35 year old who may retire after next year.

        • @Archaeology @DieHard

          I agree with Arch, Omark is a great asset we have right now that we dont need. If Hemsky signs, Omark can go. Smyth retire??? Why? Do you forgèt the heart of this guy?? He’ll be 78 and still put his face in front of the puck. We have a chance to witness a guy that probably wont make the HHoF. He’ll be a folk hero in 20 years and you dont want him back for Omark??

          Omark’s a great young player but if he isnt in your top 6, there’s no point. No D. Smyth can be a 3rd/4th liner for years still guys, give your head a shake

        • He better be scratching the surface, because he was on pace for less than 10 goals over 82 games. He put up 5 whopping goals. I like his tenaity with the puck and creativity in the offensive zone, but it produced a whole lot of nothing. Hes a 24 year old rookie. I dont know how much better he will get.

          Also, if Gagner is pushed to the Wing at some point Omark would be 4th on the the depth chart behind Hemsky, Eberle, and Gags. So I dont think he will be better than any of those players and I dont expect a whole lot more in terms of his development as a player. Now is the time to move him. IMO.

          I would take Smyth any day of the week over Omark. But Im open to other names going out, although the denials have already started from Smyth. This could lead to nothing.

          • Scored 5 and was in on 22. In 51 games. He’s the sort of player that sees scoring as more than putting it in yourself. And we all saw how many chances he gave other guys, and how many of those were whiffed.

            40+ points is pretty solid for a third-liner on this team, wouldn’t you say? And what if he (no doubt) improves and gets over 50 next year. That makes him a solid core player in my books. Again, how many points did Eberle get this year?

            Not every athlete matures on a linear scale. This infatuation with guys who peak at 23 is plain ridiculous. Given the crap our developing players where mired in last year, I’d say Omark’s progress was worthy of another year at the least. Even he has said that he was a markedly improved player from the beginning of the year.

          • Im not saying he shouldnt be an Oiler next year, Im saying that Id rather have Smyth here. Hes better in every facet of the game and just as likely to move up the depth chart.

            The reason Omark only played in 51 games was because he wasnt good enough in the other areas of his game. He is still a question mark defensively. Im not ready to pencil Omark in as a top 6 player considering the team has better options.

          • I see what you’re saying, but I wasn’t assuming Omark would be a top-six player either. IMO, the better your team gets, the larger your core becomes. Why couldn’t we have a cracking 3rd line? The only reason we don’t think like that here in Edmonton is that the depth has been paper-thin the last few years.

            We’re so used to scrubs and fill-ins occupying the bottom six that the thought of a solid third line (or even fourth line – perish the thought) has become unthinkable.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Exactly, for once we would be on the right side of the bargining table.

        Out of anyone, Oiler fans should know what it’s like to be trading from a position of weakness (when it’s your player that wants a new address).

    • If this were the deal, or if it were anything involving Souray, Tambellini should be looking frantically for a pen – stabbing his finger and signing in blood if necessary. It won’t be anything like either. Contrary to prevailing opinion, Lombardi isn’t completely stupid. Even those of us who didn’t like Penner all that much were wondering at the time if Teubert and the pick coming back the other way was enough. We’ll take that deal now, but still . . . give Lombardi some credit, people. He’s not going to give Smyth away.

      I’m not sure why you compared this deal to offering Souray. I don’t see this deal as nothing. Jones seems to be widely considered useful, and Fraser is only a year away from being considered useful and has the excuse of drowning on a terrible team.

      The cap space freed is the main benefit. I am not convinced that Smyth is more useful to the kings at 6.25 than Jones and Fraser at 2.325 plus a free agent or two.

      Souray is a player nobody wants for nothing and hardly saves a worthwhile amount of cap space.

    • Ender

      Funny how the first assumption posted after that rebuttal article appears is that Smytty is the one telling half-truths. People believe what they want to believe, I guess.

      I, for one, would be much more inclined to believe that it was the mysterious ‘sources’ talking to TSN that may have fudged a bit to spice things up on a slow news day, but, hey . . . that’s crazy talk, right?

  • DieHard

    Ryan Smyth is getting old in hockey terms and is oft injured. He may not be reliable for LA next season. They could go deep when they sign some FAs. Giving up any prospects or picks would be insane for these Oilers. He can be had cheaply (ie. Fraser). If the Oilers were a contending team then maybe at the trade deadline (if not injured).

    I think LA wants the CAP money and this is a good way to help both teams and Ryan Smyth. Ryan could start in a few years in player development is OKC.

  • SLURVE

    My heart says bring Smyth back but my head says no.

    Head: No the Oilers is rebuilding and the price tag is too high…

    Heart: We need a true veteran Oiler presence for guiding the youngster and besides, it is only for one year…

    Head: We already have Horcoff and Hemmer for leadership roles.

    Heart: Now we will deny a player wanting to come here while we can’t keep others who would want to leave…Sheesh.

    Head: If we do get Smyth, we will have one of the highest paid third liners-horcoff (about 7 million center and 4.5 million left wing and Ryan Jones at over 1.5 million).

    Heart: Mmmm…lets take a chance for one year. If it works, we will sign Smyth for much less in the following year.

    Head: Ok…

  • If youre LA and you can sign Brad Richards by freeing up $6.25M of Ryan Smyth, I take that all day. Not many teams in the Ryan Smyth caphit sweepstakes. TONS in the Brad Richards market and LA can afford it and give him multiple shots at the cup. I say TB or LA, not TOR or NYR, they aren’t good enough.

  • Aitch

    Obviously, the kicker is the return. That said, yes, bring him back.

    When healthy, you know what you’re getting from him… all out hustle and a love for the jersey. Not to mention, the guy has some skill. But the main reasons that I’m actually hopeful this gets done are

    1) Tambellini has expressed the sentiment that next season he expects to be in the playoff hunt. New pieces are going to be needed to make that happen.

    2) Smyth is gonna be super-motivated. As a UFA at season’s end, if you throw in the extra motivation I suspect you’d get from Smytty back in blue and orange, there’s a potential for a big year… think 30+ goals. This idea would be the only thing stopping me from exploring an immediate extension.

    3) For once a player has handcuffed his GM in order to get TO Edmonton. Not FROM. To. This is so rare, it could be April Fools material.

  • Aitch

    Deals not happening. Oilers are not trading assets for him and should be shot if they do. You take an albatros a contract, you gotta take some back. So if we take a 6.5 cap hit, then they take 4 back at least. Or the Oil suck up the cap hit and send meddling assets or 3rd round or later picks. Anyone who suggests the Oil give up real tangable assets are fools.

    What if the deal was Hemsky for Smyth mitigating the cap hit, and the Oil recieve Voynov as well. That’s my pipe dream. Oh well were all smokin something if we think somethings happening.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    When I first heard about this my first reaction was where would he fit in? The more that I think about it, having him play on the third line and mentor our youngsters might be a good thing. If there is a reasonable deal to make, then I would like to see Smytty to mentor Harski on the art of screening and deflecting.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Why! why can’t he come out and play?

      If we pitch in and help him do his chores, could he come out and play then?

      The last picture of Ryan Smyth taken in an Oiler jersey, will be one with the Stanley Cup hoisted overhead in 2014-2015.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Sad = the only ‘idea’ “Tambi/Tambo..the GM DOESN’T GET A G-D NICKNAME” has comes from another organization.

    And involves an ex-Oiler. Who has never won anything in the NHL.

    And whoever mentions “Hemsky” and “leadership” in the same sentence should really cut down on the # kool-aids/day.

    Here’s another rumour for you.

    I hear Lummer is available.

  • D-Man

    For the offensive production he will bring to the Oil he will without a doubt be overpayed. However, you just don’t see players with this kind of work ethic anymore, and his dedication to both the sport of hockey and Edmonton is second to none. Even if he gets 0 points I would trade for him because he will be a great influence on all our young players, and show them what it means to be an Edmonton Oiler!

  • Truth

    Not going to lie, haven’t read any of the previous pages, but to complain that Smyth is too much money for not enough production…how about Souray. He got paid to play for an AHL team with no affiliation with the Oilers.

    Also, he is the Oilers. A living, breathing, example of what every player on the Oilers should replicate. He doesnt score 50 goals and 120 points but he works like a dog to get every single one of the 20some he puts up and is proud of every single one of them. I’ll take his 25 goals over Semin’s 35 anyday. How do you put a price tag on that?

  • D-Man

    It’s been said before but Smytty would be the perfect leader for the young guys. Make him captain. Put him on the 1st or 2nd line this year and gradually bump him back to a depth role over the next few years. Look at Mark Recchi’s contributions in the final. That could be us in 3 years. Also, obviously cap space is not an issue but if you’re concerned about Katz’s money, if he comes back I’m sure they will sell almost as many Smyth jerseys as they will Hall or Eberle this year.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    You have to admit, the timing appears to be accurate for Ryan to ask for a move like this. The week leading up to the entry draft when deals like these are commonplace. Ryan’s just looking after No.1. I have to believe the big man in the raven black suit on this and not Matty.

    Ryan wasn’t ready for Matty to confront him with this yet so Ryan manipulated the data for him.