I woke up from a well-needed nap, and much to my chagrin, but not to my surprise, the Ryan Smyth saga still lingered. I will say the Smyth spectacle has given me a new appreciation of how fanatical some Oiler fans are. I’ve received emails and tweets suggesting Tambellini be fired on the spot if he doesn’t complete this trade, while others are asking for updates every 2nd hour, because they won’t be able to rest until they crack the case.
It is great to hear, read and see the passion, and it is why I love my job, but for those who are frustrated, and bordering on being mad. – take a deep breath it will be okay.
Here is what I know.
I asked Tambellini after the draft about the alleged health concerns of Brule and if he has an injury at this point?
"He has been cleared to play for a long time. I’m not going to discuss it any further," he said.
I also got a text from Brule’s camp that said, "He is healthy."
I got to the Lombardi scrum late, because I was talking to Tambellini and he was a bit annoyed about the entire situation. He had this to say about this alleged deal. "It makes no sense to lose (Smyth) and then lose the (cap) flexibility I need to replace him. That’s where it broke down."
The LA Times, Helene Elliott wrote this about the situation.
"The complicating factor remains that Gilbert Brule whose contract the Kings were supposed to take to offset the Oilers’ accepting Smyth’s $6.25-million salary cap hit, is listed as having a concussion and isn’t medically cleared to play. That puts in question whether he could be traded or waived, which is what the Kings intended to do."
So the Kings think Brule’s concussion is an issue regarding being bought out, while the Oilers and Brule’s camp say he is healthy.
Keep in mind that I don’t expect any camp to always be 100% truthful, I’m not saying they will flat-out lie, but they don’t need to tell us every detail, as much as we (media) and the fans want to know everything. I do think they should get an independent doctor to give Brule a physical. If he is deemed healthy to play, then that should solve it.
That seems to easy, so maybe I’m missing something, but I think somehow the deal eventually gets done whether it includes Brule or not.
SITTING IN PERGATORY
The Smyth soap opera has created the biggest array of emotions Oiler fans have felt since, arguably, the 2006 Cup run.
Think about it. It’s almost been like a seven game series.
I know it’s hard to remember what that feels like fans, but help me out here. Close your eyes and think back to 2006. Cue cheezy dream sequence music that they play on TV, oh yeah, and open your eyes, because you can’t read this and have your eyes closed at the same time. My bad for suggesting you close your eyes.
WANYE OPEN YOUR EYES, AND STOP DROOLING THINKING ABOUT ALL THE BL’S YOU CRUSHED IN 2006
On Monday when Bob McKenzie wrote that Smyth wanted to return home, you felt like you won the first two games of the series, You talked about it at work, text your buddies, walked around smiling all day thinking about your team, and you probably even had thoughts of "what could be," just like you would when up were up two games to none.
Then you heard the Flames were involved and your heart sank. You felt like your arch rival had ripped out your guts and slept with your lady/man. It felt like you were watching your team fall apart and you were losing control of the series. Suddenly you found your team tied up 2-1, but they got blown out in game three. WTF.
Then on Friday a few moments after the Oilers drafted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, TSN announced that the deal was done. You had just won gave four with a dominating performance. You chugged your beer, you hugged and high-fived strangers, just like you did in 2006. Series is over. You are up 3-1.
But then disaster.
The trade is off.
You felt like you were watching Dwayne Roloson go down in a heap all over again. The air turned blue as Oilersnation collectively became enraged. You sensed the series was slipping away.
You needed to blame someone, so TSN became your Marc-Andre Bergeron. And even though Tambelllini denied it, repeatedly, you blamed him, he was more like your Andrew Ladd.
Then you lost game six as well, but you saw a glimmer of hope when the Flames signed Alex Tanguay, and you realized they didn’t have enough cap space to sign Smyth until after July 1st. Sure, it was still a loss, but you felt like you played well and were still in the series. You walked away from the game err, I mean draft feeling uneasy about your chances in game seven.
Will you land Smyth? Will your Prodigal Son return, or will Oiler fans suffer another blow to their heart, minds and psyche?
The problem is, normally you’d only have to wait two days to play game seven, but right now you don’t know when it will be played. Will you win the game, will Smyth return home, or will you end up feeling as empty as you did in 2006 when the Canes hoisted the Cup?
For Oiler fans, I hope it is the latter, because even with the additions of Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, it will be awhile before you feel those raw playoff emotions again.
I hope you win this "Smyth" series.
As mad as you feel right now, isn’t there a part of you that has enjoyed riding that emotional rollercoaster of being an Oiler fan again? Feeling the excitiment of a big win, err, trade, and having visions of more wins than losses in the future.
Are you telling me you didn’t feel a bit more alive this week?
You might have dusted off that Smyth picture you have in the basement, or maybe you asked your lady to wear her #94 jersey around the house. Either way you haven’t felt this alive since SHIRTS OFF FOR HORCOFF was cool.
Disclaimer..I can’t believe TSN got it wrong…I’d never do that…Oh wait, I did with Dany Heatley…It sucks to be wrong. I know.