Welcome Home, Ryan Smyth!

Ryan Smyth is an Edmonton Oiler. Details of the deal (Colin Fraser and a distant 7th rd pick in 2012) are unimportant, Ryan Smyth returns!

Steve Tambellini has earned major points for a very good hockey trade. I’m not certain he thinks so, but the evidence is overwhelming. Quality NHL player, mentor, and very likely a reasonable contract next year.

I’m having a beer, and then I’m having another.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Oh man, now all we need is to get Hejda, Pitkanen, Hamrlik, Reasoner, Stoll and Greene, and making the playoffs will be ours, all ours.

    • Ender

      [raises hand, slowly shakes head]

      I still figure Tambi has some really interesting pictures of Lombardi squirreled away somewhere. Fans in LA are not happy about this return.

      The saying is “win some, lose some” but I honestly didn’t figure the ‘win’ part would ever apply to the Oilers here. Who’da thunk? Oh, that’s right . . . TUG. Props.

      • The saying is “win some, lose some” but I honestly didn’t figure the ‘win’ part would ever apply to the Oilers here. Who’da thunk?

        I strongly agree with this statement. The idea of Tambellini coming out ahead in a trade like this feels extremely odd. Almost wrong.

        Even when I suggested Fraser I was more thinking in terms of what I though LA might take if necessary, not what I thought would actually happen.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Ya I was really suprised some people felt we’d have to give up something of value for Smyth.

      (though I didn’t think Fraser would be involved)

  • @spoiler

    It depends what report you read. There seems to be differing opinions from scouts over skating and slapper.

    His physical play was always mentioned and making good plays at both ends which is the positive.

    He must have a few non elite aspects to separate him from the other swede and Hamilton. Murphy is unique.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Review all of his Trades and you will see that he is actually about 65-70% winning on the trade front. You have to look at who the Oilers got for the picks. For example the Whitney trade was about even but getting Davidson as a 6th rounder for that pick pushes it to a win for the Oilers.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow


    FW- Gilbert Brule
    D- Sheldon Souray

    RFA-D- Ladi Smid. 1 Way Contract
    RFA-D- Theo Peckham. 1 Way Contract
    UFA-FW- Alexandre Giroux. 2 Way Contact

    RFA’s In Question:
    FW- Andrew Cogliano
    FW- Ryan O’Marra
    D- Taylor Chorney

    UFA’s Likely Gone:
    FW- Steve MacIntrye
    D- Jim Vandermeer
    D- Jason Strudwick
    D- Richard Petiot
    G- Jeff Deslaurier
    G- Martin Gerber

    RFA’s Likely Gone:
    FW- Zach Stortini
    FW- JF Jacques
    FW- Liam Reddox (GONE ALREADY)

  • Blue Blooded

    Isn’t it sweet to be proud to be an Oiler fan again 🙂 If healthy, I think Brule adds some depth to organization btw. He has some ability to put the puck in the net and plays bigger than he is when healthy. I’m glad he is still with the team. No need for a buyout IMO. Depth people!! I know its hard to remember what it was like when guys used to have to win their spots at training camp

      • SurfacetoAirMissile

        It’s not madjam . Now that Tams has got his feet wet , maybe more is coming for this sesaon . Studman Musil adds to defence and perhaps Souray gets a retry . Add Jagr at a paltry $1-2 million and maybe Hopkins draws in to win Calder . By the way Kleftbom is also a defenceman that the North intruder seems to not know . As the song goes “you ain’t seen nothing yet ” . Onward and upward , the phrase of the day !

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Let’s all get in a cirlce and hug now that Ryan smyth is back. He is 35 years old how effective do you really think he is going to be.

    Maybe Kevin Lowe will come back to improve your pathetic defense. let me guess his a number 2 on any other team…..

    Come on.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    For the record Vancouver did not win the cup because they too did not have a stud on the back end….Don’t be suprised if that changes this year as well.

    Again I will say I am just stating the facts.

    Edmonton missed the boat in this draft not selecting a stud for a defensmen in this years draft. They should have drafted Larson, this will truly come back to haunt them…wait and see.

    • Feel free to drop by in five years or so to tell us how badly the Oilers missed on this draft.

      That should be just around the time we’re celebrating another deep run in the playoffs after acquiring said “stud on the back end” via UFA pickup or trade. Kinda like Boston just did

      • longbottom/P.Biglow

        Drafting a defenseman high in the first round rarely yields huge returns compared to drafting a forward. Better to pick up someone else’s proven d-man when they are in a salary crunch – like the oil did taking whitney off of the cash-strapped ‘canes.

  • TKB2677


    The problem isn’t that ST is getting killed every trade, it’s that there hasn’t been a decisive deal that improves the team.

    Whitney is a fabulous player – with serious health issues. ST gave up a really good player to get him and it is questionable if he’ll ever be able to play a full season.

    If we keep Whitney he will be our Salo, becoming more and more likely to go down the farther we go in the season and playoffs. That makes it a wash at best. Davidson is a nice player, but still a longshot to ever win a regular NHL job.

    What makes a GM is decisive deal that improves the team with no qualifications. They don’t win them all, but the team improves. Examples are Chiarelli, Gillis, Holland, maybe Lombardi and Wilson, we’ll see.

    Tambellini has mostly a bunch of minor deals on his resume, and a team that has slid to the bottom. He has acquired some players who have bombed for us, we all know who they are, and let some guys who had good numbers go. Picking first overall is no sign of skill. The later picks are on his scouts who Lowe hires.

    There is a lot left to prove for Steve-O.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Garon to Pittsburgh – Sabourin, Stone, 4th Round Pick in 2011(Tobias Rieder) to Edmonton
    2nd Round Pick in 2009(Jesse Blacker) to Buffalo – Kotalik to Edmonton
    Cole, 5th Round Pick(Matt Kennedy) in 2009 to Carolina – O’Sullivan, 2nd Round pick in 2009 to Edmonton(Blacker)

    Brodziak, 6th Round Pick in 2009( Darcey Keumper) to Minnesota – 4th, 5th Round Picks in 2009 to Edmonton(Bigos and Roy)
    Grebeshkov to Nashville – 2nd Round Pick in 2010 to Edmonton(Hamilton)
    Visnovsky to Anaheim – Whitney, 6th Round Pick in 2010 to Edmonton(Davidson)
    Staios to Calgary – Johnson, 3rd Round Pick in 2011 to Edmonton(Travis Ewaniuk)

    6th Round Pick in 2010 to Chicago(Mirrko Hofflin) – Fraser to Edmonton
    Nash to Carolina – 2nd Round Pick to Edmonton(Marincin)
    O’Sullivan to Phoenix – Vandermeer to Edmonton

  • This trade falls into the same category as the Pronger trade, but not for the reason that one might think at first. This trade is likely to have slightly positive impact on the teams’ fortunes this coming year and possibly on the quality of the maturation of its young roster, but it is nowhere near as impactful as Pronger’s aquisition was.

    It definitely does NOT earn Tambellini “major points” for making the trade. This was a force majeur trade by the Kings just as Pronger was for the Blues. Tambellini wasjust in the right place at the right time just as lowe was with pronger.

    And it could all go terribly wrong, or at least not come close to delivering on its promise. Smyth plays a style that is not kind to aging bodies – net-crashing has seen him miss 12% of his potential NHL games – 15% of the last four years. Meanwhile a once-promising player – fraser has been traded and may yet find his game and deliver on that promise yet (name Cleary ring a bell)

    That said, realistically Tambellini HAD to make the deal – as he HAD to pick Hall over Seguin – there was/is too much pressure to not do otherwise. And, if i’m not mistaken this is only one year before RS is a UFA and cap issues are the least of the team’s worries this year.

    What the hell, the cost to the owner has about the same impact to his income as a flat screen TV to the average oiler fan. And Oiler’s Jock-sniffer extraordinaire that he is, bringing back a retread like Smyth must make him positively giddy…

  • Five years from now the Oilers will be rebuilding again. Your window will be past and you won’t be able to afford the young guys because you are bringing them in too early and not giving them a chance to develop.. Good luck with..history repeats itself.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    While I won’t say he won every trade your example of the whitney trade for me is a wash as Whitney will play the whole year this year and Davidson will play in Oak City I believe. But others he won by just subtracting the player from the team and getting that draft pick is the bonus.
    example Grebs to Nashville is a winner bytradeing Grebs(who is no longer in the NHL) but the draft pick Hamilton is gravy.

    • FastOil

      Whitney has only played a full season twice in his career.

      Neither of us know, but the odds are against him after two major bone reconstruction surgeries – it’s just common sense.

      The list of trades you provided is a list of mediocre at best players and a bunch of guys yet to make the league, except Whitney and Vis.

      If Whitney never gets past his injuries Anaheim pulled Little Stevie’s pants down in front of the whole class because Vis had a lot of value.

      At the end of the day, after all the guys he decided to get rid of, the team is getting worse, not better and that’s the whole story right there.

      • Dan the Man

        I mean I guess if you’re nitpicking Whitney missed 2 games in 04-05, 5 in 05-06, 1 in 06-07, 5 in 07-08 and 1 in 09-10 so you could say 0 full seasons but not that many guys play all 82 games so I’d consider anything in the high seventies pretty good and Whitney’s played 75+ games 5 out of 7 pro seasons.

        2004-2005 WILKES-BARRE PENGUINS 80

        2005-2006 PENGUINS 68

        2005-2006 WILKES-BARRE PENGUINS 9

        2006-2007 PENGUINS 81

        2007-2008 PENGUINS 76

        2008-2009 PENGUINS 28

        2008-2009 DUCKS 20

        2009-2010 DUCKS 62

        2009-2010 OILERS 19

        2010-2011 OILERS 35

        • FastOil

          By your own info there, since 2008 Whitney has played in 40% of the available games. Out of the last 4 years he made one 62 game season, about 75% is his best.

          This does not bode well, as a link to an article in the journal from here or CB (sorry can’t find it) said that the biggest predictor of injury is last year. If a player was hurt a lot last year, likely will be this year.

          Players don’t change much after a few years in the league. They’ll get better with experience, but there are no new aspects very often to their games. Maybe some learn to play defense better.

          BUt with injuries, once they start they don’t often go away. Maybe a guy gets one big one and that’s it. If it’s been a few then trouble.

          I can’t think of any examples of a guy being hurt a lot over years and then suddenly going for years with few, can you?

          It usually puts a big dent in their career and often signals the beginning of the end, unless you are Sami Salo.

          There are enough examples on the Oilers other than Whitney – Horcoff, Hemsky, Khabi, Smids had a few, Jacques.

          Equally guys that stay healthy usually continue to – Gilbert, Cogliano, and the ultimate example Lidstrom.

          Learning to not get hurt is a huge skill for a long career and I think should be coached as much as possible. I think one of the biggest trends we’ll see going forward (now that concussions are on the radar to stay because of Crosby) is guys careers being cut off after 4-5 concussions. They have always got them, but now they’ll count all of them not just the major ones.

          It is critical to avoid them. I think Hall has already had a few from junior, he needs to be careful or we could lose him way too soon.

          I really hope Smytty can teach the rookies to play the boards and not get killed because a lot of them take way too many hits and it will catch up with them.

          • BarryS

            Well I suppose it all depends if the Medicos actually fixed Whitney’s feet this time. Not sure wny his other teams never got them done, perhaps he was still young and immortal and now older and wiser.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            My mistake. By the way, this isn’t Philosophy 101. That I separated that year does not by defintion invalidate my point, just the numbers – correcting my mistake, we’re up to 62%. I don’t think that changes much here.

            Please remind yourself and I’ll remind Reynolds at CB when Whitney goes down again, and again, of this conversation.

            Do you believe each year that this is the one that Hemsky and Horcoff turn the corner on their injury problems? The biggest predictor of injuries is previous injuries – from an article on Cult of Hockey.

            The blog has moved so I lost my link. Not that anyone should need someone else to tell them this- it’s just common sense.

            Do you have a body? What happens when you get a significant injury? Does it get hurt more easily and cause more problems afterwards?

            I like Whitney as a player, I like his attitude and his game. I like Hemsky and Horcoff. Yet the Canucks are even smart enough to have only one Salo – the Oilers are working on carrying three.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Serious Gord I do not believe A word you just wrote. Did katz bite you wrong did Tambo date your sister? Wow that is some serious hate.

    This trade could have fallen into Tambo’s lap like prolly a dozen tades in the NHL to other G.M.s every year. Where he wins this trade is we get a wealth of exp for the kids to draw on. Protection for Hall and Ebs etc by playing the smyth line against the top lines of other teams. A proven P/P and P/k guy we really needed. A positive locker room influence for the team. for Fraser and a seventh. It was supposed to be Brule and a Fourth or Fifth.

    P.S. do not discount the tough trades he had to make either, Grebs, Pos, Visnoski, Staios, Penner, Yes Tambo wins 3 of those trades by addition by subtraction, and the forth is a wash but a win if Davidson makes the team.

    • BarryS

      The owner’s uber-fanism towards the oilers is well-documented. I have no axe to grind against him other than I fear that his passion for the team will blind him in the way it blinded the Wrigleys – former owners of the Chicago cubs and thus I and other Oil fans will be doomed to decades of failed promise and poor performance from the team.

      As for ST, my point is that this trade says nothing about his ability to make trades – either good or bad much as the Pronger deal said nothing about Lowe’s skills in that regard. Ditto picking Hall and now RN-H. There was nowhere else that Smyth wanted to go – LA had to deal him to the Oil.

      From the very beginning I have been sKeptical of Tambellini’s hiring by his good friend Lowe. Nothing has really changed my opinion thusfar – it’s too early to tell. But past and present evidence is on my side – Lowe hired MacT and it was a disaster, Lowe was made GM because he was an alma mater and that was a disaster that continues to wreak havoc. The sutterite colony to the south is now in (a predictable) collapse. And in TO Burke hires Americans over any other nationality unless there is no such option – and the results will no doubt be a failure.

      Cronyism, nepotism, and nationlism are all doomed to failure, unfortunately, I see the oilers organization not being one to buck that trend.

      • Hemmertime

        MacT a disaster?

        I was fine with letting him go, but the results he had with 1/2 the salary of some teams is entirely commendable. 1 game from a Cup ring when he had a team that was “on paper” as good as others.

  • rockmoss

    Great day to be an Oilers fan!! I thought the original trade to NYI was the Oilers lowest moment ever. This makes up for it a bit anyway. I’m hoping that Ryan still has some magic but his blood and guts work ethic is the best thing he brings. Welcome back!

    • O.C.

      1989 was lower.

      But, after the trade, I recall a 94 jersey tied to balloons in Rexall, floating away to the ceiling… Brilliant and it hurt, hard..

      Now, even though in the twilight of his career, Ryan got to see that travel opens your eyes, it is not all about the money ( it never was for him, he woulda signed here for less, but if he had to leave, then he had to cash in And go to a contender ), …

      …and you can always go home.

      (Can’t wipe the smile off my face either.)

      • rockmoss

        I remember the 1988 trade all too well. I remember everybody thinking there was no way that story was true. That was the day that hockey became just a business in some ways. I still thought we had a decent team though.

        After Smyth got traded, I remember thinking that we were going into the stinker and we deserved it for getting rid of him.

        The part that really hurt was that a deal was so close to being done.

        Lots of smiles today though.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Serious Gord said: And it could all go terribly wrong, or at least not come close to delivering on its promise…


    I don’t think Tambellini (Katz) brought Smyth in as the missing piece to go on a deep cup run. He’s got one year left on his deal, if he wants too much next summer then he can play elsewhere.

    • HOZ

      He could be injured for most of the season, he could be a negative force in the room, he could simply have a bad season – worth far less than the 4 million he’s going to be paid. Meanwhile Fraser could finally live up to his past promise…and do so for the kings for years to come.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        You’re right SG, but you can say that about anyone that you ship out…as Oilers fans have seen happen again and again. That being said, it happens to all teams (well, maybe the exception being Detroit), so I don’t think it is a particularly damning point against the Oilers.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    That depends on your definition of worse.
    Getting rid of a bunch of “proven” players and replaceing them with rookies could be considered worse.
    My Definition of better is: Playing rookies and haveing the same amount of points, injuries, and AHL players playing but seeing no quit during games. Seeing the amount of 1 goal games go up.
    Seeing a team with nothing to play for beat Vancouver two of the last games of the season.

    Now with some tinkering on defence and the fourth line this team will move out of last place they have some distance to go but I’ll call it now tenth in the west w/o seeing the rest of the tinkering Steve is going to do this summer.

  • In the Grease

    Worked all day – finally watching Tambellini in various interviews. Confirming the positivity of the trade…. and that he clearly speaks English as a second language.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Well I know you are an mature gent as am i. Do you remember the days before the NHL. The days of Hunter was owner where Juaques Plante signing here was Front Page news? or the days of Semenko and Jaimie Troy beat the tar out of every other team that came thru here. Those were days when the team was run into the ground. (fond of them I am. K.Lowe didn’t do a horrid job. He paniced when Pronger left overpayed a few players Hell everyteam has bad contracts. He was right in a way with Penner RFA signing. Penner flourished with Quinn. My point is at the whole body of work that Lowe did was just OK.
    Tambellini should be judged the same way. If you have noticed I never gave him credit with Hall and RNH. I do give him credit or rebuilding our proepect pool. Signing Stu to Head Scout. Getting decent picks in trades while not giving an inch in others. I’ll judge Tambo after the % year mark of this rebuild. He did say it was a 5 year plan. this is year two I am counting…….lmao.