Every now and again your ol’ pal Wanye will stumble on information while standing in line at the bottle depot. It doesn’t happen often and we don’t make stuff up the rest of the time like other fake named internet bloggers.* So you can trust us when we say that the Oil are jerking around Ryan Smyth and that it is another example of how the organization is effing up in so many ways.

We recently had a conversation with someone connected to the Smyth camp. And when we say had a conversation it was the farthest thing from pretending to be some puffed up Media wannabe. No we came across as a tearful Oiler fan happy to be talking to someone who knows the scoop with Smytty.

This is the second time we have had a chat with this cat. The last time ol’ #94 was still an LA King. At the time we drunkenly pleaded “Smytty needs to come home. He is probably peeling from the Sun down in LA and we miss him so much” before dissolving into tears and needing to be led away.

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As we were being dragged from the conversation, this person lifted our spirits to the moon when they called out “that isn’t the craziest thing you’ve ever said. He does want to return to Edmonton, not because he doesn’t like LA but because he wants to come home for the rest of his career.”


Almost a year to the day we ran into them again and gushed about how happy we were that ol’ Smytty was back where he belonged in Oil City. “An then he scored all them goals and he looked so happy and then the NUUUUUUUGE was happy and Eberle already has 30 goals an then Taylor Head got his coconut stomped on an we were all so sad an then -” began our “interview.”

“You know,” the person replied good humouredly, “it’s great how happy you are to have Ryan back in the fold. He is thrilled too and honestly can’t believe the reception Oilers fans have given him. It is killing him how contract talks are going and that he doesn’t have an offer yet from the Oilers.”

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Doesn’t have an offer? How is this possible we wondered – ostensibly in our head but infact aloud continuing the most painful conversation this poor person has probably had in months. “Well when he was considering leaving LA the Flames came to the table to make a serious pitch for him. He certainly didn’t ever think too hard about going to Calgary (insert our relieved face here) and then Katz phoned him personally and said that if he came back to Edmonton it would be for the rest of his career.”

“Then at the deadline he had heard rumours the Oilers were listening to offers for him. It didn’t go very far but that plus the fact they haven’t made him an offer even though the season is winding down is upsetting for him. He just wants some stability and to stay in Edmonton for the rest of his career. It’s too bad really.”


First of all Ryan Smyth is a Saint and the best Oiler in the past 20 years hands down. Guys with his heart, devotion to the team and long term output come along once in a blue moon. His shoddy treatment by this organization disgraces us all.

We would rather the entire brass, coaching staff and front office be summarily fired and shipped out of country than for Ryan Smyth to have another moment of his unhappiness on their account.

This organization doesn’t deserve Ryan Smyth and it seems convinced to prove this time and time again. Think a world class outfit like Detroit would treat it’s Ryan Smyth like this? Right.

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What about all the talk we saw on the TSN that said they were in talks with Smyth? How does a franchise that has serious issues inspiring loyalty among players, a franchise with a reputation for alienating NHLers and a franchise who has already boggled the ball with Smyth once allow these things to go into the eleventh hour?

This reminds us of the BS between the Oilers and Hemsky as was reported so well by Jason Gregor a few weeks back:

 “The trade deadline is 24 days away, and so far Ales Hemsky hasn’t heard anything from the Oilers regarding his future with or without the team. How is this possible? Does Steve Tambellini believe that top-six forwards grow on trees, and that it will be easy to replace Hemsky?”

“It is ridiculous that the Oilers haven’t approached him with anything significant to see if he’d be willing to re-sign. Maybe they will have differing opinions on terms of a new deal, but if the Oilers don’t at least approach him and his agent then they have failed big-time in trying to ensure that this team becomes competitive.”


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For an organization that has made some puzzling signings in the past 24 months – Barker and the three year contracts for Belanger and Eager spring to mind – how is it that the Oilers leave cornerstone contracts like Hemsky and Smyth contracts until the 11th hour?

This front office is something else. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the slow painful climb out of the league basement does it? We can’t wait until this abrasive group are focusing their attention on re-signing Hall, Eberle and our precious Nuge.


*Confirmed E5

** He doesn’t.

  • I tried it at home

    To quote Mssr W. Gretz

    We would rather the entire brass, coaching staff and front office be summarily fired and shipped out of country than for Ryan Smyth to have another moment of his unhappiness on their account

    Im totally Ok with that, actually

  • O.C.

    Someone who worked in the Oilers PR department back in the day once told me that getting Ryan Smyth to participate in unpaid volunteer activities, etc. was like pulling teeth. Can’t say I believed her at the time because he seems like such a nice “aw shucks” guy.

    The truth is, (most of us) don’t actually know anything about the guy on a personal level other than that he’s media savvy enough to play like he’d gladly have a tooth knocked out every day for a “W” if that was all it took. With a few exceptions, he’s won the fans over and that should create value to Oiler Management.

    I’m not sure that management sees things the same as we fans do, but what scares me the most is I’m not sure that management even sees the fans.

    As GM, it’s Tambellini’s job to commoditize his players so long as that doesn’t prejudice his ability to hire replacements. But during that process, the one thing he can never do is alienate the Oilers fan-base. Wanye got so mad today he pooped a little*. I don’t know how your supposed to treat Smyth, but I do know that’s not how you treat your fans.

    I read a business article about a guy who formerly managed a sports team and took one guiding principle into the business world that made him very successful: treat your repeat customers like season ticket holders. It seems like simple advice, but sometimes the Oilers don’t even treat season ticket holders like season ticket holders…

    * Pure conjecture. Likely accurate.

    • Leave the second hand info on the curb. Goes against all the Stollery Stories and old lady mullet massages we come to know and love.

      Next someone’s going to say he slept with Tommy Salo’s wife, burned his rental furniture, and knocked up a TV reporter, Yeesh…..

  • MistaWes

    im curious as to why Tambi is going to go out of his way to sign more players when he himself does not even have a contract extension in place nor Tom Renney. Until we know with out any shadow of a doubt that he will be our GM next season I say no contracts until our GM situation has been finalized

  • DieHard

    What to you pay the guy… You just resigned the high scoring Hemsky for $5m per for 2 yrs.
    SMyth has better numbers… I can see Meehan throwing this at Tambilini. Meeham will want the same deal Hemsky got for starters.The other angle he would use ,, hey your paying Horcoff $6m per year.. “My guy is worth $5.. for small.
    Yes my guy is older, but his injury history isnt as bad as those two other guys… etc etc.
    Tambilini is shaking in his boots with this problem.

  • What to you pay the guy… You just resigned the high scoring Hemsky for $5m per for 2 yrs.
    SMyth has better numbers… I can see Meehan throwing this at Tambilini. Meeham will want the same deal Hemsky got for starters.The other angle he would use ,, hey your paying Horcoff $6m per year.. “My guy is worth $5.. for small.
    Yes my guy is older, but his injury history isnt as bad as those two other guys… etc etc.
    Tambilini is shaking in his boots with this problem.

    • Mitch

      The Oilers have bad salary structure most people want to over look this and say “we have lots of cap space”. They will be slaughtered by agents IMO. Personally I wish I never had to EVER watch Horcoff or Belanger play another shift for the Oilers. They have unperdictable goaltending but someday Dubnyk will be a starter… Others think they must give Renney an extension, I ask why because we have the number 1 PP. I will look no further than where it really matters and notice that Edmonton is 29th. Most important is it really yr #2 of a rebuid? This is the biggest myth of all!!!

  • DieHard

    He’s over 35. 1 year contracts from here on out. Somewhere between 2, and 2.5 million.
    Anything more would be a bad contract IMO.

    If Smyth wants to go elsewhere for more money that is his prerogative. That said I hope he stays.

    The fans here have to stop looking at other bad contracts as comparables. The Oilers have enough of those.

    The idea is to accumulate value contracts, not shackle yourself with ones you can’t give away on waivers.

    Then again, if 5 million per season for a smallish, one dimensional 15 goal scorer with 5 goals this year is as good a contract as the fans here believe, perhaps Smyth deserves to extended his current bloated salary for another year or two.

    I nearly typed ‘deep breath people’, but I realized it sounded a little too much like the Edmonton classics “give your head a shake” and “you need to get your facts straight”

  • Hogan

    Every step, everything Smyth has done, has always been about the $$$. He has always put every team feet to the fire. Ask Lombardi.
    1 year term 1.5 max. He has little/no leverage. He doesnt want to move.
    Tired of this guy & his camps posturing

  • O.C.

    If Tambo hasn’t taken Smyth to the next room and explained things so that he and his agent are good, then that’s a blight on his skills.

    As far as timing of the offer, we all know that there’s intangibles, such as the discussion on the CBA and amnesty etc, all of which will impact capology scenarios. Waiting makes sense… But there better be communication to those who are waiting.

    As far as what he gets paid… Sometimes you pay people for their point production, other times you pay for their past performances, other times you pay for their ethics and presence, other times you reward them for the number of jerseys they sell, and other times you reward loyalty.

    In 94’s case, you factor all of that in.

    • Clyde Frog

      Yes, because all contenders are built out of rookies and having a vet with some actual gamesmanship is obviously terrible.

      A player who has come back into a game after half his teeth were scraped up off the ice only 10 minutes earlier, is not the type of character you build a team out of…

      Why even make an offer? Who cares that he is number 3 in scoring on our team right now…

      Especially since he made 6.25 million this season… His take home before taxes was 4.5 but I am sure that is just some sort of mumbo jumbo to save on taxes, obviously he will want 6.5 million next time!

      Good on Tambellini for not even wasting time on this player, just another boat anchor making too much money… Right boys? ***

      *** Starred for those who only read the last paragraph… That last paragraph was sarcasm!

    • Clyde Frog

      Lol, yes none of the teams who have those players now will try and sign them…

      We also better limit our 3rd best scorer to 2 million on a one year term! If we pay him more on a 1 year contract that will somehow affect our ability to sign your fantasy worlds worth of free agents next year.

      That all makes sense… complete sense…

      Damn, you need to keep dropping truth bombs on us Ed!

    • Clyde Frog

      Smyth has character in abundance, gamesmanship in abundance, can produce right now like a decent 2nd line LW player.

      You don’t make winners by dumping people who produce for nothing and handing ice time to unproven AHL players…

      You make the kids take their spot by out-producing and out-working them. You keep players who can and do produce on your team and rotate those who can’t. Smyth is #3 in scoring, so I’m not sure why we are so hot to drop him.

      Also I will bet the 2013 free-agent list will look MUCH different this time next year, in much the same way as this 2012’s did.

      So staring at the free-agent list now is not a good way to build your team.

      Lastly 40+ points on your third line == very, very good third line production… (Especially if that player is #3 in production on your team)

  • Clyde Frog

    Did you not post the following:

    If this is what you think of 94 you need to take a long look at your status as a Ryan Smyth fan. People thought he wouldn’t live up to his last contract and clearly that wasn’t the case.

    How can you make the argument that he lived up to his last contract? A contract where he averaged 6.25/year? Why would only his last year at 4.5/year be relevant when talking about his performance for the duration of the 5 years?

    Colour me confused (but at least I have no calving to do)

  • Hogan

    Im kinda curious as to what Ruben & Smytty’s spokespersons think how respect is defined.
    Giving Smytty what he wants? Giving him 3 mil a year? Giving him 2.5 a year for 3. And given Smyttys act over the past number of years (going for the $$$ at every opportunity), how does he show respect? After all, hes the guy that begged & cajoled to get back to Edmonton, which the Oilers accomodated with little to no upside to the Oilers,. Hows Smytty going to show his respect?

  • One year deals for smyty until he decides to retire. And he doesn’t have to be signed immediately – he lost all his bargaining power by saying “mercy” when it came to the Oilers or anywhere else.

    However, was he ever part of the rebuilding plan? – no he wasn’t. He ASKED to come back, the Oilers were not actively pursuing him. So paying him 4.5 mil with a 6.25 cap hit when he clearly doesn’t deserve that much is exactly the definition of rewarding the significance of Ryan Smyth as an Edmonton Oiler.

    For the right price he can stay next year for the third line. If he feels he is worth more than 2 million a season then the Oilers can continue with their original plan and use the slot for Lander, Haartikanen, Omark, or even Cornet.

    Teemu Selanne doesn’t seem to have a problem with one year deals or being the last to sign for Anaheim for the last 3-4 years. And he still deserves multi year deals!

  • Wanye, you forgot to mention how Tambo so readily signed extensions for Potter, who has come back down to earth and shown that he is in fact nothing more than an AHL player, and Sutton.