OILERS AND SMYTH: ONE YEAR WORKS

Ryan Smyth wants to play in Edmonton, and the Oilers would love to have him, but from where I sit the deal that makes sense for both parties is a one-year deal. Both sides confirmed to me that the Oilers offered Smyth a two-year deal around the trade deadline. The money was north of Todd Bertuzzi’s $4 million over two year pact. Smyth’s camp countered with a two-year deal worth more than the Oilers offer.

Neither side was interested in the other’s offer and since then there hasn’t been much progress. With the way Teemu Hartikainen played after the deadlie and in the AHL playoffs, and wanting to have a spot for Magnus Paajarvi, I doubt a two-year deal will be on the table anymore.

A one-year deal can solve the stalemate.

If Smyth signs a multi-year deal he can’t get any bonuses, which is why his camp is asking for a bigger contract on a two-year deal. The Oilers need to the flexibility to make room for kids like Hartikainen, Paajarvi and even Tyler Pitlick in the next two years, so a one-year deal makes the most sense.

Smyth can sign a one-year deal for $2.5 million with bonuses that could push it close to $3.5 million. That is a win-win for both sides. If Smyth feels he can still produce, then he will and he’ll get rewarded for it. If Smyth reaches his bonuses then the Oilers should be in a better position in the standings.

I think Smyth can play in the league for three more years. His passion for the game is infectious, and while he likely isn’t a regular top-six forward past next season, he’d be a solid 3rd liner with the ability to play spot duty in the top-six. He still can play on the PP, and he’s a solid PKer as well.

I don’t see the Oilers offering him a two-year deal. I’m certain that there is a team out there that will offer him a two-year pact, but he wants to play in Edmonton. His family loves the city, and the city loves him. I think Smyth could retire as an Oiler, signing a trio of one-year deals, but Smyth, like most players, wants a multi-year deal.

I understand why he wants a multi-year deal, but at this point is his doubtful he’ll get one from the Oilers.

Both sides need to meet in the middle. A one-year deal is the best for both parties. Smyth can stay in the city he loves, and if he produces he’ll make close to the same money he was asking for in a two-year deal. The Oilers need a veteran like Smyth on the ice and in the dressing room, because the young kids aren’t ready to play all the hard minutes just yet.

Smyth could become only the 2nd player in franchise history to play 1000 games as an Oiler, he currently sits at 852.He’s only 74 points behind Paul Coffey for 5th all-time in Oilers scoring. His 121 PP goals have him only four behind Wayne Gretzky and five behind Glenn Anderson. Smyth has a chance to sit amongst some of the greatest Oilers ever.

He could sign a two-year deal elsewhere, but he won’t get the same satisfaction playing there than he would in Edmonton.

A series of one-year deals with bonuses is the best scenario for both sides, not to mention most fans would love having Smyth retire as an Oiler.

PARTING WAYS

The Oilers won’t be offering contracts to 2010 4th round pick Jeremie Blain or 6th rounder Drew Czerwonka. Like I wrote yesterday, I didn’t think it wouldn’t make much sense to sign nine or ten guys from one draft class.

The Oilers will need to sign Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Travis Ewanyk and Tobias Rieder next year. At this point those four are better prospects.

The Oilers are negotiating with Brandan Davidson and would like to sign him before the deadline.

CARRY OVER PENALTIES?

Has the game come to this. Yesterday the Puck Daddy Blog had this story about the NHL seriously considering having penalties, called late in playoff games, carry over to the start of the next game? Wyshynksi is a funny guy at times, so at first I thought maybe it was a joke, but the more I read the more I realized it wasn’t. 

"I think it might get talked about again. I can see some value to it," said Brendan Shanahan, NHL senior vice president of player safety. He said he’s yet to see a docket for Wednesday’s NHL GMs meeting in New York.

 One of Shanahan’s most controversial decisions of the 2012 NHL playoffs fit within this debate: The roughing call on Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators for slamming Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass at the end of Game 1 of that first-round series.

Weber was fined $2,500 by the NHL, but the Red Wings never saw a second of power play time from the incident, which occurred at the 20:00 mark of the third period.

"There are things that happen at the end of the game that people get angry about because there’s no justice," Shanahan said, "and then they look to us. A slash to the back of the leg, for example, isn’t worth a suspension. A fine doesn’t matter [to the aggrieved party]."

 Is this really that much of an epidemic? I’d like to know the answers to the following questions?

  • Will we have the same referees for the next game. Wouldn’t that allow for consistency and make them accountable for their calls.
     
  • What if the team that wins the series takes a penalty in the final minute, do they start game one of the next round shorthanded?
     
  • Outside of soccer, having yellow cards carry over to the next game, is there any sport where this has ever been implemented?
     
  • What if a team scores SH in the first OT period, do they start the next game with the long change similar to the 2nd and 4th periods, cause that could alter the PP alignment.

Some thought my idea of not allowing icing when SH was crazy, but this seems ridiculous.

One game is one game. I have no interest in carry over penalties. Do you?

  • dawgbone98

    @Digger

    There’s a difference between average ice time and actual ice time. Average is good when you look at a similar number of games, but when you have guys who missed 20-30 games, it becomes less valuable.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Great article, Jason. Totally on-board with the one-year deal being the ONLY deal that would make sense for 94.

    I want to make sure there’s room for our rookies and young players. After all, this IS a rebuild.

    Funny as it may seem, I am actually in favour of having the penalties go into the next game. It would keep teams from breaking all the rules to either make sure the other team doesn’t score or worse yet injure another player in the dying seconds of a game. There really is no retribution for it (from a win/loss perspective.)

    Actually, from that perspective there is EVERY reason to actually break every rule at the end of a game. The only things truly stopping the players is the morality of it. When was the last time a coach said he didn’t care about losing a game, he is just glad his players paid attention to the rules? (A professional coach who is still employed, that is…) 😉

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Smyth…. one year @ $2.75 abd $1.0 in bonuses.
    Oilers did him a bit of a favour last year by giving him the chance to be back in Edmonton, close to his business. Part of the $6.5 million is a pay forward..PS. A year later, I am not really sure they needed to bring him back from L.A.. On the other hand if you think Hemsky is worth $5.0 [ I dont ], and your paying Horcoff $6.0 and Smyth upon arrival and 82 games later did more for the team than Hemsky and Horcoff,, How would you response to that.[ I know Horcoff is shoveling Katz driveway as well yada yada].
    Oilers need some tenacity and toughness. Unfortunately Smyth, Horcoff, Hemsky, Belanger, and even Jones, afford very little of that to the team Not too many hits, and not too many goals…. why are you here?

  • dawgbone98

    Ewanuck (sp)over Blain. Why are the Oilers not signing him other then their is logjam a defence. A good sized puck mover like Blain never got much of a look. Is there something to his game that is missing. Hope this is not a bad move on the Oilers part.

    Offer Smyth no more then 2.5 on a one year, 4 mil 2 year. Love Smyth, but the Oilers need to sign players at the right price.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Sorry Dawgbone, I’m not buying entirely what you’re selling, at least in this case.

    Of the guys I mentioned, Hall missed around 20 games but I don’t think his average icetime would’ve been all that different had he remained healthy…in fact, if he had been healthy it’s much more likely his average icetime would’ve gone up, not down. As for Hemsky, he only missed a dozen or so games. His icetime wouldn’t have been that different either…unless you’re postulating that he would’ve suddenly been sent down to the 4th line and given 5 minutes per night. 😉

    But all of this is really hairsplitting and not really what my main point was to begin with.

  • ubermiguel

    Please please please let Smyth sign for 1 year. He`s needed in the locker-room if nothing else.

    And carrying over penalties is idiotic.

    However, I hate it when guys that are in the penalty box at the end of OT are allowed in the shootout. I think that should be disallowed. Same game, penalty hasn`t been served yet…you can watch the skills competition from the sin-bin.

  • Chris.

    I like Ryan Smyth the player; but Ryan Smyth the business man has been a royal pain in the ass every single contract negotiation dating back to the 90s. I suspect Ryan thinks he is a better hockey player than he actually is.

  • Where's Your Towel

    Smyth – We all know what he’s doing. In fact, I was one of the ones who didn’t blame him for hitting the road to maximize his earnings during some prime years. A man has to take care of his family after all. This time around, it seems pretty ridiculous. He wanted to be here so badly that he put his previous GM in an untenable situation, and now he doesn’t want to stay unless he gets overpaid? Disappointing to say the least.

  • How about instead of “carry-over” penalties, what about “carry-on” penalties?

    The crux of it is this; if you take a penalty with, say, thirty seconds to go, the coach of the team gets to choose if he would like to have the game extended for the duration of the penalty. This would do two things at once; act as a deterrent against late game cheap shots and ugly stuff in many, though not all, hockey games, and create some very thrilling moments in games. Can you imagine a tight fought 3-2 game where after the trailing team has hemmed the leading team in their zone for the last five minutes of play, the defending team takes a delay of game penalty, and suddenly, the trailing team has a full two minute powerplay in which to tie the game up? Or if Matt Cooke takes a stupid cheap shot late in a 3-all, gets 5 and a game, and his team has to kill a penalty just to force overtime? Could you imagine that in the playoffs?

    Frankly, I think this idea, though there are several varations of it you would have to consider before settling on the right one, is a far more elegant solution.

    Now, if they should just find a shrink ray for goaltending equipment…