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?

  • Gregor, great read. The Oil need all the depth they can get and spending 2.5 m on a leader who busts his ass every game and every practice seems like a good investment. He isn’t the player he was but he is an Oilers legend, simple as that.

  • T__Bone88

    @Jason Gregor

    Would it be possible and beneficial for the Oilers to trade Blain’s rights for like a low pick in 2012/2013 draft? I could see some team give a 4th/5th round for his rights.

    • Jason Gregor

      Doubt any team would do that…He isn’t a holdout, he isn’t being signed cause they feel he won’t help them down the road and a bit of a number crunch with 2011 picks needing to be signed next year.

  • Toro

    The Setup of this team is completely A$$ backwards. On most teams you add veterans so that they can not only teach the young guys but also pick up the slack when they hit the rough patches that are so common with young players. This team ends up relying on their young players way more than they should(almost entirely the last 3/4 of the season) because the veterans did jack sh*t.

  • We need Smyth in a 3rd line role. Signing him 1 year at a time makes most sense with prospects knocking on the door for both sides. Hopefully Belanger and Eager step it up under the new coach and provide veteran leadership as well.

  • dawgbone98

    I don’t understand the notion that Smyth isn’t a top 6 player anymore.

    He lead all wingers in icetime last year and if he’s back, there’s a good chance he’ll once again be right near the top.

    It’s not like Hartikainen or Pajaarvi are going to come in next year and start playing upwards of 16 minutes per game.

    • Jason Gregor

      Which is why I said unlikely a top-six past next season… Which is why a one-year deal is best for both IMO.

      And while he led them in icetime he shouldn’t play more than Hall, Eberle or Hemsky next season…

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Smyth is NOT a top 6 player. His ice-time has nothing to do with it. His ability to produce does. He simply is not productive enough over 82 games and possibly more to play those huge minutes. In case you missed the last season as a whole, over playing the vets is one reason why the Oilers finished at the bottom.

      MPS, and Hartikainen both would be better suited for top 6 right now then he.

  • billylikestodrinksoda

    This is definitely a minor thing in the grand scheme of things but to me signing Blain would be a great idea. Obviously he is a long way from being developed but the guy is a decent sized puck moving dman. I know there is Klefbom, gernat and marincin, but really Gernat and Blain are the only ones with pure offensive ability .

    Yeah he plays in the Q but he had the same PPG ratio that Morgan Ellis had with Shawinigan this year and scouts see Ellis as a 4/5 puck moving dman if his potential is hit. Absolutely its all hypothetical but the Oilers don’t have enough guys in the system, if any (other than Petry), who can start the rush with a great first pass/QB the PP/jump into the rush IMO

    Also, i like Ewanyk, great work ethic. Great Defensive game. However, after seeing him play many games the past 2 years with the Oil Kings, I just dont ever see him with enough offense to contribute even on a 3rd/4th line level in the NHL. So for that reason i wouldn’t put him ahead of a guy like Blain

  • Toro

    Why is it that Smyth is treated like a Saint for bleeding copper and blue, yet nobody says a word when he pulls a similar stunt like before at renewal time? I understand family, security, yada yada yada… but he’s not exactly going broke from the next deal. If you’re dying to play for this team, love this city so much and call yourself a leader, then understand that room and cap space is needed for the future. Take the deal.

  • Bucknuck

    Hey Gregor, from everything I read Blain was doing really well and had positive signs. Why would this guy be a guy the oilers don’t sign(I understand the 50 rule) but wouldn’t it be better to sign him and possibly trade a middling AHL prospect?

    • Jason Gregor

      Scouts I spoke with said his competitive level is a bit of a concern. And teams don’t just trade away “middling” AHL prospects without having to take one back in return unfortunately. The Oilers have lots of defensive prospects right now, and likely felt that Blain wasn’t going to be better than Marincin, Davidson, Gernat,Musil etc. I don’t think it is a big deal not to sign him.

  • Toro

    I hate how they keep trying to change the game, If it ain’t broke don’t fix it , every playoffs I hear ridiculous rule change ideas , like go to 4 on 4 in overtime or no more fighting , or eliminating checking! Get a grip this is why I love hockey so much, it’s got a lil violence too it and it’s fast and exciting especially the playoffs….. As for Smyth he needs to be resigned for that 3rd line role, I’m not convinced Harti or MPS is 100% NhL ready so having Smyth there helps out alot

  • Bucknuck

    I like Smyth a lot, and I am sure he can get more in free agency (like in 2007). Last time we saw this he left town. We should all remember that this is a business and if Smyth wants to play hardball I am pretty sure they will let him go. I hope he realizes this too, if he really does want to be an oiler.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    As for carry over penalties, I’d need to see exactly what they want to do. What happened in the above example could’ve easily be rectified with a proper suspension.

    Maybe they look at increased fines for penalties that happen at the end of the game, but carry over really isn’t far unless you are 100% playing the same team, which isn’t the case if you win the series.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Any word on Petry, Gagner, Dubnyk, Petrell?

    This Smyth saga needs to be put to an end and quickly. Other stuff to worry about.