With our man Laddy gone, the Edmonton Oilers have an immediate question: who will fill his role? And that’s short term. What about the longer term? Edmonton has some nice prospects, but they’re miles away. Right?


In his final Oiler game, Ladislav Smid played over 20 minutes at even strength. That’s a lot of playing time that will have to be replaced by someone who can face tough opponents. He also played 2:30 on the PK–second on the team–and overall played 22:38 for Edmonton. Those are legit minutes and he’s not available to the team tomorrow morning.


In the Tampa Bay game, his partner was Phil Larsen (the impressive newcomer) and of course he was with Jeff Petry for most of the last couple seasons. Ladislav’s skills (size, speed, shot blocking, a bit of a mean streak, toughness) are a nice complement to puck movers like Petry and Larsen.


Well, he didn’t deliver much offensively and didn’t get a lot of powerplay time, but he had dimension. Smid was an effective penalty-killer and played many nights against the opposition’s best. Against the Lightning, it looks like Dallas Eakins tried to get Ference-Petry out against the big line, but but the Smid-Larson pairing did face the gifted scorer as the game went on. Of course, without last change there’s not a lot of control and I’m just looking back without the Eakins crib notes.


My guess is that Anton Belov emerged as a real option, the Oilers like Andrew Ference as veteran mentor, and that the club was unable to offload Nick Schultz at this time. That’s a guess. Smid’s value (he owns a reasonable contract) would certainly be greater and Edmonton clearly wanted to get a contract/cap dollars off the books. How do I know? They traded with Calgary, certainly a noxious thought at any time.


The Smid trade may have been startling, but Craig MacTavish is the new GM and he has no loyalty to this group. He took over a team that spent a generation in the second division and the men who have been here for years may be sacrificed even if they hold substantial value–in this case especially if they hold substantial value. Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins saw a way to improve the team (in their estimation) and pulled the trigger.

The results in the future may not show improvement, but a team that’s 4-11-2 doesn’t have a lot to lose.

  • 27Ginge

    Seems the Oiler hockey ops brass is in panick mode!

    Bold has become stupid. These moves point to another disasterous season.

    Can imagine the low morale in the dressing room.

  • D

    The Oilers continue to hit another low and give long time loyal fans another kick in the teeth. With the trade of Vladislav Smid and the acquisition of a goalie that the worst team in hockey bought out to get rid of….the Oilers management team continues to rank with the all time incompetent idiots but yes they are “really good friends” …that manage to weasel their way into to the sports hierarchy. “Nepotism” at its finest…..The worst coach in Oiler history, last player to not wear a helmet in the NHL because he was not protecting anything and his friend Kevin, I have had too many concussions to know what I am doing,Lowe continue to grind this fabled hockey club into oblivion. We had bad goaltending and no defense and now we are are even worse…….get rid of these clowns and get some intelligence into the organization.

  • Serious Gord

    Stupid move all the way round.

    MacT (and Klowe and Katz?) made the move in order to look like they were trying to save this season. Why else would you sign Bryz to a one year deal?

    These moves – in light of the fact that there is no chance of making the playoffs is rash and irrational. The return on smid and Oliver was a salary dump -‘pure and simple. The team basically took a net loss in talent to make room for Bryz (who apparently isn’t even in good enough shape to play in the NHL yet – how long before he even plays for the oil?)

    And this salary cap jam is ENTIRELY MacT’s (and Klowe and Katz?) fault. Hemsky should have been bought out, gagner should have been traded. Then the oil could have started the season with lots of cap space and have been able to add some of the missing pieces without having to flush current nhl talent to get those pieces.

    Making moves to improve the oils record this season is asinine and a sign of a weak GM. ALL moves should be made only if it improves the team for next season and beyond. Clearly these latest moves do not achieve the latter.

    And it is very unlike to yield the near-term albeit futile results: we now have even weaker D and the situation in goal will not improve for some time yet and it is by no means a sure thing that Bryz will be any better than dubnyk.

    What a f-ing mess. And what a legion of incompetents oiler management is…
    The laughing stock of the league.

    Pass the crack pipe…

    • There has to be more coming, with the amount of cap space (3-6) they have and what Bryzgalov was signed for (1.75). I agree with Gagner though, if th Oilers are unwilling to deal one of the 4, Gagner has got to go. I strongly believe that until they decide who they’re keeping they’ll be treading water and that’s exactly what we’ve been watching.

  • D

    I find it ironic that the guy who says “we need to play better or someone is gonna get traded” is the guy who gets traded. Kinda sad it was Smid that was the first to be traded out of our group 🙁

  • Word to the Bird

    Good read LT, but I think Fedun was the one who deemed Smid expendable. Apart from that dump into no man’s land in the last minute of the Tampa game, he seems to have recovered nicely from his shocking injury and is on the road to becoming a legit NHL defenseman.

      • Word to the Bird

        It’s not like he came out of the blue.

        Before his inhury, he sure looked poised to make opening night roster. Besides, we don’t have much to lose with this season…

      • 2004Z06

        well hell smid was given 7 seasons and if fedun can do it in two games i like it and you are forgetting about nick lidstrom he was no hitter or shot blocker he was the smartest defence in the league and look at how many cups went to the redwings so think about before you rant

  • beloch

    Horak is a clear upgrade on Will Acton right off the bat. He’s got more AHL and NHL games under his belt, has put up points at a better pace in both leagues, and he’s 4 years younger to boot. His ceiling isn’t sky high but he still has the potential to take a step forward. Acton has probably peaked.

    Considering that the Oilers were already playing Acton, it’s a bit scary to think what the next call-up would look like if one of the Oilers’ high value centers is traded. Acquiring Horak might be a stepping stone towards a bigger trade. The return had better be a freakin’ awesome defender though, since playing both Horak and Acton is a little bit nuts. Personally, I hope they trade a winger and send Acton back to the AHL.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Everyone needs to take a step back and give the team a chance to prove itself. Yes the goaltending and defence has been terrible, the offence has been missing, and the hockey gods have forsaken us. Look at everything that’s going on. Our younger defnecemen are stepping up and taking ther reins. We have a starting goalie who has struggled and lost confidence in himself, probably struggling after realizing that there’s no one to bail him out if he fails, and the pressure has got to him a bit. The bryz signing solidifies that role. Management wanted to know what they had in dubnyk and they’re finding out that he might not be mentally ready for a starters role. Someone was needed to push dubnyk, and that’s what bryz will do. And other than Smid, no players were traded away to obtain him. No eberle trade, no yakupov trade, and that’s a good thing.

    Not to mention the systems. Eakins used his training camp to evaluate ALL players in the system, leaving himself next to no time to get the players trained on his systems and get acclimated to what was expected. We’re starting to see the team gel and figure out what they need to do. Playoffs may be a long shot, but as oiler fans we should be used to long shots. How many years in the 90’s did we barely squeak in to the playoffs, when every game was live or die? Things will turn around, goaltending has nowhere to go but up, defence is bound to settle down and improve, since almost everyone on the blue is in need of a new contract or in danger of being sent down or let go, they are all hungry or should be., and the terrible shooting percentages the kids have(eberle and yakupov) have to turn around. Both those guys are too good to be kept down

    Step away from the edge people. This Smid trade is a message to everyone in that room to wake up and to the fans that management will not sit idly by and watch this team lose, they will axe people and hire people that do NOT compromise the future.

    • Reg Dunlop

      “This Smid trade is a message to everyone in that room to wake up and to the fans that management will not sit idly by and watch this team lose, they will axe people and hire people that do NOT compromise the future.”

      I don’t get this line of thinking. Maybe getting traded is what most of the players want. At this time I can’t think of another team that is lower on the sh*tlist for NHL players. At least Florida’s got nice weather and great golfing.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I don’t know what to make of this. If we were not the league’s laughing stock we now are. Some dumb blonde on NHL Network is laughing about Bryz playing in the north pole. MacT is insinuating that he is through making moves. Fedun has been a wonderful story but can he replace Smid against SJ and LA? Maybe he can because all Smid did was sprawl and make snow angels. It seems to me that dumping Gagner would have brought a better return and replacing him from within would have been easier.

    I am confused but my gut tells me that this won’t end well.

    • beloch

      This is correct. He played the first part of the game, the trade was announced, and he was yanked from the ice and bum-rushed to the airport. It was a very bizarre affair.

  • Connor Snipes


    Do you honestly think there were no other trade partners to deal with here? Why a divisional/provincial rival? Calgary being able to take on Smid’s salary number is part of it; MacT helping smid out with his local wife is nice but now he gets to unleash the fury against our fragile nucleus for at least five games a year. I know the Oilers really liked broissoit (sp?) but at the end of the day, this has to be a move setting something else up down the road; other than Bryz. And as clique oriented as this dressing room has sounded (that we’ve heard with the kids anyway) there could be some rage coming from laddy in future battles of Alberta. Obviously no one wants Nick Schultz and his 3.5 mil but Calgary???



  • Connor Snipes

    It still can’t figure out why so many fans are defending this trade. Lets call it blind loyalty.

    They have traded away a player who was appreciated in the dressing room to sign a player who is notoriously toxic in a dressing room… As if the morale of the troops isn’t low enough.

    If there is truly nothing else in the works, this is a Mike Milbury kind of trade. They couldn’t even get a pick with those spare parts.

  • Connor Snipes

    We couldn’t continue on with our current goaltending situation.

    Many of our players had a defeatist attitude every time any semi-questionable goal went in.

    Dealing Smid (not in the long term plans) for some albeit lesser futures to clear room for Bryzgalov does a few things:

    Gives the players some confidence that their mistake may be cleaned up in net rather than becoming an easy goal.

    Pushes Dubnyk, giving the organization a real look at what he may have left and how he handles competition before they decide his future.

    Gives our puck moving defensemen (J. Schultz, Belov, Larsen) more ice time, and a better opportunity to move the puck out of the zone, eventually giving us more offensive chances.. Yes, this may weaken us when the opponent is in the cycle, but moving the puck quickly out could further our offense.

    • BuckNegged

      “Gives our puck moving defensemen (J. Schultz, Belov, Larsen) more ice time, and a better opportunity to move the puck out of the zone, eventually giving us more offensive chances.. ”

      This is awesome stuff. Have you been watching the games? Most of our D are so soft that they can’t remove the other team from the puck. Don’t you see how often we are hemmed in our zone on a dizzying endless cycle? It’s because we aren’t tough enough. We need more Smids to separate the player from the puck and move it to people who can get it out of the zone. This is only going to get worse now.

  • Craig1981

    Of all the players to choose for a salary dump, they choose Laddy? And that is the best return they could come up with across the NHL for Smid on a reasonable muliyear contract?

    Absolutely disgusting. Certainly not surprising from this group of idiots in management.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Smid at 3.5 cap was not going to be doable moving forward. Got to think JS will need 4 million plus. The Oil will have Nurse and Klefbom coming online next season or sooner. MacT has several defenseman that he can package as needed.

    Getting Brossoit was a good move. Our goalie depth is pathetic.

    IB will a flying circus. Yet what do we have to lose? DD has had brain cramps this season.
    So if IB pushes DD and he himself resurrects his career it may work out well. Labarbera’s play has not been all that and his eventual demotion to OKC is nothing to worry about. He’ll more likely be waived and picked up by another team.

    The rumors surrounding Eberle are interesting in that the Oilers/Flyer game today may add gasoline to the fire of trade rumors between the two teams. I’d like to see EBs light up Philly today for a couple of goals. Push the asking price even higher. A bidding war certainly is in progress regardless of MacT’s denials that nothing is imminent. Depends on your interpretation of the word and how it applies. Nothing was imminent yesterday and look at what Santa brought yesterday.

  • Gordie Wayne

    I would love to see Broisott eventually turn into a legit #1 goalie that can haunt the Flames for years to come! I still remember my one and only Oil Kings game (WHL final game where Oil Kings won), and everyone was chanting LB, LB, LB…it was pretty awesome. He was an excellent WHL goalie with a brighter NHL future than Olivier Roy has, that’s for sure.

    • Spydyr

      Then they should of took him in any of the five rounds he was available at the draft.I was hoping they would.Just another mistake in a very long series of mistakes.

  • 2004Z06

    Fans crack me up….Bitch, piss and moan that the team needs a shake-up, goaltending sucks and a “bold” move is needed then bitch, piss and moan when it happens.

    If you cannot see that Laddy had not been the same player here since he was snubbed for an “A”, then you clearly haven’t been watching.

    Maybe it makes room for Klefbom, maybe for Fedun, Maybe Belov fills the spot or maybe another move is pending.

    If Bryzgalov comes in here and pulls a Roli, you will all be kissing Mac T’s ass.

  • 2004Z06

    My sentiment exactly, Lowtide! Giving up a top four D-man for two prospects is crazy, and to your division rivals, is just insane. immature, inexperienced! Look at how the Cannucks snubbed the Oil in the goaltending bid, settling rather, with less money, yet denying the Oil an opportunity to improve in goal, and the realty is, that’s what the Oilers need most to get over the hump! That’s what I call ‘Manager 101′, Mac T don’t know it, or he wouldn’t help the Flames out by gift-wrapping Smid to them. And if the rumor is true Hemsky is next, then Eberle, and maybe even Yakupov! You see , that’s 25% of your opening day line-up, how is that not a fire-sale? And, the sad part of it all is, that’s not even their main problem to begin with, their Achilles’ heel is in goal!!

  • chuckcouples

    Does no one else realize that this trade was made exactly because this season is done? Smid was not going to have a spot on the team next year with Ference/Belov/Nurse/Klefbom all likely to move ahead of him on the left D depth chart. This move gets rid of someone who was not going to have a spot on the team while saving $3.5 million in cap room. The other benefit of this deal is that it makes the Flames a better team while making the Oilers worse for this year. This is clearly a strategy to get a better draft pick for this year while improving the team for next year.

  • chuckcouples

    I really think Feaster initiated this deal. Giordano goes down and they were making calls for a D man… even calling Oilers knowing they have dept on the D.

    MacT made the deal because he could dump salary beyond this year, with needing to sign Petry and Justin Schultz.

    Oiler depth on D quickly tells you that SMid , although a solid citizen, is not a top 4 D man even on an Oiler Team. See ya. Picks up prospects because thats pretty much the only way you make a deal without taking back salary.

    I dont think this deal had anything to do with siging the Joker.