• Smyth To Long Island: Oilers stanley cup contenders in 2012 or Messier really is old news

    by  • February 27, 2007 • Uncategorized • 27 Comments

    I honestly don’t know what to say right now but I’ll try and spit out a few things. Eight months removed from nearly winning their sixth stanley cup the Edmonton Oilers traded the face of their franchise for yet another first round pick, that makes three first rounder’s in total in the less then stellar ’07 crop, a kid who impresses no one in Robert Nilsson and a 19 year old kid pivot in Ryan O’Marra.

    There were more than just a few reasons why most people thought Lowe would never deal Smyth. Reasons like optics first and foremost given just how bad things looked in Edm this past summer when Chris Pronger was dealt. But there was an excuse there given that Pronger demanded a trade. Granted the return seems worse by the game and Lowe would’ve been better off making Pronger take a seat but at least he had an excuse for that horrible deal.

    No excuses this time. Lowe f**ked up. Large

    27 Responses to Smyth To Long Island: Oilers stanley cup contenders in 2012 or Messier really is old news

    1. macndub
      February 27, 2007 at

      I don’t know what the better alternative is. Lose Smyth after missing the playoffs to free agency for nothing? Re-sign for more than Lowe is willing to pay (and I will go to my grave believing the number was more than 5.25 over 5. Let’s see what his contract looks like this summer)? Carry on, make the playoffs, and lose in the second round to the Ducks, then lose Smyth to free agency?

      And in this world, Smyth’s trade value is very small unless he commits to sign with the team that he’s traded to for a below market value contract, and I don’t know why he’d do that. Of course, I’m philosphical because I’ve been sure that Smyth is on his way out for months now.

      Unless you believe that the Isles have suddenly gotten smart, I’m willing to suspend judgment. Frankly, the fuckup was last summer, not getting him under contract. Once the season started, it could only end here.

    2. Boondock
      February 27, 2007 at

      I don’t think the Oilers got poor value for Smyth. This package, value-wise, is extremely similar to the Forsberg package. I would have liked to have seen Stafford come back, but who knows if he was ever even on the table.

      Granted, it hurts like hell to see Smytty leave and it doesn’t help us at all now, but there aren’t ever any rental deals that give the selling team immediate help.

    3. Julian
      February 27, 2007 at

      We’ll have to wait for UFA season to see if the oilers got a good return for him.

      On the face of it, 3 1st rounders is a damn good return for a UFA. If Smyth signs elsewhere for $6MM, it’s a good trade for Edm because I think we all agree he’s not worth that much.

      If he ends up signing elsewhere for $5MM over 4 years…. well then we got screwed.

      I’d think that return for a UFA is pretty damn good. I’d prefer Pitkanen myself, or Hamhuis maybe, but neither Philly or Nash have any reason to make that deal.

      Just wondering, is the Oilers return for Smyth better than the Flyers return for Forsberg?

    4. February 27, 2007 at

      Why not get a 1st rounder in ’08 when the draft class is supposedly better? Robert Nilsson is garbage. Wait he’s worse than that. He’s undersized soft garbage. O’Marra’s junior numbers have stagnated not to mention what he’ll do in the AHL or even the NHL if he makes it this far.

      I love Fernie don’t get me wrong but when money was being doled out last season it would’ve made sense to give smyth his paper and let fernie walk. one guy plays the tough min and does well and the other guy plays the tough min and does well and does well on the PP. who would you take? once lowe gambled last summer that they could once again make 94 bend over and grab his ankles, that’s where the shit started. and it was up to Lowe to see 94 wouldn’t cave and then we could’ve dealt him off midway through the season and got somethign for him instead of doing it 10 min before hte deadline and picking up question marks.

      gross miscalcuation all the way around.

      the thing that kills me is apparently Lowe said in his PC he’s gonna be very active in the UFA market.

      Yeah because that always works out.

    5. Julian
      February 27, 2007 at

      Would trading 94 in the middle of the season really improved the return? If the price of a rental goes up the closer to the deadline, then it seems Lowe maxed out what he could get for Smyth, assuming that’s what he was aiming for the whole way.

      I do agree about being an active player in teh UFA market. something tells me it may just lead to a overspend elswehere.

    6. serum114
      February 27, 2007 at

      So this is where rational thought is hiding… glad I could find it.

      The way I see it there was a difference in the valuation placed on Smyth, by all accounts based on term and dollars. The Oilers were willing to give him his ~5.5 on shorter term (3/4 years) but not beyon that. Smyth felt the money was fine, but wanted a 5 year deal (again, by all accounts).

      When it became clear last week that a deal may not happen, Lowe discreetly approached 8-10 teams (as per TSN, confirmed by Brian Burke) who had assets he coveted and developed his plan B, a deal that if the Smyth contract never happened he could pull the trigger on.

      Somewhere around 12:40 pm Mountain, it became clear the deal wasn’t happening and Smyth was moved.

      The value, IMO, was quite good. Consider this:

      To NYI: ~20 games of Smyth, a better shot at the playoffs, and exclusive neg rights until July 1

      To EDM: 2007 1st rounder, Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra, $5,000,000 in cap space (possibly used to sign Ryan Smyth later)

      If we were on the cusp of the playoffs and traded our first, Rob Schremp and Marc (Antoine) Pouliot for Saku Koivu (or someone you would put on a Smyth level), how would the Oiler nation react? Methinks negatively…

      I think much of the early (over?) reaction is emotional. Fact is we had an asset that we ran the risk of losing for nothing and parlayed it into two solid prospects and a mid first round pick. AND we may still get that asset back in half a year.

      Well done KLowe, you made the right move despite how unpopular you knew it would be. The franchise is better for it.

      • May 6, 2014 at

        I <3 "sheer bloody-minded stnneorbubss"!@ESN I hope that was a good emotional number. My friend Liza said (forgive me if I get this wrong!), "we all have a story that only we can tell." And your story? I love it!@Michelle Hubbies can be the best supporters! So glad you have a good one!@Brenda Thanks Brenda! I really do appreciate you.@Kristen LOL! I'm good at getting music stuck in heads mine and others, hehe. I think taking a break is a great way to cope with the knock downs. Sometimes distance (emotional and otherwise) is what we need to move past Defeat. As long as you come back swinging! That's the important part. I'm glad your voices "natter" until you get back on track! Thanks for your comment!

    7. gary b
      February 27, 2007 at

      sorry, but ‘undersized’ seriously can’t be considered a criticism in the NHL any more. there’s too many great ‘undersized’ players excelling in the new NHL: Whitney, Savard, St. Louis, Briere…

    8. February 27, 2007 at

      Please explain the genius behind keeping Petr Sykora, Dwayne Roloson, Fernando Pisani, Steve Staios or even Ethan Moreau over Smyth, Serum114. The fact is, he only made the “right move” because he made so many bad ones previous to it.

    9. February 27, 2007 at

      RS is further ahead than Nilsson and MAP might be more now than O’Marra ever is.

      It’s not my fault that the Isles traded assets, I’m not saying the farm because this is a shit draft and Nilsson sucks, for a chance to make the playoffs and maybe win a round. That’s their business if they want to roll like that.

      But it’s my business that my team knew from the summer they couldn’t bully 94 yet fucked and fucked around and then got this kind of a package. This is 94 having a wicked season and this is all you get?


    10. mc79hockey
      February 27, 2007 at

      RS is further ahead than Nilsson

      This is certifiably insane. Schremp is a healthy scratch some nights in the AHL. Nilsson’s a point a game guy.

    11. February 27, 2007 at

      Well I don’t know about insane;) but let me say that MP’s ahead of Nilsson;) and that O’Marra might never even be as good as RS.

      how about that one:)

    12. lowetide
      February 27, 2007 at

      You have seen O’Marra, right?

    13. YKOil
      February 27, 2007 at

      – Nilsson is a soft perimeter player – at best a Huselius type.

      – O’Marra should be, at worst, a good 3rd line center but will be hard pressed to be better than a below average 2nd line center.

      – The pick is what it is.

      There were only two really good assets to be sought from the Islanders – Hunter and Okposo. We got neither.

      Horrible trade by Lowe.

    14. macndub
      February 27, 2007 at

      I have not. He any good? All I saw on youtube was astoundingly dysfunctional behaviour…

      Regardless, 2 prospects who are still playing plus a first rounder, for 20 games of Smyth. I don’t know if this is a good deal, but it has a chance of not being shit.

      The calculus shifts if the Oilers had a chance of a Cup, but they don’t this year.

    15. February 27, 2007 at

      Have you seen O’Marra, Lowetide? I haven’t, not a prospects guy, but the numbers are for shit.

      I think you, of all people, expected this. I mean you know with the revenue sharing prerequisite for next year (higher growth rate than league average and average attendance in the 13,500 range by memory) … you knew with that looming that teams like the Pens, Nashville and Atlanta would be spending big. Because the next team that sees significant growth in a non-playoff year will be the first. The economics were skewed, and so was the trade market in this year for that reason. (FLA and PHX are now seven kinds of fucked BTW).

      I tuned in at about 12:30 and thought maybe the Oilers were out of the woods. The desperate teams seemed to have spent their pennies (brilliantly in a couple of cases, IMO). Thought maybe they’d have to dump Sykora and Shaggy to meet budget but that Smyth would still be here. I forgot about NYI though. Surely this deal was organized well in advanced and the last minute thing was pure theatre.

      I heard Meehan on the radio tonight, he’s an understated guy, but you don’t need to be an psychologist to realize that Smyth ain’t coming back, and that he’ll get a lot more on the open market than the Oilers were offering.

      I actually thought Shaggy would be gone for sure. When his agent leaked that he was injured during a time when the Oilers were claiming he was a healthy scratch, and someone actually had the courage to print that fact here in Lawrence, Nebraska … well I didn’t think buddy would last the season.

      I’m not sure when it started, maybe when Nichols expressed his man love for Bill Wirtz, maybe when the Oilers were spending more time praising a spectacularly bad Smid than they were addressing the problem. I dunno. This trade is just the last straw I guess, but I’m just not an Oiler fan any more. It’s not a decision you make consciously, just can’t help it. I haven’t watched an entire game in weeks. They’re playing right now and I couldn’t give two shits whether they win or lose. But that’s just me.

    16. February 27, 2007 at

      Not really no. Well I’ve seen him at the WJC but that’s a pretty small sample size. What I saw there was a big body without a whole lot of touch or finish. And I’ve also seen guys like Lupul getting paid already and Smyth being shown the door over a quarter mill a year or less, as per McKenzie.

      It’s too easy to sit back and blame the EIG here I think. Are they cheap fucks? Somewhat yes given what they raked in last year. But if they’re giving Lowe a budget then he has to fit 94 into it and if that means you dump Lupul for a pick or say last summer you let Pisani walk, then you do it and move on. Lowe didn’t do taht this one stings. I’m sick of being lied to.

    17. DD
      February 27, 2007 at

      Saying Schremp is further along than Nilsson is just grasping at straws. And I don’t see the big deal about Trent Hunter. He turns 27 years old in the summer, is on pace for 35 points, isn’t very physical despite his size, and will be a UFA next year. Why would you want him? Okposo would have been my preference as well, but he’s only scored 2 goals in the new year so far, and I’m not sure how indicative that hot start is of his real offensive potential. This is pretty close to the Forsberg deal IMO, and I think Lowe got good value for dealing a rental.

    18. db
      February 27, 2007 at

      Dennis… is MAP really that far ahead of Nilsson?

      Nilsson has got him beat at both the NHL level and the AHL level in terms of production.

      Don’t tell me you are listening to Pierre…

      And YK… Why would the Islanders trade Okposo for? There are always better players out there, it doesn’t mean they are available.

      Lowe couldn’t hold out any longer in a trade. If he does he either pays Ryan Smyth far more than he wants to, or he loses him for nothing.

      I’d rather have Nilsson, O’Marra and a 1st than nothing. The trade wasn’t bad at all for a UFA rental.

    19. lowetide
      February 27, 2007 at

      Vic: I saw it coming but for different reasons. They didn’t like Smyth 5.5M for 5Y. They want to go a different direction. Kevin Lowe played D and one suspects after seeing less than 6 headman passes all season long he knows exactly what to shop for in the offseason.

      You all have a much better grasp of the money than I do, but to me it’s very similar to the pre-CBA when people were compaining about the lack of money when the Oilers had drafted like idiots for 10 strong.

      THIS Oiler team is just way better at procurement, and imo some of the money guys among the Oil group are missing that fact. We can’t return to the 90s because we’re too good.


    20. February 27, 2007 at

      Vic, I’d hope you’d reconsider but I understand what it’s like not to feel it anymore. Same thing happened with me with the Nationals in ’06. I just lost it and now I can’t get it back. We’ll miss you though and thanks for allowing me the opp to vent over at IOF. BTW, I haven’t been posting over there lately because Blogger’s fucked my my passwords and shit. Anyway, we hadn’t seen you around for awhile and now it makes sense and I can’t say I blame you. I’m disgusted with how this trade has affected my mood today. Just disgusted with myself over it.

    21. YKOil
      February 28, 2007 at

      Sorry db. I’m not saying Okposo was available – I am saying that he was the guy worth having. Lowe screwed the pooch bad on this one imo. If none of the guys you want are available you hold onto your assets until you get one you do.

      Holding a private auction to a select few guys is one thing – waiting until most of THOSE guys are out the door, because they purchased already, is just plain stupid.

      Paying Pisani 2.5, only signing a 3 year deal with Horcoff (at those dollars it should have been 4), Lupul’s contract, playing Smid like he is a legit #3 or 4, not dealing Sykora (who would have been available again anyways because he isn’t THAT good) or Markannen or even Tjarnqvist, not signing another mid-level d-man….

      A very poor year for Lowe and team. The only high notes for me were Hemsky’s contract and the MAB trade (just because I like Grebeshkov).

    22. lowetide
      February 28, 2007 at

      I wanted to post this last night but couldn’t get on here. Vic, I understand exactly how you feel it’s the same way I felt when Messier was dealt (there is a hole in the wall of the master bedroom at 12915-135A Avenue in Edmonton from that day, not my finest moment) and also baseball re: 1994.

      Not to pretend to know you better than I do, or to be your Dad here, but I sincerely hope you get it back.

      I can’t really watch a baseball game anymore and it’s been 14 bloody years you’d think I’d get over it but I can’t.

      And I honestly wish I could. Either way, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all your posts along the way and wish you the best.

    23. February 28, 2007 at

      I’m still venting LT, I’ll probably be hanging around for a bit yet. :)

      I haven’t been posting or commenting much on the Oil blogs lately simply because I haven’t been watching much, if any, of the games. I stopped listening to CHED years ago and The Team a couple of months ago after a shameless display of bootlicking in an interview of Pat Laforge by Bob Stauffer. I read Barnes occasionally, but none of the other daily writers. In short, your site and this one, as well as IOF if it keeps going (I really hope it does, there are some good guys left there that should post more) … these are the only places I still read regularly, and I’m sure I’ll keep doing that. And posting when the mood strikes, probably not Oiler stuff though.

      I might buy CI and start following another team, see if it catches, I dunno. I like the style a few teams out east play. And I like a few of the coaches out there as well. I like San Jose also, and Smyth will probably end up there to boot. The Wilsons talk about puck possession all the time and seem to have a peculiar fascination with Smyth, so it would mesh. Hockey out east is usually more fun to watch though.

    24. Pat
      February 28, 2007 at

      Vic – went through it with the Blackhawks – sorry to hear that but hope to still see you around, so to speak. Always enjoy your viewpoint. You’ve taught me a lot about hockey in this past year.

      Yesterday was a kick in the nuts but I’ve already rationalized it and have moved on. Guess I’m too old to get too upset about it.

      Plus I got good and drunk last night – that helped. :)

      I’ll be telling my boy (once he’s old enough to understand) not to get too attached to any player other then his old man – I, at least, can’t get traded.

      Ahh, for the old days. Growing up I was a Mikita man – played all his career for one team. Pretty standard back in the day.

    25. Bruce
      February 28, 2007 at

      I think this is one case where the optics outweigh the prospects. It might be a hard-headed business move by Lowe, but in the process the promise of “the New NHL” has been broken. I think Oil would have been better served to let Smyth play out his contract (a la Cujo) and continue to negotiate, or better yet, compromise and make the deal.

      The Oiler “brand” is about loyalty, but what it’s really about is fan loyalty. Loyalty of team-to-player, or player-to-team for that matter, begins and ends with the almighty buck. In the past ownership/management have been able to blame that on the broken economic model, a flag the locals have been flying on behalf of the league for quite some time. But that year with no hockey was supposed to fix all of that.

      Instead, we have seen nothing but a continuation of the sale of Oilers’ biggest stars stateside. Gretzky to California, Messier to New York. Kurri to California, Lowe to New York. Now it’s Pronger to California, Smyth to New York. So what has changed, exactly?

      Much has been made about how Ryan Smyth was the face of the franchise. Not a pretty face to be sure, but an honest and likeable one, in both a literal and figurative sense. Not the most talented player to be sure, but good enough to make ten consecutive senior Teams Canada and hold his own with the best in the world and win a boatload of gold.

      What’s his market value? With the lack of true comparables, who’s to say if it’s $5.4 MM — what Oil were reportedly offering — or $5.75 MM — what the Smyth camp were asking — but it’s somewhere in that range. Call it $3 MM for his points and $2.5 MM for doing the stuff Fernando Pisani does. Throw in $250,000 for the stuff Ryan Smyth does – leave his blood and his teeth on the ice, play hurt, bring his best every shift and in all situations, toss pucks to the kids, support charities, and oh yeah, sell a zillion #94 jerseys at the Oiler store – and it seems absurd the two sides would part company over a few lousy percent. In a New York minute, a long-standing fan favourite becomes another diminishing asset.

      Or as Ted Nolan put it, “he’s everything we want to instill in this organization”. What’s the market value of that? I’m guessing $6-7 MM this summer, or likely earlier with Charles Wang writing the cheques. Who wouldn’t want such a player on their team? The Edmonton Oilers, apparently.

    26. oilswell
      February 28, 2007 at

      I hope Vic comes back too, assuming I’m still watching also. Recently I’ve been too busy for IOF and, truthfully, I’ve never been much of a blog-style writer. I hope we can keep IOF going, particularly now that Dennis has defected.

      Speculation is a great sport, however, so I’ll do my best to come play. Speculation has been rampant that if Smyth were on the open market, he’d command well over $6MM. That’s a chunk of change and actually I think I’d be just as angry if the Oilers offered him that, especially if its a really long term deal. So anyway, there are two points to the speculation.

      1. How solidly do we know that Smyth’s camp was ok with staying in Edmonton for $5.75MM?>/i> If they were really happy going elsewhere for $6MM and knew they could get it, then what’s the motivation for signing a lower deal? If they were intent on testing the market (even by action) then obviously getting some value is the clear best decision.

      2. How solidly do we know that Smyth’s camp is ok with staying in Edmonton for $5.75MM? If that’s an absolute given that he’d turn down more for that amount, then presumably they’re going to be OK accepting that offer in the offseason. Then the Oilers would be able to get Smyth and keep their crappy new prospects. Assessing the trade then really should focus on what it costs them to lose the certainty of exclusive negotiation rights. The value of which, I think we can agree, rest completely upon how intent the player camp is on testing the open market.

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