Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Left Wing and I don't mean the NDP!

Left Wing is the strongest position the Oilers have, so much so that with Smyth and Torres set on the top two lines they had to move Samsonov around to find him a spot. Throw in Ethan Moreau and its an embarrassment of riches. But what do the Oil do moving forward?
Samsonov definitely adds a lot to the Oil and if they can resign him for a reasonable amount I think they have to. What's reasonable? I'd say 3 years at 10 million although if I can get him for less ... Its hard to see where the market is going this summer. There are a lot of free agents but the general feeling is that the majority of them will follow the lead of Iginla, Thornton, LeCavalier, Theodore, Fernandez, Jokinen, etc etc and take themselves off the market by resigning with their present teams. If this is the case Sammy might get a stupid offer from someone like the Leafs or Islanders - there is always someone out there with more money then brains. The other possibility is with next year supposed to be the big year for free agents that Sammy may be left wanting as teams look to dive in in a big way in 2007.

If they can't sign him this is all moot but if they do then what do you do? Do you want to have either him or Smyth playing out of position on the right? If you're spending the money then they should be in their preferred positions I'd think although Smyth could and would probably make the move.

If you sign him he has one spot and Moreau has the third line spot. Moreau sets the tone for this team and with it being a young team they need him I would say. Plus he has that role sewn up. You're not going to pay Smyth 3.5 to play on the third line.

So do you trade Smyth for Giguere - contracts are both up in a year and are close in value. Young Anaheim team gets a leader and Oilers get their goalie. Don't know about that - you only have to watch Smyth's play over the last couple of weeks - going after Simon etc - to know that on a young team he plays that leadership role along with Moreau, Smith and Staios. Plus he's good for 35 goals.

Or do you trade Torres? 26 goals already in only his second full season. And he comes cheap. He probably has the most value but man, to give him up ...

For Lowe, its a nice spot to be in.

I love Smythy (nice objectivity I know) and would like to see the Oil resign him and then slip him into Moreau's role down the road in a perfect world but ... is his value going to be any higher?

The question is what could they get for Torres? Who out there has a young stud goalie who is cheap and who can help them win now? Because if you're trading this guy that's what you better get in return. And how many of those are there? Not many.

Its all moot if they don't resign Sammy but if they do Lowe has a nice bargaining chip. Or they can move Smyth to the right side, keep all four of them and trade a prospect or another youngster for that goaler.


lowetide said...

It's a tough choice. Torres can score goals and does bring a physical element plus he's cheap.

Smyth is a warrior and if you can find an Oiler fan to say a discouraging word about him I'd be surprised.

Samsanov adds so much to the PP and appears to be able to play with anyone (although I haven't seen him out with Rem since early on lol).

So maybe they juggle all three as you've suggested, moving Raffi to the 4line when he's been bad and moving Samsanov to RW when all is well.

One thing is certain, it's better than arguing about whether Lacouture or Riesen should be on the 2line.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

They're saving the Sammy/Rem combo for the playoffs - secret weapon.]

Worse case is that Sammy moves on and they are where they were pre-deadline plus adding Jacques to the mix. That's pretty damn good.

Although bringing back Lacouture ... hmmm.

Anonymous said...

Lowe/Prendergast both said they have been watching/wanting Samsonov for some time. I think he, more than any was somebody they want long term.

From a franchise perspective, I am sure the Oilers want to keep Smyth forever since he is so unversally appreciated here. Whether or not he wants to stay probably relies on the Oiler's success in the next 2 years. The Oiler's have less scoring depth on the right side (unless Dvorak picks it up) so it might be worth it to have Smyth switch sides.

A line of Samsonov-Horcoff-Hemsky could be the pretty line with all the omigod pretty plays.

Torres-Stoll-Smyth would be the 'in your face' line that wreaks havoc. Torres and Stoll are both shooters, which means the punishment that Smyth takes in front of the net would at least be rewarding. It's so hard to watch Ryan get beat up and his co-forwards don't even get a shot on.

BTW, who has been playing out of position on the 2nd line of Sammy-Stoll-Torres?

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I like the idea of Smyth playing right wing with Horcoff and Samsonov; Hemsky moving to Torres and Stoll. I think you get a little more balance in terms of passing/shooting - Samsonov would take advantage of Horcoff's playmaking (and Smyth too - not bad in that department)- he's a little more selfish then Hemsky and has the confidence and experience to take advantage.
On the other hand I think Torres and Stoll would get some nice chances playing with Hemsky.
As for the present I think Samsonov is playing on the right side but I honestly am not sure.