Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Return

Read Andy Grabia's post for a wonderful take on Smytty.
Smytty was the reason I became an Oiler's fan. When I go to Edmonton next month I may have to pick myself up a jersey - apparently they are still quite popular which befits a player of his mystique.
I never thought they would let him go but it became apparent that that is where the organization was heading last winter. What sunk him? I believe Lowe's comments about elite players reveal his motivations - he played with some of the greatest offensive players of alltime, guys who did it all in the playoffs. In the '06 run Smyth finished fifth on his club in scoring - behind Pronger, Horcoff, Hemsky and Pisani. If he had scored those two goals Pisani scored against Detroit, the one he scored to win G5 and the one in G7 then Smyth would still be an Oiler today. Guaranteed. Instead Lowe looked at those playoffs and made his decision.
That's my theory.
Its a shame really because Lowe himself has admitted in public that he erred in the Smyth case. He should have signed him for what he was asking.
But he did not and then compounded the mistake by throwing almost the same amount of money at a defenceman coming off a career year, a guy coming off his first year when he was truly healthy, a guy who has pretty well won nothing, a guy who has a big shot ... nothing else.
You may argue, if you will, the merits of Ryan Smyth but to spend that money on Souray is insulting. Smyth may not be in the class of Sakic or Pronger but he's good enough to play in three best on best tournaments for the deepest national program in the world. Souray is a poor man's Bryan McCabe.
Word is that there will be a video tribute to Ryan Smyth tonight. I hope the crowd cheers and cheers and cheers some more.
And I hope he scores a few tonight. I really do.


Vic Ferrari said...

Lowetide likes that theory as well.

I hope it's not true, I mean Lowe does have an eleventh grade education, he should know better.

If it is true ... damn, we may as well pack up the marbles and go home.

Earl Sleek said...

Good piece, Pat.

Even when the Oil were eliminating the Mighty Ducks back in '06, Smyth was one of my favorites (certainly it wasn't Peca or Pronger).

Anyway, spot on. Go Smytty.

Black Dog said...

Vic - I would put a lot of money on that being true.

Doesn't make it right but I think he looked at that list, saw four guys in front of 94, Spacek and Samsonov right behind him, and harkened back to the 80s.

Never mind that he probably thought back to 1994 and Messier's "guarantee".

I think he looked at what he had seen in the past, what he saw in '06 and came to his "not an elite player" conclusion then and there.

David S said...

Thanks Pat. That's the most lucid theory on the subject I have yet to hear. It makes so much sense.

Watching the game tonight, I'm struck by the thought that if our vets were playing as well (and as hard) as our pups, we'd be up about three right now.

Pat said...

Good post Pat. I think I recall you suggesting that theory in an earlier comments section, and it certainly seems plausible. As for the video tribute, the organization did pull through. Full credit for that. And I'm glad he got a nice ovation at the beginning. The scattered boos during the course of the game are to be expected, and fans are perfectly justified in doing it (though I don't think I could ever personally do it to Smytty). Anyhow, kudos to both the organization and the fans tonight.

now if only everything else about this team didn't suck so bad.