Monday, June 20, 2011
Word from Bob McKenzie that Ryan Smyth wants to return to the Oilers.
The franchise has never recovered from trading Smyth. Sending a top line winger away for magic beans was a harbinger of things to come. The Oilers have dumped NHL quality players for nothing for a number of years now and the result has been the basement two years running. No surprise.
And of course while I do not believe in karma (heh) selling the face of the franchise for futures over a hundred grand a year certainly could not have done much for the Oilers in the eyes of the (non existent) hockey gods.
Will it happen? It won't even though its the Oilers who, for once, are on the good end of a trade request. The Oilers are reportedly trying to move two of their very few remaining NHL players this summer - those players being Tom Gilbert and Ales Hemsky - so the idea of bringing in someone who might help the club win is sort of against SOP.
The reasons to bring Smyth back are myriad.
His cap hit would bring the club up past the salary floor, which they are now below. If they move Gilbert or Hemsky they will be even further below.
He is still a quality player. Last season he scored 23 goals and 47 points, which would have been good enough for tops on the Oilers.
Remember when he was traded how one excuse was that he was breaking down? He has missed a total of 47 games since he left Edmonton. He played every game last year and has missed twenty games the past three years. On the Oilers' roster that qualifies him as an ironman.
He is a veteran player who could provide leadership to the kids.
He's Ryan Smyth. If any guy should be an Oiler its him. He should have never been traded.
Unless the plan is to finish last again, which it very well may be, bring Smyth back and plug him into the top nine. Who's icetime is he going to be taking? Ryan Jones? JF Jacques?
To recap. A franchise icon, whose trade was called a mistake by the guy who traded him just months after the deed, wants to play in Edmonton. If you can bring him in without giving up much of value (and I do concede that this is key) then get it done already. Right the wrong.
Edit to add: Have to run the kids to soccer but I will be writing something at length on this later tonight or tomorrow. But one more thing. Whitney and Horcoff and Hall have all been quoted saying that adding veteran players is a must this summer. That's Taylor Hall, the future of the franchise. What are you saying to him and his teammates when you have a guy who is respected around the league, a quality player, a veteran who wants to play on your club and you are not interested in adding him?
At some point you have to start trying to win. How about now?
Posted by Black Dog at 4:27 PM