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Old
03-03-2007, 02:15 PM
  #26
Oilforblood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillypriest View Post
At the end of the day, Ryan Smyth chose money over team. He has every reason and right in the world to do so. However, his team is now the New York Islanders. My team is still the Oilers. I don't need to be paid more than $US 27 million to feel this way. Apparently, he does.

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03-03-2007, 02:20 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by hillbillypriest View Post
The "Lowe should have started with Smyth before others" angle is really starting to annoy me. Don't mean to take it out on you Lowetide, because a lot of people have said this, most prominently Bob McKenzie.

My take is that this is primarily about a negotiating strategy that went wrong for Smyth and Meehan. I'll explain, but first I'll digress. A lot.

First off, I do want to take on the Bob McKenzie analogy with Calgary going to its franchise player (Ignila) and saying "what do you need to be happy?" The Oilers did this too. That player was Chris Pronger. They also had their analogue of Tanguay in Mike Peca - a short duration overpay that fit into a window under a contract that ended before the next set of big choices had to be made. Then of course the Pronger walkaway happened. Suddenly we have a franchise player void, and Ryan Smyth nominated himself as IT. In the immediate meantime, however, Lowe is in a total crisis not of his own making, plus he had all sorts of clean ups to do with expired contracts with UFA' with only a couple of weeks to spare before July 1. Two of which just happened to be with players that had just made strong cases to pick up the Conn Smythe. He signs both of those players (Pisani and Roloson) and beats back a little of panic and self-estime hit in Edmonton. He subsequently signs Horcoff, also a UFA, who had just backed up a lock out season in Sweden that had him keeping pace with Naslund and Forsberg with a terrific NHL season. In effect, Lowe had waited on the indications from the Sweden season before making a decision that Horcoff was a player.

Then comes Hemsky. Although only an RFA and not a UFA, it bears repeating at this stage that Hemsky did not have a contract and needed to be signed to some deal before he could play and clearly had a value that exceeded what he could be obtained for in an RFA raid. Lowe roles the dice here and locks him up long term. Banking on the indications that Hemsky has superstar talent. This may be when Smyth starts to get his hackles up, since the contract Lowe gave to Hemsky was for an average of more per year and longer than the 4 over 4 that we are now hearing Smyth was offered over the summer. Smyth and Meehan say not good enough and(apparently) says we want 5 over 5. Somebody says lets talk again after the year is up. I gather that somebody is Lowe, although some of Smyth's comments have suggested that Smyth/Meehan may have been the ones to break things with the expectation of negotiating only after the season ended. In any event, it's evident now that Ryan and Stacey are pissed/hurt. But at this stage the public at large doesn't know this.

Then comes Lupul, who has just had a superlative playoffs, including that amazing goal in game 4 of the semi's off the faceoff. Looks (at the time) like a keeper and certainly of much higher value than Ryan Kessler who received an offer sheet for $1.9 million. Lowe is also under pressure to sign the guy before training camp because he's the key part of the deal that Lowe was forced to make after Pronger phoned in his trade request to Al Strachan from Mexico. Money keeps piling up.

Season starts. Now into the season and looking forward there are some long term players that can be extended because they are in the last year of their contracts. First is Moreau. Gets 1.75 million plus a signing bonus. Then Staios for an average of 2.7 over 4. Both are going to be free agents. Staios is almost certainly at market value. Moreau arguably not, but if not, not over by much. Unlike Smyth, both guys share the characterisitic of having actually said "yes" rather than "no" to a deal.

It is at this point that Smyth goes public and we get the audio clip on the Brian Hall show where he declares that he is no longer prepared to "take the hometown discount" and intimates that he's going to test the free agency market. It's not clear whether Meehan has told him to go public or not, but however it happened, it's now out there. Smyth has said he may go. Whether he only meant it as a negotiating tactic, he's now made his bed and has now legitemized Lowe's need to start thinking about whether a trade has to happen on or before the deadline so that some kind of value comes back. The scenario of Meehan client Cujo several years before is in the back of the mind. (Good intentions to resign, but in the end nothing to show for having waited until after the playoffs).

HF Boards go crazy. Public (i.e. internet) debate on Smyth's value starts. The big fans of Smyth drive the point hard that $4 million for four years was insulting to Smyth. Fans of Smyth say he's clearly worth $5 million/year. Maximum amount of his postulated value on the market on HF boards 6 million. Most place his value quite a bit below this. No discussion in HF posts of "details" like term or no trade clauses.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=313962

Negotiations begin again. Public is aware that Oilers are trying to re-open. When asked periodically about the negotiations. Smyth re-iterates that his side tried to make a deal befor the season started, but that didn't happen. Now I "just want to play hockey" and I want to talk about my contract at the end of the season (implying after the trade deadline when he's UFA).

Given the end point of the negotiations, it follows that at some point the $5 million per year that was supposedly requested was offered. Obviousy no deal, since Smyth believed that his value had been elevated as a result of his play. In any event, the fact that the originally discussed deal was no longer acceptable would be another indication to any reasonable observer that he wanted what he would get as a UFA, no less. At this point, Lowe has to begin thinking about where Smyth fits, what his maximum value to the team is, what his budget is, what his other holes are, and what he could get before the trade deadline window closed.

Week before the deadline. TSN fills hockey content air time with segment by expert on everything Pierre McGuire giving his predictions for 2010 Canadian Olympic team. Names 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies. Chris Pronger was the second defenseman named. Luongo was the 2nd goalie named. Jerome Iginla is named among top 6 forwards. Alex Tanguay was not named by McGuire. Neither was Ryan Smyth.

Negotiations continue. Breathless fans periodically grasp at any information available about progress of the negotiations. Time passes, still no deal. Ryan continues to say that he really just wants to concentrate on making the playoffs and negotiate when the hockey is done. For some odd reason, the Oilers really intent on bothering Smyth with annoying stuff like contact negotiations. On February 25th, Oilers lose critical game to Minnesota after having already lost more games than they won on road trip identified as crucial for any chance at playoff run. Consensus is that Oilers are DONE. Highly likely that Oilers offer now well above the 5 million apparently on the table before the season started. Still negotiating long term financial arrangement worth more than 25 million dollars into trade deadline day and the Messier banner ceremony. Ryan Smyth apparently has not come to terms with the idea that he might actually be traded. 1 PM MST rolls around and suddenly the world as we knew it changes. TSN "Instant Analysis" panel immediately begin to speculate that Kevin Lowe has reacted emotionally and made a panic trade. Neither proposition is true.

OK, long backstory for some main propositions:
- All of Kevin Lowe's contract negotiations since June came after a run to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Great thing, but the worst possible leverage for negotiations.
- Lowe was hit at the end of June with the biggest hockey bombshell in the last 10 years. Until that happened, Ryan Smyth was not the franchise player. The Pronger explosion dramatically impacted Lowe's negotiating leverage in every deal he had to make in the aftermath.
- Every deal Lowe makes, he has to make into uncertainty. Unlike us internet posters 8 months after the fact, he does not have perfect foresight of how his deals will turn out if the players don't play as well as their agents said they would.
- Lowe has a whole team to run and is required to negotiate contracts with a whole roster of players. Just like Ryan Smyth, every individual he has to deal with has their own pride and sense of their market value.
- Ryan Smyth's pride put himself well above his teammates. Because of this pride he did not take the best deal the Oilers were prepared to offer and - incredibly - appeared to be totally surprised that the team would actually trade him.
- Critics of Lowe are way off base. IMO, he's done an incredible job under the circumstances handed to him this year. The ONLY potentially valid critisms revolve around differences in Smyth's value as perceived by individual fans as compared to Kevin Lowe's valuation of Smyth at various points in time. However, the time to assess this will be later, not now.
- Based on Kevin's Lowe's perception of value, he made the "right" decision based on his perception of Smyth's value relative to other team needs at the most trying time conceivable (Messier banner day). In my books, that shows true conviction and character. I'm glad he's on my side.
- At the end of the day, Ryan Smyth chose money over team. He has every reason and right in the world to do so. However, his team is now the New York Islanders. My team is still the Oilers. I don't need to be paid more than $US 27 million to feel this way. Apparently, he does.
wow.

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03-03-2007, 02:24 PM
  #28
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HBP: Great post. I do believe that if Ryan Smyth is in your plans then you sign him first (right after the ufa's). He wasn't first, or second, or fifth. Lowe believes the team is Hemsky, Stoll, Torres, Smid, Greene, and we can probably make a list of players who are heading out of town in summer and at the next deadline. Jason Smith, Dwayne Roloson, others should they be 8 points out at the deadline.

My point in the original post is that this is Kevin Lowe's vision, he's on track. He's doing what he believes to be the best for the hockey club.

For the record, I like the return he got on Ryan Smyth, I'd go so far as to say that those people who are saying he didn't look around should have another look at what he got.

But all this stuff about late bargaining and trying to get it done lacks sincerity imo. Lowe's following his plan. It did not involve Ryan Smyth. He stated that Smyth is a good player but not a player worth 5.-whatever-it-was-going-to-be.

The rest is window dressing. Kevin Lowe died on that hill, and he died on it a long, long time ago. Had Smyth said yes at the 11th hour I believe Lowe would be in a better position for next season but would have taken a step back in terms of his vision.

The only rational way to view his vision?

1. Trade for an elite level STUD DEFENSEMAN with Wade Redden the minimum talent acceptable.
2. Have Horcoff and Pisani do the heavy lifting up front.
3. Count on the coach to move more young talent forward (Pouliot, Roy) and trade the rest (Jacques, Greene) for moving parts.
4. Trade Jason Smith at the deadline if you're out of it, acquire rentals at the deadline if you're in it.

Kevin Lowe's template is there. Ryan Smyth was a square peg in a round hole. If he'd wanted 6 million he needed to be a defenseman because the forward money went to Hemsky, Stoll and is going to Raffi this summer. The center of this team is not 32, it's 27.

Or younger.

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03-03-2007, 02:24 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Injektilo View Post
yeah, but they wouldn't be doing that now. The players get a fixed portion of revenues, a dollar in Smyth's pocket is a dollar out of some one elses, who is also presumably a member of the NHLPA.
You're treating all players as equals. A rookie 4th liner making 450K commands the same value and interset as Crosby or Ovechkin in a couple of years. Nope.

You're point is what aggravates me about the whole system though. You're right, max $$ are fixed! It would be great if all parties involved considered a "team" approach and divided up the revenues for the team's common good. However, players and agents want max value in thier slice of the pie. If the pie has to become larger to accommodate this then the NHLPA is happier.

You're dreaming if you this the Players association doesnt want maximum contracts for thier players in all negotiations.... even at the expense of some of thier other players.

Listen to some interviews from OTR and Total Sports on the topic from this last week. There should still be some podcasts on the discussions of Agent/NHLPA agendas.


Last edited by Oilforblood: 03-03-2007 at 02:32 PM.
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03-03-2007, 02:25 PM
  #30
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maybe lowe should brush his ego aside and stop being "rubbed the wrong way"..
for years he's been saying players need to take discount to play in edmonton.. well why?.. is it because the great winning tradition for the past decade? or is it the beautiful weather? or perhaps the great loyalty the club shows to its veterans?

everytime a player gets shipped out of town.. the organization seems to do its best to shift blames.. comrie was a whiny baby.. carter only likes big cities.. weight only wants money.. marchant's a nhlpa representative.. guerin's getting old.. hecht never wanted to be here.. smyth didn't want to be an oiler bad enough to take $100k less..

maybe it's time to stop the bull.. maybe it's time to reflect.. maybe it's time to stop the
"ohh look at how stupid new jersey looks for spending to the cap by keeping gomez gionta brodeur", or
"calgary paid that much money for iginla, tanguay, langkow and kippersof?", or
"buffalo's screwed for paying briere drury and their RFAs that much money"

maybe it's time for the current management to actually come up with a plan than just making excuses.. smyth's expensive but he's our best player.. so you keep your best players and make room for him at the expense of the sykora's the staios' the pisani's the roloson's..

"

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03-03-2007, 02:29 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillypriest View Post
The "Lowe should have started with Smyth before others" angle is really starting to annoy me. Don't mean to take it out on you Lowetide, because a lot of people have said this, most prominently Bob McKenzie.

My take is that this is primarily about a negotiating strategy that went wrong for Smyth and Meehan. I'll explain, but first I'll digress. A lot.

First off, I do want to take on the Bob McKenzie analogy with Calgary going to its franchise player (Ignila) and saying "what do you need to be happy?" The Oilers did this too. That player was Chris Pronger. They also had their analogue of Tanguay in Mike Peca - a short duration overpay that fit into a window under a contract that ended before the next set of big choices had to be made. Then of course the Pronger walkaway happened. Suddenly we have a franchise player void, and Ryan Smyth nominated himself as IT. In the immediate meantime, however, Lowe is in a total crisis not of his own making, plus he had all sorts of clean ups to do with expired contracts with UFA' with only a couple of weeks to spare before July 1. Two of which just happened to be with players that had just made strong cases to pick up the Conn Smythe. He signs both of those players (Pisani and Roloson) and beats back a little of panic and self-estime hit in Edmonton. He subsequently signs Horcoff, also a UFA, who had just backed up a lock out season in Sweden that had him keeping pace with Naslund and Forsberg with a terrific NHL season. In effect, Lowe had waited on the indications from the Sweden season before making a decision that Horcoff was a player.

Then comes Hemsky. Although only an RFA and not a UFA, it bears repeating at this stage that Hemsky did not have a contract and needed to be signed to some deal before he could play and clearly had a value that exceeded what he could be obtained for in an RFA raid. Lowe roles the dice here and locks him up long term. Banking on the indications that Hemsky has superstar talent. This may be when Smyth starts to get his hackles up, since the contract Lowe gave to Hemsky was for an average of more per year and longer than the 4 over 4 that we are now hearing Smyth was offered over the summer. Smyth and Meehan say not good enough and(apparently) says we want 5 over 5. Somebody says lets talk again after the year is up. I gather that somebody is Lowe, although some of Smyth's comments have suggested that Smyth/Meehan may have been the ones to break things with the expectation of negotiating only after the season ended. In any event, it's evident now that Ryan and Stacey are pissed/hurt. But at this stage the public at large doesn't know this.

Then comes Lupul, who has just had a superlative playoffs, including that amazing goal in game 4 of the semi's off the faceoff. Looks (at the time) like a keeper and certainly of much higher value than Ryan Kessler who received an offer sheet for $1.9 million. Lowe is also under pressure to sign the guy before training camp because he's the key part of the deal that Lowe was forced to make after Pronger phoned in his trade request to Al Strachan from Mexico. Money keeps piling up.

Season starts. Now into the season and looking forward there are some long term players that can be extended because they are in the last year of their contracts. First is Moreau. Gets 1.75 million plus a signing bonus. Then Staios for an average of 2.7 over 4. Both are going to be free agents. Staios is almost certainly at market value. Moreau arguably not, but if not, not over by much. Unlike Smyth, both guys share the characterisitic of having actually said "yes" rather than "no" to a deal.

It is at this point that Smyth goes public and we get the audio clip on the Brian Hall show where he declares that he is no longer prepared to "take the hometown discount" and intimates that he's going to test the free agency market. It's not clear whether Meehan has told him to go public or not, but however it happened, it's now out there. Smyth has said he may go. Whether he only meant it as a negotiating tactic, he's now made his bed and has now legitemized Lowe's need to start thinking about whether a trade has to happen on or before the deadline so that some kind of value comes back. The scenario of Meehan client Cujo several years before is in the back of the mind. (Good intentions to resign, but in the end nothing to show for having waited until after the playoffs).

HF Boards go crazy. Public (i.e. internet) debate on Smyth's value starts. The big fans of Smyth drive the point hard that $4 million for four years was insulting to Smyth. Fans of Smyth say he's clearly worth $5 million/year. Maximum amount of his postulated value on the market on HF boards 6 million. Most place his value quite a bit below this. No discussion in HF posts of "details" like term or no trade clauses.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=313962

Negotiations begin again. Public is aware that Oilers are trying to re-open. When asked periodically about the negotiations. Smyth re-iterates that his side tried to make a deal befor the season started, but that didn't happen. Now I "just want to play hockey" and I want to talk about my contract at the end of the season (implying after the trade deadline when he's UFA).

Given the end point of the negotiations, it follows that at some point the $5 million per year that was supposedly requested was offered. Obviousy no deal, since Smyth believed that his value had been elevated as a result of his play. In any event, the fact that the originally discussed deal was no longer acceptable would be another indication to any reasonable observer that he wanted what he would get as a UFA, no less. At this point, Lowe has to begin thinking about where Smyth fits, what his maximum value to the team is, what his budget is, what his other holes are, and what he could get before the trade deadline window closed.

Week before the deadline. TSN fills hockey content air time with segment by expert on everything Pierre McGuire giving his predictions for 2010 Canadian Olympic team. Names 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies. Chris Pronger was the second defenseman named. Luongo was the 2nd goalie named. Jerome Iginla is named among top 6 forwards. Alex Tanguay was not named by McGuire. Neither was Ryan Smyth.

Negotiations continue. Breathless fans periodically grasp at any information available about progress of the negotiations. Time passes, still no deal. Ryan continues to say that he really just wants to concentrate on making the playoffs and negotiate when the hockey is done. For some odd reason, the Oilers really intent on bothering Smyth with annoying stuff like contact negotiations. On February 25th, Oilers lose critical game to Minnesota after having already lost more games than they won on road trip identified as crucial for any chance at playoff run. Consensus is that Oilers are DONE. Highly likely that Oilers offer now well above the 5 million apparently on the table before the season started. Still negotiating long term financial arrangement worth more than 25 million dollars into trade deadline day and the Messier banner ceremony. Ryan Smyth apparently has not come to terms with the idea that he might actually be traded. 1 PM MST rolls around and suddenly the world as we knew it changes. TSN "Instant Analysis" panel immediately begin to speculate that Kevin Lowe has reacted emotionally and made a panic trade. Neither proposition is true.

OK, long backstory for some main propositions:
- All of Kevin Lowe's contract negotiations since June came after a run to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Great thing, but the worst possible leverage for negotiations.
- Lowe was hit at the end of June with the biggest hockey bombshell in the last 10 years. Until that happened, Ryan Smyth was not the franchise player. The Pronger explosion dramatically impacted Lowe's negotiating leverage in every deal he had to make in the aftermath.
- Every deal Lowe makes, he has to make into uncertainty. Unlike us internet posters 8 months after the fact, he does not have perfect foresight of how his deals will turn out if the players don't play as well as their agents said they would.
- Lowe has a whole team to run and is required to negotiate contracts with a whole roster of players. Just like Ryan Smyth, every individual he has to deal with has their own pride and sense of their market value.
- Ryan Smyth's pride put himself well above his teammates. Because of this pride he did not take the best deal the Oilers were prepared to offer and - incredibly - appeared to be totally surprised that the team would actually trade him.
- Critics of Lowe are way off base. IMO, he's done an incredible job under the circumstances handed to him this year. The ONLY potentially valid critisms revolve around differences in Smyth's value as perceived by individual fans as compared to Kevin Lowe's valuation of Smyth at various points in time. However, the time to assess this will be later, not now.
- Based on Kevin's Lowe's perception of value, he made the "right" decision based on his perception of Smyth's value relative to other team needs at the most trying time conceivable (Messier banner day). In my books, that shows true conviction and character. I'm glad he's on my side.
- At the end of the day, Ryan Smyth chose money over team. He has every reason and right in the world to do so. However, his team is now the New York Islanders. My team is still the Oilers. I don't need to be paid more than $US 27 million to feel this way. Apparently, he does.
Even though I don't agree with alot of this I have to say that this is simply the best thing I've seen written on this matter anywhere.

I won't even rebut because your argument is so convincing I need time to rethink my position. Well done.

For beauty of argument and synopsis stated this work approaches perfection. If you are an author, journalist, writer, the world is better for it.

I sincerely meant that. Awesome read.



ps not that I haven't noticed this from you before


Last edited by Replacement: 03-03-2007 at 02:41 PM.
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03-03-2007, 02:30 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Lowetide View Post
1. Trade for an elite level STUD DEFENSEMAN with Wade Redden the minimum talent acceptable.
Would you mind continuing that thought? I'm curious who else would be considered on D besides Redden? If your assumptions of the plan are true, we need someone who can control the game like Pronger did... and his wife ain't letting him get traded back here! Who else would work for you? ... or will Lowe spend $10mil on D... A Boyle and Stuart combo for example?

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03-03-2007, 02:30 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by 4th_Liner View Post
maybe lowe should brush his ego aside and stop being "rubbed the wrong way"..
for years he's been saying players need to take discount to play in edmonton.. well why?.. is it because the great winning tradition for the past decade? or is it the beautiful weather? or perhaps the great loyalty the club shows to its veterans?

everytime a player gets shipped out of town.. the organization seems to do its best to shift blames.. comrie was a whiny baby.. carter only likes big cities.. weight only wants money.. marchant's a nhlpa representative.. guerin's getting old.. hecht never wanted to be here.. smyth didn't want to be an oiler bad enough to take $100k less..

maybe it's time to stop the bull.. maybe it's time to reflect.. maybe it's time to stop the
"ohh look at how stupid new jersey looks for spending to the cap by keeping gomez gionta brodeur", or
"calgary paid that much money for iginla, tanguay, langkow and kippersof?", or
"buffalo's screwed for paying briere drury and their RFAs that much money"

maybe it's time for the current management to actually come up with a plan than just making excuses.. smyth's expensive but he's our best player.. so you keep your best players and make room for him at the expense of the sykora's the staios' the pisani's the roloson's..

"
Really? Name some of these instances where he has said this.

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03-03-2007, 02:42 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Oilforblood View Post
Would you mind continuing that thought? I'm curious who else would be considered on D besides Redden? If your assumptions of the plan are true, we need someone who can control the game like Pronger did... and his wife ain't letting him get traded back here! Who else would work for you? ... or will Lowe spend $10mil on D... A Boyle and Stuart combo for example?
Well it's pretty easy to make a list. My biggest fear is that Lowe covets Sheldon Souray which imo would spell complete disaster. After that the names are either young D who will cost a lot in trade (Bouwmeester, Pitkanen) or veterans who will cost a lot of money and a lot in trade (Redden being the ultimate example but a quick trip to NHL.com for the top scoring Dmen gives you the list).

They might try to get Chris Phillips and the ufa LW from Nashville, kind of a two-for-Smyth-money but I don't really see that either. Kevin Lowe has a big enough ego to shoot the moon this summer and we're all going to be laying on a patch of ground moaning when we find out the cost.

I believe that to be true.

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03-03-2007, 03:14 PM
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I can hear all the cries now when July 1st and beyond comes and Kevin starts spending money. To me it won't be good with the crying of fans. I have a feeling no matter who Lowe brings in, that player will be looked upon and compared to either Pronger (if a defenseman) or Smyth (if a forward). And that isn't right.

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03-03-2007, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 4th_Liner View Post
maybe lowe should brush his ego aside and stop being "rubbed the wrong way"..
This is funny. Man, it's all about egos when your talking about millions of dollars.

Let me know as you something. What is the difference between refusing a $5.4M a year contract and insisting on a $5.7M contract aside from $300K? I'll tell you what it is: ego.

In pro sports, it's all about "Well if he's getting X$$, then I should be getting Y$$."

You say Lowe should brushhis ego aside? What made Smyth refuse Lowe's contract? Again, ego.

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03-03-2007, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Lowetide View Post
Well it's pretty easy to make a list. My biggest fear is that Lowe covets Sheldon Souray which imo would spell complete disaster. After that the names are either young D who will cost a lot in trade (Bouwmeester, Pitkanen) or veterans who will cost a lot of money and a lot in trade (Redden being the ultimate example but a quick trip to NHL.com for the top scoring Dmen gives you the list).

They might try to get Chris Phillips and the ufa LW from Nashville, kind of a two-for-Smyth-money but I don't really see that either. Kevin Lowe has a big enough ego to shoot the moon this summer and we're all going to be laying on a patch of ground moaning when we find out the cost.

I believe that to be true.
I sure hope it is NOT Souray. I agree, complete disaster.

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03-03-2007, 03:32 PM
  #38
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Lowe put aside his ego. His final offer was GROSS OVERPAYMENT in the first place, and Smyth still said no (THANK GOD)

Smyth had the ego, not Lowe.

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03-03-2007, 03:54 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Oilforblood View Post
If not, Lowe should have dealt him for maximum return. I have many doubts the Lowe managed to get max value for Smyth considering many of the other deals that happened this Feb.
i'm wondering which other deals you think had a better return that the smyth deal. nashville gave up a ton for forsberg, but he's one of the top couple players in the league. could be a great trade if he stays healthy, or we could look back a year from now and look at this deal as a move that moved nashville from contender to fighting for the playoffs for years to come.

the closest parallel i can draw is the tkachuk trade. he got a 1st, 2nd, 3rd a fringe roster player and a conditional 1st. st. louis is not going to see the fruits of this deal for 3 to 4 years at least, if ever. guys like metropolit are a dime a dozen in the new nhl as it's easy to pick guys like this up through free agency. there's no guarantees that the draft picks ever pan out. by drafting guys who are further developed, the oilers at least know what they are getting, an player who has played in the nhl already and shows reasonable upside, a good, ethan moreau type prospect and another first rounder. i think the oil definitely did better than st. louis did, even if they manage to get the extra 1st rounder.

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03-03-2007, 04:00 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Lowetide View Post
HBP: Great post. I do believe that if Ryan Smyth is in your plans then you sign him first (right after the ufa's). He wasn't first, or second, or fifth. Lowe believes the team is Hemsky, Stoll, Torres, Smid, Greene, and we can probably make a list of players who are heading out of town in summer and at the next deadline. Jason Smith, Dwayne Roloson, others should they be 8 points out at the deadline.
Thanks for the complement on the post.

What I don't know is which side broke off negotiations last summer. I think this small point matters. If Lowe's opening salvo was 4 for 4 and Meehan's was 5 for 5, if Meehan's break off was to say OK we'll see you in the spring. Then Lowe was right to move on to other guys with expired contracts. A contract is a precondition of playing, and Lowe literally only had 2 months to work over the summer. If Lowe broke things off and said we'll see you in the spring, that would be a different matter I suppose.

One thing though, I don't remember ANY chatter on this board about getting Smyth signed. May be my memory - I'm old you know. (Old enough to actually understand all or your Montreal Expos recollections). I don't think so, though. I don't think the need to sign Ryan hit any of our consciousness until after the Brian Hall show spot came out in November. On the other hand. I remember a lot of consternation about getting Hemsky signed. I also recall that most people were pretty happy about this. here's a link:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=274883&page=1

Looking through this link. Everybody seems to be very happy about the long term deal. I scrolled up to 10 pages in the Hemsky signing thread. I didn't see one reference to the potential for Hemsky signing long term to have a negative impact on Smyth. It wasn't on the radar. (Aside: I also realized after re-reading the Hemsky thread that I completely forgot about Lowe resigning Stoll. My bad. I also forgot about all the discussion that took place last summer about how arbitration awards (and fear therof) was working into GM minds when thinking about RFA contract renewals. This was clearly also a big thing driving up the cost of doing business).

I think it's pretty cavalier from our vantage point today to impute that Ryan Smyth was not in the plans. I don't believe that. Lowe was unbelievably busy last summer. In my books, signing contracts with people who are unsigned trumps extensions with the signed on the "to do" list. That's just logistics of getting things done. In every one of Lowe's negotiations, the agents of his counterparties used whatever tactic they could to up the amount paid. Every one of the negotiations would have taken thought, time, effort and would have involved somebody's ego.

Given all the things to do, I would think it would be pretty petty of Smyth to take offense that other business was getting done before his extension. I don't know if that was the case or not. There seems to be some evidence of this though, namely the fact that Smyth went public with his discontent when Staois got signed. However, what's Lowe supposed to do? Given that the Smyth renewal discussions had been shelved until after the season by mutual consent by that time, what was Lowe supposed to do? Stop everything until Smyth was signed? To me, that's rediculous since presumably Staois and Moreau have pride and egos too. I think you contract with people that are willing to contract with you. Full stop.

It also bears mentionning that it would not have been a simple matter of saying to Moreau and Staios "just a second, I've gotta give Smyth his 5 for 5 before I deal with you." Apparently that ship sailed in the Smyth Meehan camp. (Another aside: I think it's pretty telling how us fans jump all over Lowe when expectations don't materialize for a player but when a player's performance goes up and with it his market value, Lowe should have known that would happen and his failure to do this shows that he's somehow been disrespectful).

It's clear that there are a whole lot of posters here that have had very consistent long term positions that Smyth is the absolute core of the team and should be signed at the market rate. I's also clear that a whole lot of reasonable people have consistently disagreed and have put some upper limits on his value too. This, of itself, tells us something. Smyth's ultimate value is - by definition - uncertain. Lowe has to make these assessments all the time. I think some of us are way to eager to apply labels like "disrespectful" or "cheap". At the end of the day it's just a decision. It could be right or wrong. However, I think we have to appreciate just how hard these decisions are and I for one was blown away by Lowe's character in making this call in the circumstances he faced on Tuesday afternoon. Given that he had made a choice on Smyth's value in his team's circumstances, he made a decision that would be right IF his assessment were correct.

We will likely debate for years about this decision, but I really think it's unfair how Lowe's getting slagged.

HBP

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03-03-2007, 04:03 PM
  #41
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Let me know as you something. What is the difference between refusing a $5.4M a year contract and insisting on a $5.7M contract aside from $300K?
What situation are you talking about here yanner? I don't know if you read my site but there was a quote from Nichols in yesterday's paper which supports the 100K difference between the two positions.

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03-03-2007, 04:15 PM
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Great posts hillbillypriest!

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03-03-2007, 04:25 PM
  #43
smytty's mullet
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Originally Posted by hillbillypriest View Post
It also bears mentionning that it would not have been a simple matter of saying to Moreau and Staios "just a second, I've gotta give Smyth his 5 for 5 before I deal with you." Apparently that ship sailed in the Smyth Meehan camp. (Another aside: I think it's pretty telling how us fans jump all over Lowe when expectations don't materialize for a player but when a player's performance goes up and with it his market value, Lowe should have known that would happen and his failure to do this shows that he's somehow been disrespectful).
exactly right. i can't understand the people saying lowe should have got smyth done first. apparently he tried, and couldn't and he moved on for a time. moreau and staios wanted to be here, said as much, likely damaged their bargaining position in the process and were eager to do deals.

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03-03-2007, 04:31 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by OneShot_Scorer View Post
Lowe put aside his ego. His final offer was GROSS OVERPAYMENT in the first place, and Smyth still said no (THANK GOD)

Smyth had the ego, not Lowe.
bet you thought every free agent signing last summer was an gross overpayment..
the market goes up.. every offseason when there's a signing there will always be people crying oh my god they paid him that much money when so and so got paid that much less just a few months ago?
smyth has been our best player.. you keep your best players by paying him market value..

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Originally Posted by Yanner39 View Post
This is funny. Man, it's all about egos when your talking about millions of dollars.

Let me know as you something. What is the difference between refusing a $5.4M a year contract and insisting on a $5.7M contract aside from $300K? I'll tell you what it is: ego.

In pro sports, it's all about "Well if he's getting X$$, then I should be getting Y$$."

You say Lowe should brushhis ego aside? What made Smyth refuse Lowe's contract? Again, ego.
so i can flip that around and use the exact same logic to say that the oilers had enough ego by insisting on a 5.4M contract because what difference does 300k make to a multi-million operation?

the ego point i was responding to initially was towards this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneShot_Scorer View Post
I think he did rub Lowe in a wrong way a tad. I just listened to that previous interview, and to be frank, Smyth sounded like a pr*** in a way. He was dead set on taking everything he could.
if it indeed was because 100k or 300k difference that we lost our best player.. then yes i blame lowe and his ego.. because for that much money less you ain't gonna find another smytty.. but smytty will get that from someone..

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03-03-2007, 04:39 PM
  #45
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I hate to say I follow politics as much as I do hockey but I do. The question to be asked here is are we better off today than we were yesterday.

First, we need to account for time horizon. We are definitely not better off if you look at tomorrow. But if you look at next year or two years from now, we cant say.

What we can say is we have a lot of chips to play. We have three first round picks. (just our luck that there's no super star available) We also have a ton of talent just below the NHL ready level. These are all good trading chips. But only if someone else wants them. In this case I think we have some value and can make some noise. The key is we need to trade all these chips for help for the next four years while Hemsky is around. Some kid who will spend next year in the QMJHL or university is useless. On this one I will give Lowe a break. I think he has a chance here but it will take an overpay.

Now on the UFA hunt. I guess we have cap room. But the key here is going to be whether a UFA wants to come to EDM. First thing they will look at is do we have a chance to win, and win it all within the next couple of years. If Lowe can trade all those chips to give us a chance in that window then they may listen. But given Lowe's ability to entice and sign UFA's, here I have my doubts. If we are counting on UFA's then we are screwed.

One thing that only costs cap is signing Smyth at 12:01AM on July 1st. Second is making noise at the draft. That will get UFA's to do the double take.

If Lowe is still talking about filling holes on Sept. 15, he should be fired. I have been an Oiler fan for 28 years. Time to put up or **** off. By Oct. 1 I will know whether I need to start looking for a new team to cheer for.

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03-03-2007, 04:53 PM
  #46
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First off many thanks to HBP for a great post - you are short in quantity these days my friend but long in quality.

Lowetide - I don't think Redden will cost that much if we eat most of his salary. OTT needs a LW as well - so Lupul plus picks and prospects probably does it - and that give OTT $4 million more to sign Phillips, Preising, Comrie, Volchenkov and Emery. They are sitting at almost $35 million in existing contracts going into next year and could use the cap space.

Since I was looking a OTT today - anyone notice how badly Meszaros is doing this year with increased responsibilities - worse than Smid. It's a long road with young dmen - even elite ones. I could get into an intersting Pogge - DD thing right now - but that's for another thread.

Anyway - agree that the decision was largely made last summer to give Hemsky the big salary slot for the forwards, Roloson got paid as necessary - but we still need a primo dman and we are not getting him by paying Smyth.

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03-03-2007, 05:23 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by Asiaoil View Post
Lowetide - I don't think Redden will cost that much if we eat most of his salary. OTT needs a LW as well - so Lupul plus picks and prospects probably does it - and that give OTT $4 million more to sign Phillips, Preising, Comrie, Volchenkov and Emery. They are sitting at almost $35 million in existing contracts going into next year and could use the cap space.
just like how we were supposed to do new jersey a favor by "eating" gomez's salary while giving them "not that much"?
senators will make room for their #1 D after losing chara.. even if redden goes on the market.. why do you think the other 28 teams will let the oilers get him for "not that much"? anaheim gave up a young guy with breakout year in lupul.. not a struggling lupul..
also.. do you think this team'll actually be better with redden and without smyth?!


Quote:
Anyway - agree that the decision was largely made last summer to give Hemsky the big salary slot for the forwards, Roloson got paid as necessary - but we still need a primo dman and we are not getting him by paying Smyth.
heh.. you've gotta be kidding me if you actually believe in this..
so you think lowe said guys here's the plan.. we are going to pay our role players money.. pay a 37 year old goalie the money.. but we are dumping our best player so we can make room for a "primo d-man". But we don't know who this "primo d-man" will be, we don't know if there will be a "primo d-man" available, but let's sack smyth first and wing it in the offseason.

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03-03-2007, 05:51 PM
  #48
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you trator *******!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanashell11 View Post
I hate to say I follow politics as much as I do hockey but I do. The question to be asked here is are we better off today than we were yesterday.

First, we need to account for time horizon. We are definitely not better off if you look at tomorrow. But if you look at next year or two years from now, we cant say.

What we can say is we have a lot of chips to play. We have three first round picks. (just our luck that there's no super star available) We also have a ton of talent just below the NHL ready level. These are all good trading chips. But only if someone else wants them. In this case I think we have some value and can make some noise. The key is we need to trade all these chips for help for the next four years while Hemsky is around. Some kid who will spend next year in the QMJHL or university is useless. On this one I will give Lowe a break. I think he has a chance here but it will take an overpay.

Now on the UFA hunt. I guess we have cap room. But the key here is going to be whether a UFA wants to come to EDM. First thing they will look at is do we have a chance to win, and win it all within the next couple of years. If Lowe can trade all those chips to give us a chance in that window then they may listen. But given Lowe's ability to entice and sign UFA's, here I have my doubts. If we are counting on UFA's then we are screwed.

One thing that only costs cap is signing Smyth at 12:01AM on July 1st. Second is making noise at the draft. That will get UFA's to do the double take.

If Lowe is still talking about filling holes on Sept. 15, he should be fired. I have been an Oiler fan for 28 years. Time to put up or **** off. By Oct. 1 I will know whether I need to start looking for a new team to cheer for.
Well maybe I agree somewhat, except for finding the other team part

I truely think the only way Lowe is going to build thei team is through trades.

Unfortuneatly alot of our chips got undervalued this year.

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03-03-2007, 06:50 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by hillbillypriest View Post
The "Lowe should have started with Smyth before others" angle is really starting to annoy me. Don't mean to take it out on you Lowetide, because a lot of people have said this, most prominently Bob McKenzie.

My take is that this is primarily about a negotiating strategy that went wrong for Smyth and Meehan. I'll explain, but first I'll digress. A lot.

First off, I do want to take on the Bob McKenzie analogy with Calgary going to its franchise player (Ignila) and saying "what do you need to be happy?" The Oilers did this too. That player was Chris Pronger. They also had their analogue of Tanguay in Mike Peca - a short duration overpay that fit into a window under a contract that ended before the next set of big choices had to be made. Then of course the Pronger walkaway happened. Suddenly we have a franchise player void, and Ryan Smyth nominated himself as IT. In the immediate meantime, however, Lowe is in a total crisis not of his own making, plus he had all sorts of clean ups to do with expired contracts with UFA' with only a couple of weeks to spare before July 1. Two of which just happened to be with players that had just made strong cases to pick up the Conn Smythe. He signs both of those players (Pisani and Roloson) and beats back a little of panic and self-estime hit in Edmonton. He subsequently signs Horcoff, also a UFA, who had just backed up a lock out season in Sweden that had him keeping pace with Naslund and Forsberg with a terrific NHL season. In effect, Lowe had waited on the indications from the Sweden season before making a decision that Horcoff was a player.

Then comes Hemsky. Although only an RFA and not a UFA, it bears repeating at this stage that Hemsky did not have a contract and needed to be signed to some deal before he could play and clearly had a value that exceeded what he could be obtained for in an RFA raid. Lowe roles the dice here and locks him up long term. Banking on the indications that Hemsky has superstar talent. This may be when Smyth starts to get his hackles up, since the contract Lowe gave to Hemsky was for an average of more per year and longer than the 4 over 4 that we are now hearing Smyth was offered over the summer. Smyth and Meehan say not good enough and(apparently) says we want 5 over 5. Somebody says lets talk again after the year is up. I gather that somebody is Lowe, although some of Smyth's comments have suggested that Smyth/Meehan may have been the ones to break things with the expectation of negotiating only after the season ended. In any event, it's evident now that Ryan and Stacey are pissed/hurt. But at this stage the public at large doesn't know this.

Then comes Lupul, who has just had a superlative playoffs, including that amazing goal in game 4 of the semi's off the faceoff. Looks (at the time) like a keeper and certainly of much higher value than Ryan Kessler who received an offer sheet for $1.9 million. Lowe is also under pressure to sign the guy before training camp because he's the key part of the deal that Lowe was forced to make after Pronger phoned in his trade request to Al Strachan from Mexico. Money keeps piling up.

Season starts. Now into the season and looking forward there are some long term players that can be extended because they are in the last year of their contracts. First is Moreau. Gets 1.75 million plus a signing bonus. Then Staios for an average of 2.7 over 4. Both are going to be free agents. Staios is almost certainly at market value. Moreau arguably not, but if not, not over by much. Unlike Smyth, both guys share the characterisitic of having actually said "yes" rather than "no" to a deal.

It is at this point that Smyth goes public and we get the audio clip on the Brian Hall show where he declares that he is no longer prepared to "take the hometown discount" and intimates that he's going to test the free agency market. It's not clear whether Meehan has told him to go public or not, but however it happened, it's now out there. Smyth has said he may go. Whether he only meant it as a negotiating tactic, he's now made his bed and has now legitemized Lowe's need to start thinking about whether a trade has to happen on or before the deadline so that some kind of value comes back. The scenario of Meehan client Cujo several years before is in the back of the mind. (Good intentions to resign, but in the end nothing to show for having waited until after the playoffs).

HF Boards go crazy. Public (i.e. internet) debate on Smyth's value starts. The big fans of Smyth drive the point hard that $4 million for four years was insulting to Smyth. Fans of Smyth say he's clearly worth $5 million/year. Maximum amount of his postulated value on the market on HF boards 6 million. Most place his value quite a bit below this. No discussion in HF posts of "details" like term or no trade clauses.

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=313962

Negotiations begin again. Public is aware that Oilers are trying to re-open. When asked periodically about the negotiations. Smyth re-iterates that his side tried to make a deal befor the season started, but that didn't happen. Now I "just want to play hockey" and I want to talk about my contract at the end of the season (implying after the trade deadline when he's UFA).

Given the end point of the negotiations, it follows that at some point the $5 million per year that was supposedly requested was offered. Obviousy no deal, since Smyth believed that his value had been elevated as a result of his play. In any event, the fact that the originally discussed deal was no longer acceptable would be another indication to any reasonable observer that he wanted what he would get as a UFA, no less. At this point, Lowe has to begin thinking about where Smyth fits, what his maximum value to the team is, what his budget is, what his other holes are, and what he could get before the trade deadline window closed.

Week before the deadline. TSN fills hockey content air time with segment by expert on everything Pierre McGuire giving his predictions for 2010 Canadian Olympic team. Names 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies. Chris Pronger was the second defenseman named. Luongo was the 2nd goalie named. Jerome Iginla is named among top 6 forwards. Alex Tanguay was not named by McGuire. Neither was Ryan Smyth.

Negotiations continue. Breathless fans periodically grasp at any information available about progress of the negotiations. Time passes, still no deal. Ryan continues to say that he really just wants to concentrate on making the playoffs and negotiate when the hockey is done. For some odd reason, the Oilers really intent on bothering Smyth with annoying stuff like contact negotiations. On February 25th, Oilers lose critical game to Minnesota after having already lost more games than they won on road trip identified as crucial for any chance at playoff run. Consensus is that Oilers are DONE. Highly likely that Oilers offer now well above the 5 million apparently on the table before the season started. Still negotiating long term financial arrangement worth more than 25 million dollars into trade deadline day and the Messier banner ceremony. Ryan Smyth apparently has not come to terms with the idea that he might actually be traded. 1 PM MST rolls around and suddenly the world as we knew it changes. TSN "Instant Analysis" panel immediately begin to speculate that Kevin Lowe has reacted emotionally and made a panic trade. Neither proposition is true.

OK, long backstory for some main propositions:
- All of Kevin Lowe's contract negotiations since June came after a run to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Great thing, but the worst possible leverage for negotiations.
- Lowe was hit at the end of June with the biggest hockey bombshell in the last 10 years. Until that happened, Ryan Smyth was not the franchise player. The Pronger explosion dramatically impacted Lowe's negotiating leverage in every deal he had to make in the aftermath.
- Every deal Lowe makes, he has to make into uncertainty. Unlike us internet posters 8 months after the fact, he does not have perfect foresight of how his deals will turn out if the players don't play as well as their agents said they would.
- Lowe has a whole team to run and is required to negotiate contracts with a whole roster of players. Just like Ryan Smyth, every individual he has to deal with has their own pride and sense of their market value.
- Ryan Smyth's pride put himself well above his teammates. Because of this pride he did not take the best deal the Oilers were prepared to offer and - incredibly - appeared to be totally surprised that the team would actually trade him.
- Critics of Lowe are way off base. IMO, he's done an incredible job under the circumstances handed to him this year. The ONLY potentially valid critisms revolve around differences in Smyth's value as perceived by individual fans as compared to Kevin Lowe's valuation of Smyth at various points in time. However, the time to assess this will be later, not now.
- Based on Kevin's Lowe's perception of value, he made the "right" decision based on his perception of Smyth's value relative to other team needs at the most trying time conceivable (Messier banner day). In my books, that shows true conviction and character. I'm glad he's on my side.
- At the end of the day, Ryan Smyth chose money over team. He has every reason and right in the world to do so. However, his team is now the New York Islanders. My team is still the Oilers. I don't need to be paid more than $US 27 million to feel this way. Apparently, he does.
An amazing post, absolutly brilliant, one of the best Posts on this subject and Lowe's year i have seen in a long time, great job HB priest, great job, easily one of the best posts on the subject, easily.




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Old
03-03-2007, 06:56 PM
  #50
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There's a problem with this scnario

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Originally Posted by MikeComrie'sGhost View Post
This is what I think is going to happen. If they do make a trade - and I'm not convinced they will - it's going to be an obscene amount of talent going the other way. They have absolutely painted themselves into a corner on this - the fix might be worse than the disease.
the Oilers don't have an obscene amount of talent.

There's preceived depth and there's actual depth and for all the guys want to believe that July will bring warm weather and Jacques-Gilbert PLUS for an impact player, well good lord you are stupid.

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