Tuesday, October 23, 2007
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.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:32 PM