I’m not saying that you give up your first overall draft pick to get him back—but this has to happen now.
Ryan Smyth saying he wants to go back to the Oilers—and it getting out that he said it— makes this a necessity for the franchise to get a deal done with the Kings for the guy who was the heart and soul of the team (some would say the city)—for quite a while, and fairly recently.
The Oilers are stacked with soon-to-be all-star forwards, but they’re young, and they don’t have the leadership to follow on the ice like they would have with a Ryan Smyth.
Smyth’s grit and determination—along with his love of the city and team—would go a long way to helping these kids develop into what they can become as players in this league.
It might also convince a couple of them that it might be worth re-signing after their rookie contracts are up.
If someone like Ryan Smyth wants to come back and finish his career there—leaving a team that is clearly on the rise for one in rebuild just to be there for it—it can’t be that bad a place to be, right?
But as the fourth highest scoring forward on the Kings roster last year, the 35 year-old Smyth who still played 18:02/game last season might not be someone the Kings want to let go just to lose the $6.25 million cap hit.
The Oilers are WELL below the cap, so that’s not the issue there, but what they’ll have to sacrifice to the Kings might be.
It’s too bad the Oilers won’t be able to dump their overpaid “leadership” off to the Kings to get this done, because the Kings are trying to go the other way in the salary department.
I say it’s worth it just so these young guns don’t have to follow—and possibly turn into players like—Shawn Horcoff.
And there will be a whole lot of pissed off Oilers fans out there if a deal doesn’t get done to bring back Smyth—especially knowing that he wants to come back even after how he left.
The Oilers need to get this done—as long as they don’t have to sacrifice too much of their future to do it.