Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Moose is Loose

The real reason Kevin Lowe felt he could get away with trading Ryan Smyth: Mark Messier is coming back.


Well, no, as the article points out, not really, thank god. But he did skate with the team for a half-hour for some entirely inexplicable reason. Wait, what am I saying: he skated with the team because he told the team he wanted to skate with them. Or the Oilers needed some place to put him until they decide which front office job he's going to get.

Seriously, though, perhaps he was around to light a fire in the Oilers collective belly for the upcoming Battle of Alberta. After the previous two games, which can only rightly be described as bed-shitting nightmares the likes of which Edmonton hasn't seen since I found out about GoodNites, it couldn't hurt to get the boys a little bit riled up for a game that matters in the hearts of anyone whose managed to find theirs after Lowe so unceremoniously ripped it out earlier this week. I guess we'll know for sure when we see Joffrey Lupul break his stick over Iginla's face and stab Kiprusoff to death with the remains. That would at least give Calgary fans a small taste of the sense of loss we misguided Oiler types have felt all week.

Two things on that: first of all, did anyone see Smyth PUT THE NET BACK ON ITS MOORINGS just before Bergeron's goal on Thursday? You're telling me that's not worth $5.5 million a year when we're PAYING FOR THE WINDOW TINTING ON FERNANDO PISANI'S GRANDKIDS' LATE-MODEL GRAND AM?!? Also, apropos of tonight's BoA and Georges Laraque's recent admission he wanted to go back to Calgary to stick it to management, how about this nightmare scenario: Smyth signs with the Flames for a hometown discount come July.

*Shudder*


The phrase "murder-suicide" springs instantly to mind. Let's never speak of this again.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did see that, and I thought, you know, I've seen a lot of players push the net OFF their moorings but never one push it back ON. Just an example of the headiness of Smyth and I guess shows he likes his office neat.

Alana said...

How fucking rad would it be if the Oil dressed Messier for tonight's game? I think I would die laughing.

I did see the MAB/Smytty clip. I think that's what I'll miss the most about Ryan Smyth: he never stops givin'er.

Temujin said...

Bergeron bagged a PP goal tonight for the Isles against the Caps...

I wonder who was in front of the net screening Brent Johnson?

I haven't even seen the highlights, and I can just about guarantee I know the answer to my own question.

Matt said...

I'm sure Sutter thinks he's worth $5.5M/yr, but I don't think they can afford him. Sleep easy, d00d.

Sean said...

The Washington play-by-play wondered out loud why Edmonton got rid of Bergeron. I'm not sure what's funnier - the fact that he said it, or the fact that I fear he might be right...

Anonymous said...

Great post. The best writing always comes from pain.
- Art V.

mike w said...

Dear Mark Messier: GO AWAY.

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

Someone in Oiler land pissed off karma. I think we need to sacrifice Craig Simpson to appease this great wrong. Honestly how much worse luck could we have in a hockey season?

Oh, and Don Meehan is now in the lowest echelon of life forms in my opinion, in the same category as injury lawyers, liberals, and Telus.

Troothsayer said...

Ugly as it was losing Smyth...and as much as I'd like to see the ex-Oiler management/coaching cabal fold already...I've got nothing but respect for Lowe's stance on the Smyth affair.

The issue of the bottom line is flexible in the world of pro-sports, and has as much to do with politics and emotion as anything else...but here Lowe's absolutely correct. *Ryan Smyth is not worth 5.5 million. Ryan Smith is not and NEVER WILL BE an elite hockey player.* And as the for inevitable response. "Smyth will easily get his 5.5 mill in the market."

Well, someone's gotta point it out: That's because the pro-sports market has three heads (lion, goat, dragon, respectively) with the torso of a feline and the limbs of a ram. In short, a Chimera. On crack. (bobby holik for $9 million, anybody). And oughta be blown out the hatch.

Maybe this is an old, tired argument, but these guys are getting paid way the fuck too much money. I applaud Lowe for drawing the line with Smytty. And was utterly unmoved by his tears at the airport. Seeya Smyth. Here's to hoping you never come within sipping distance of the Cup.

mike w said...

>Maybe this is an old, tired argument, but these guys are getting paid way the fuck too much money.

Wow, you and many other Edmontonians really hate professional athletes for some reason...

Simple question: When fans trip over themselves to spend money on tickets, luxury boxes, and PPV, who are they exactly paying to see, the owners or the players?

The one driving force and sole product of the NHL business is skilled, elite players. The rest is just spending money, arenas and booking airline tickets. It's their money to make, dude.

>Ryan Smith is not and NEVER WILL BE an elite hockey player.

But I don't think $5.5 million is elite money.

$7 and then $8 million will be elite money as the cap rises. The Oilers had the cap room, and the money, and now they have no first line LW and no guarantee that they can replace him easily.

Julian said...

I don't get it, how can you be a fan of a professional sports team and not care about the players? Honestly, are you a fan of Bombardier, Inc? If you don't have money invested in them, do you check their stocks in the morning paper to see if they rose the day before? Do you read indepth analysis on who the candidates for the new CFO might be?


Ryan Smyth was a way for me to justify being a fan of a professional sports team to myself, when I'm constantly being told that it's "just a business".

Baroque said...

I don't get how so many people grumble about athletes making "too much money," when it isn't as though my salary will go up if they make less, and yet an executive gets $200 million as a goodbye package, which DOES directly impact the bottom line for a lot of regular working people, and we let them skate on it. At least we know what skills a hockey player brings to his profession and how difficult it might be to replace him...if a company CEO dies in a plane crash, they find another white man in a dark suit just like him and the company rolls on as if nothing happened. So who is more deserving of making a large sum of money--the man with a skill that is difficult to replace, or that man who's role can be filled by any of a number of other men? And if we are going the "who deserves the money" route, why despite all the protestations of the value of children and looking after the elderly are day-care and elder-care workers paid diddly squat for a tough and thankless job so the pay is low, turnover is high, and it becomes very hard to attract quality people because they can't make enough to have a decent living.

(More society-related thought than specifically hockey, so I'm sorry if I have committed a blog faux pas.)

Anonymous said...

mike w: I think the point you disagree on with most of the commentors here is how much money the Oilers have to spend.

If we had the money, keeping Smyth AND bringing in a quality d-man would be amazing. But we don't have that kind of money.

The Oilers will never spend the amount of money you're asking them to. It's not like the salary cap era suddenly gave the EIG an extra 10 mil a year; it brought the other teams down so we can be more competitive--a $40mil team against a $44mil, instead of a $40mil versus $80mil.

We're a small market team going up against big cities with nearly bottomless investors. As the salary cap increases, the EIG isn't going to increase their self-imposed cap to the same level; they couldn't even match the cap this year.

I still stand by Lowe's decision because we actually got something back that we can either develop or trade for a 1st line player.

I don't think anyone is disputing that Smyth was valuable and worth keeping, but that changes when we don't have the money to keep Smyth and get that needed d-man.

This is entirely the fault of the EIG for not either being willing to spend more, or not actually having the capital to spend. With those restrictions in place, Lowe made the best decision for the team, one that can keep the Oil in the race, even if we can only spend 10 mil less than the next team.

- Bob

mike w said...

>We're a small market team going up against big cities with nearly bottomless investors.

Bob, read these blogs more. Mudcrutch is a good start. Edmonton being a small market team is a myth. Canadian teams are doing just fine, in fact sharing revenue with struggling American teams like Nashville and Florida.

And I don't buy this self-imposed cap. The Oilers have the money to spend and they spend it ($40 million this year, plus Lowe openly talking about spending to the cap). The Oilers are spenders, often times for the worst contracts (for me, Smyth would have been the exception).

Don't give us the money excuse, it doesn't wash.

Also: Lowe hinted last night on HNIC that if they Oilers were in a playoff position, he would have signed Smyth for more. This trade seems less and less like a grand plan every day.

mike w said...

Anyone else find it ridiculous that were still talking about the "small market" Oilers?

What was the lockout for?

troothsayer said...

>I don't get it, how can you be a fan of a
professional sports team and not care about the players?

Well, lets put it this way. If the NHLPA had its way, we'd currenly be paying $150/nosebleed seat in a colosseum that'd be empty except for tickets donated to corporate employees and down-syndrome children. Neither Ryan Smyth, Hemsky, Stoll nor Horcoff would be Oilers- we wouldn't be able to afford the 6 mill each they'd be asking for.

Still, I don't hate professional athletes. But like anyEdmontonian hockey fan growing up in the 80s, I've long since accepted that, at the professional level, this game is nothing more than a business, and resent the bullshit we're all subjected to at the sight of a weepy multi-millionare, acting like he was powerless about his departure. If it really did come down to 100 k (which both parties refute), then Smyth's just as much to blame.

I get how Smyth was the soul of the team. There's a potent pathos to the gritty mullet-wearing forward of questionable intelligence who drives to the net and never quits. It speaks loudly in Edmonton's culture...the City of Erstwhile Champions. I understand how children'd cry along with him. Still, the league'll be better off with responsible managers who aren't afraid to balance their perceptions of players' worth with the interest of the organization. This season stunk bad. Big changes need to be made.

troothsayer said...

By the way...despite the above, I love this blog. Forgive the abrasive tone, it comes to life on its own whenever I write hockey. I wonder why?

mike w said...

If the NHLPA had its way, we'd currenly be paying $150/nosebleed seat in a colosseum that'd be empty except for tickets donated to corporate employees and down-syndrome children.

Hmm. I don't remember that NHLPA demand in the last collective bargaining agreement.

My favourite part of that post was the phrase "I don't hate professional athletes..." followed by "I resent the bullshit we're all subjected to at the sight of a weepy multi-millionare" less than 30 words later.

mike w said...

I love this blog. Forgive the abrasive tone, it comes to life on its own whenever I write hockey. I wonder why?

Thanks, man.

You think that's bad. You should see my blog about ex-girlfriends!

Dan said...

This season is toast. O'Marra and Nilsson do jack all for us right now. Here's hoping we can tank the season and score big at the draft. I've reversed the cellar standings, where finishing last is good. Some may call me an unloyal fan but the way I see it, finishing bad this season will get a good draft pick and also prompt KLowe to get off his a$ and sign some bodies this summer. So without any more into, here is the race for the bottom:

# 1 draft pick - Flyers - pts: 44 games remaining: 18
# 2 draft pick - Kings - pts: 54 games remaining: 17
# 3 draft pick - Chicago pts: 55 games remaining: 17
# 4 draft pick - Cayotes pts: 57 games remaining: 17
# 5 draft pick - Columbus pts: 59 games remaining: 16
# 6 draft pick - Capitals pts: 60 games remaining: 16
# 7 draft pick - Oilers pts: 66 games remaining: 16
# 8 draft pick - Blues pts: 66 games remaining: 17
# 9 draft pick - Panthers pts: 67 games remaining: 16
#10 draft pick - Avs pts: 68 games remaining: 17

Bob said...

mike w: Fair enough. Small market is a poor choice of words.

I’m wondering: what would you have done in Lowe’s position? Sign Smyth for the money he wanted? What about the gaps in the team defence?

No one here is disputing that the EIG has a self-imposed cap that is unfair.

Whether or not they actually have the money but are choosing not to spend it, I think, is a moot point. The point is Lowe has been given X dollars and X dollars doesn’t buy him Smyth and a d-man.

Will you still be against trading Smyth if we can trade those draft picks and prospects for players like Redden or Phaneuf? Or, are you saying that you think we could have signed Smyth AND got one of those guys for next year too?

This article on the salary cap is interesting.

The Oilers are claiming they won’t make money this year. BS or the truth?

- Bob

mike w said...

I’m wondering: what would you have done in Lowe’s position?

I'll do you one better, Bob: I made a post out of this question.