Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wanna feel bad? Watch This.



Here's some more fodder for Oilers fans still wanting to wallow in self pity: yesterday's Ryan Smyth press conference at the International Airport. What the hockey world commonly describes as a "class act," Smyth chokes through a long statement comprised mostly of an endless tribute to everyone he's ever come in contact with in Edmonton ("...Sparky, Staff, Stu, Kenny, Langer, Scotty, and as we all know, Joe Moss...") in a speech full of broken phrases, crying, humility and regret.

I made the mistake of checking out some web boards in the last few days, and some fans are practically felching EIG and Kevin Lowe for making a prudent, "cost-of-doing-business" move. Some have even called Smyth "greedy" and that "he got what he deserved" (with fans like these, would you want to sign here as a UFA?).

I won't dwell on how $5.5 - $6 million is exactly what Ryan Smyth is going to get on the open market July 1, or how the $1 million and half needed for to make the deal is exactly how much they overpayed the likes of Steve Staios last summer. Nor will I go on about how Smyth is in the top six players in the entire league for goals scored per game this season or how he basically carried the team on his back all year.

If I want to remind myself why this was a bad trade, 2:48 of this clip tells me all that I need to know. Heart-breaking.

23 comments:

Tyler said...

Amen brother. If I was a techie wizard, I'd edit that famous Walter Cronkite shot where he takes off his glasses and says "John F. Kennedy, dead, at the age of whatever." This is basically the same thing.

I hate the EIG and its fans.

Paul said...

Would you want a doctor named "Fibber?"

mike w said...

Ha ha.

Ryan Smyth is basically George Bush isn't he?

Steve said...

While I don't disagree with most of what you say, and I certainly think the Oilers have overpaid to keep some of their free agents around (Pisani, Roloson, and even Moreau - I still like the Horcoff deal), I don't see how Staios' contract in this defenceman market is anything but a bargain.

mike w said...

It's the length that bothers me (2011!). That and if I'm Kevin Lowe and want to put the squeeze on an aging player with a solid role on a team that he's comfortable with, it'd be Steve Staios.

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

"he got what he deserved"

Not yet. But he will this summer. And I guarantee Ryan Smyth wins a Cup before the Edmonton Oilers do.

Dan said...

Here's hoping the Islanders don't in fact make the playoffs. God forbid Smytty plays there until June, and starts to (shudder) like it there. They need to fall out of the playoff picture so Ryan can come back to Edmonton and start talking with Lowe, sign a contract, and then we can forget this ever happened. And if we traded Pisani or even Horcs I wouldn't be offended. Both got overpaid. Lowe can still right this wrong, but I somehow doubt it will happen.

Dan said...

Somehow me thinks the only cup that will be at Rexall place for the next "new direction" of the Oilers will have been the one Mark Messier carried on the ice on Feb 27, 2007.

Julian said...

You know what, fuck it. Fuck the sensible hockey move, or money move for that matter.

Smyth should have stayed an oiler simply because we need him to be. We need players to cheer for.

The pronger trade hurt because we lost a great player. This one feels like we're losing the actual team.

LittleFury said...

Somehow me thinks the only cup that will be at Rexall place for the next "new direction" of the Oilers will have been the one Mark Messier carried on the ice on Feb 27, 2007.

Oh come now: I'm sure they'll trot it out next time they retire another one of the "Boys on the Bus's" number. Semeko, maybe?

Doogie said...

Smyth should have stayed an oiler simply because we need him to be. We need players to cheer for.

That pretty much covers it. I could take anyone else leaving the team, but Smytty leaving to anything but retirement? I can't get behind that.

I think tonight I'll be packing my jerseys, T-shirts, etc. in a box in my closet.

Anonymous said...

After you watch that clip, do you think the 'Smyth deal' was an elaborate hoax to get 2prospects and a 1st rounder and then resign him in the summer? Ryan isn't coming back.

joninabox said...

It's almost painful to see that clip, I don't think most people with a heart would disagree. I know I always thought the Smytty would retire an Oiler, and looking at press photos of him in an Isles jersey is actually almost shocking.

The problem is, this issue can't be blamed solely on one side. One could argue that after Lowe was willing to go that far with Smyth, why not save the face of the franchise by paying a little more. On the other hand, if Smyth accepted the offer of 5.4 million for 5 years, that would have already been the equivalent overpay to the Staois, Pisani, and Moreau overpays. Both sides were just too set on what they saw as the bottom-line.

At the same time, we as fans have to really make up our minds regarding this team. On the one hand, we complain that we finish 8th or 9th every year, yet we are not willing to even consider the process of rebuilding. Although I suppose the same criticism could be thrown Lowe's way (Smyth gone but not Sykora, what the -).

LittleFury said...

On the one hand, we complain that we finish 8th or 9th every year, yet we are not willing to even consider the process of rebuilding.

Jon, the problem is we've been "rebuilding" for 17 years. If we're on the Toronto Maple Leafs 40+ year rebuilding plan, I'd like to know now so I can take my business elsewhere.

JavaGeek said...

no one will ever know how the negotiations went down or how the $100,000 number fell from the sky, but most likely Smyth started >$6M and Edmonton start <$5M and they worked themselves to somewhere between the two, who "should've" budged doesn't make a difference, the fact of the matter is Smyth had given up as much as he was willing to give up and Edmonton gave as much as they could 'afford'. Generally salary negotiations are hush-hush so I'm suspicious of the $100,000 and what it really means... Contracts aren't just have $ figures either.

mike w said...

>On the one hand, we complain that we finish 8th or 9th every year...

Yeah, but how is that an argument for getting rid of Ryan Smyth? He was the least of our problems in that regard.

Now before I go further, I'm little wound up from seeing what people are saying on the web boards (it's just poison for the soul really), so forgive me...

I'm still annoyed by this "stubborn" tag on Ryan Smyth's part: if I'm making a case for a 40 goal season, plus intangibles, I better get $6 million, hands down. If I don't, someone else will July 1. No one was even coming close to thinking he was getting $5 million going into trade day.

I would expect Lowe to find room for the money, just like Calgary did when it came to Iginla. I didn't see many people complaining when he got a huge contract, and something tells me that Oilers fans wouldn't have blinked if Ryan Smyth got $5.5 million.

It's only now, staring $100,000 in the face, fans are acting stoic and preaching about some sort of principled stand against overpaying a player. To me it sounds like the mantra of Oiler lemmings...

Alana said...

WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! That video breaks my heart. Fuck Kevin Lowe.

Kirsten said...

I tried the stoic approach, tried to convince myself that there was a good reason that he left, and then I decided that there could never be a reason good enough for Ryan Smyth to leave Edmonton. That was the point where my heart broke into a million pieces. I couldn't imagine it happening, and I still can't really believe it. I can't bring myself to watch the press conference.

Robert said...

You know what? I hope the Isles win the fucking Cup. 16 straight wins, too, with Ryan scoring the Cup winning goal.

You're right, Alana. Fuck Kevin Lowe. Fuck him all to hell.

mike w said...

Unlike Doug Weight, and his unfortunate choice of a Stanley Cup opponent, I will be whole-heartedly cheering for Ryan Smyth in Long Island to win.

Why not? For years, the Islanders were a bit an Oilers analogue in the East, except more dysfunctional.

Axeman said...

Just curious ... even if the difference was not $100K, but $1M ... what the hell do you spend that difference on in Edmonton, anyway? I mean, there isn't even sales tax to ream you!

mike w said...

>there isn't even sales tax to ream you!

Heh.

But the gas-guzzling Ford F150s are actually mandatory in Alberta. People actually get shot in the back of the head if they cross the border in a fortwo Smart Car.