Kukla's Korner

Oil Patch

Smyth Contract Holdups

No, you have not stepped back in time, but it has been reported that the Oilers and Ryan Smyth aren’t much closer to a deal new deal than they were last summer. According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

The holdout here is not term. It is the money. Nobody is saying what the Oilers are offering, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the $2.5 million-$2.75 million range.  Smyth could be looking for more than $3 million a year.

Smyth, who made $4.5 million in salary last year, has chosen not to talk about about his current negotiations. But, he likely doesn’t want to take a huge haircut in salary. So, we have a stalemate.


While Smyth may not be the same player that the team drafted, time has a funny way of changing people, he is still quite valuable to a team that lacks the depth it will take to take the next steps forward. Smyth also knows better than most on the team what it means to be a professional hockey player in a fishbowl city like Edmonton where you cannot go to Tim Hortons for a coffee without hearing about the power play (a story Dustin Penner mentioned).

But there is the matter of keeping the young players the team has already begun to groom and prepare for long and successful careers. And of course, the additional top player they get to add this season. By setting aside “too much” of the pie for Ryan Smyth, even the Smyth loving fans of Edmonton could start to turn or at the very least get a little upset.

Matheson compares Smyth to Milan Hejduk, who is the same age and who got $3 million, but there is also Todd Bertuzzi’s deal we can have a look at. Bertuzzi is signed through the next two seasons with a cap hit of $2,075,000.

This isn’t the same $100,000 gap from the last contract negotiations, but if these numbers are close the chasm may be the same. And although Smyth came home to finish his career, there may once again be tears at the airport.


Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Ryan Smyth, | Oil Patch | Permalink


Hank1974's avatar

Back to the Islanders!

Posted by Hank1974 on 05/29/12 at 12:39 PM ET


Please sign him Oilers, anything to avoid another tear jerker at Edmonton International Airport…

Posted by dash_pinched on 05/29/12 at 01:05 PM ET


if getting rid of Smyth guarantees a free spot for Yakupov. Trading him would not be a bad thing.

Posted by hockeyfanland from Canada on 05/29/12 at 05:05 PM ET


I would take Smyth at $3M+ over Bertuzzi at $2M 100 times out of 100.

Posted by Garth on 05/29/12 at 08:20 PM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

I see a lot of value in keeping Smyth with the team, even if he doesn’t fit into their top six every night. That may also be the hold up. Smyth believes he can still be a productive top six player and so wants to play it, and wants to be paid accordingly. That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for either party when trying to figure out where to take the numbers from here.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 05/29/12 at 09:28 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Oil Patch

Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed here

Follow on Twitter @lisamcritchie

Or contact directly lisa.mcritchie@gmail.com