Thursday, January 3

Penner v. Smyth

Mid-Season Comparison

I'm trying to divert my disgust with the Edmonton Investors Group, so I thought this would be an interesting exercise.

While Ryan Smyth wasn't traded for Dustin Penner, it's clear that Penner got Smyth's money and was, for all intents and purposes, his direct replacement. Who would you rather have? To the scorecards:

There's a lot of Oiler fans out there who still haven't gotten over the Ryan Smyth trade. I'm not one of them. So for me, the last number is the most interesting. Do people still think Ryan Smyth is worth that money in today's market? There are 31 players in the NHL making $6 million or more, 18 of them are forwards. Ryan Smyth is the 21st highest paid player in the league, and 13th highest paid forward. He ranks 81st in league scoring. I've watched Ryan Smyth his entire career, I know there is much more to his game than just scoring. But for $6.25 million a year, I would want more.

More to the point, is Ryan Smyth worth $2 million more than a guy who is six years younger, who hasn't had multiple knee surgeries, and is putting up almost identical numbers? If you toss in the fact that Robert Nilsson seems to be developing into an actual NHL player, I think Kevin Lowe got it right. He knew Ryan Smyth was not a $5 million player, but he offered it (and then some) anyway. Smyth may have done the Oilers a favor by turning it down. Draw your own conclusions.