Ryan Smyth is a part of Oilers history. He was one of the best Oilers in the early to mid 2000's and lead them to the stanley cup final in 06. He will always be remembered by Oilers fans. But that was half a decade ago and now he just has to give up and retire from his playing career. He's old, slow and can't keep up with todays game.
The problem with Smyth isn't his attitude or his personality because he is a great leader and can still be a good influence in the dressing room, the problem is his speed and stamina. Look at 2011-12. He was one of the top scorers in the league for the 1st half of the season but did nothing in the second.
And look at last year. He was too old and slow and took pointless penalties because he just couldn't keep up with the other players. I wanted to kill him every time he took a pointless hooking or tripping penalty.
But, he still has a contract and the Oilers can't bury him in the minors because thats a disgrace to his legacy and you can't disgrace one of your former superstars. So what can the Oilers do with him?
The best option for everybody is to give him a job within the organization like teams like Detroit have done with Yzerman. Make him a amateur scout or something. But I think the Oilers have already attemted this and Smyht has said no and that he wants to finish his contract and retire with the Oilers. So what do you do then?
There's really only 2 other possibilities. He could be the 13th forward and just be a leadership type player in the dressing room. Or he could play on the 4th line givin the Oilers lack of depth.
The only reason he could get a spot on the 4th line is because if the roster stays as it does now there are really only 3 NHL wingers for the bottom 6 in Hrmsky, Jones and Joensuu. So for the last winger the Oilers would have to go with Brown, Smyth, Acton or Hamilton.
Brown is more of a extra that only plays when they need a fighter so he won't get the spot. But I think they'll give the spot to Acton or Hamilton because they're younger and could be part of the future core of the team. So that leaves Smyth as the 13th forward.
Where do you think Smyth will play this season? Will he get a permanent roster spot or will he be an extra? Or will he even accept being an extra? We'll find out soon enough but the most likely option in my eyes is him being an extra this season and getting a head office job when he retires.
What do you think?