Although, in the recent past I had been in favour of bringing back Ryan Smyth to the Oilers, with reflection I do not see the point. I don't see a spot for him to fill. I do not see him as a top 6 forward. I don't think he will be enough of a contributor to be brought back.
Smyth's scoring woes are well documented. He along with other vets like Shawn Horcoff went into the tank on late November, never to recover.
While the Oilers need help on the wings and at center, the Oilers requirements are to be bigger and tougher on the wings and more talented at the #2 center position. Smyth doesn't answer these needs.
Going into next season the Oilers will be adding AHLers Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander, and likely Teemu Hartikainen. The space for Smyth on the roster and under the cap become that much less. As a veteran on this team, Smyth was guilty of not being enough of a leader or contributor for a large part of the season. He was depended upon and couldn't deliver in his role. Take a lesser role here would be tough for Smyth, but it would be another role that Smyth would be unlikely to fill as well. Smyth isn't a checker or an energy player. His best years are long behind him, the Oilers need to move on.
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A forum poster since 2000. A proud founder and member of the Oilers Army. He contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to the Oilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/OR_TMC). Also, an Oilers blogger at Sportsnet Fan Fuel.