The Edmonton Oilers announced today that they have signed blueliner Ladislav Smid to a new four year deal.
GM Steve Tambellini announces #Oilers have agreed to terms with defenceman Ladislav Smid on a 4-year contract extension ($3.5 AAV)— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 1, 2013
The deal comes a day after Edmonton Journal Writer Jim Matheson posted an article stating that Smid was hoping for a five year deal at the exact $3.5M cap hit he ended up receiving on a four year term.
I’d like a five years, around that term," said Smid, who has played 443 Oiler games since coming here along with Joffrey Lupul and draft picks in the Chris Pronger trade with Anaheim in 2007. "Yeah, five years at $3.5 million (a season), that would be nice. I’d be more than happy with that. Obviously you look around and see what other guys are making.
Smid is unquestionably the Oilers' top left-handed rear-guard, so his extension was critical to the team's ability to continue to rebuild a blueline corps that that been it's biggest weakness the last few seasons.
I don't need to quote stats here to tell everyone that Smid is no offensive powerhouse. He is very much a defense-first player in the mold of Brooks Orpik or Rob Scuderi. But he has found a home playing alongside Jeff Petry and the two have formed a legitimate top four pairing the last couple of seasons.
Smid had a very poor start to the season but seems to be slowly getting back on track. At 27, he is young enough to be a big part of the blueline in Edmonton for the next few years while the likes of Oscar Klefbom, Martin Gernat, David Musil and Dillon Simpson work their way to the NHL.
How good Smid has been this season is certainly a point of debate, but asking EDM to find yet another D for the org would be piling on.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) April 1, 2013
The deal keeps the Oilers from having to find even more defensive help this off-season as if Smid had been traded or left-unsigned, it appears there would have been great demand for him in the summer as likely the top blueliner available on the market:
With EDM signing Smid, scratch a coveted name from the trade pool. Several teams were eager to see if he was going to be available.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 1, 2013
The cap hit appears to be a decent deal for the Oilers as Smid will get a $1.25M increase from his current deal which was signed prior to his breakout season last year.
Overall, this has to be classified as a pretty strong move for the club. Smid is very vocal about his love of being an Oiler and wanting to stay in Edmonton. Getting him locked up avoids compounding a lack of NHL depth on the left-side with the likely impending departure of Ryan Whitney. The fact that they were able to do so at a reasonable cap hit bodes well for the team's ability to make future improvements to their blueline for next season.
Further Updates to this story as they slowly come out:
Smid's extension in Edmonton does not include either a no-trade or no-move clause. #tradecentre— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 1, 2013