This is a bad trade. I understand the argument about building for the future, and that at 36 years old (at the end of his 5-year deal) maybe Smyth would have not been at the top of his game (debatable), it’s the optics of the situation.
It just looks bad.
And more importantly, it FEELS bad. Not just for the fans, but for the entire team. This was the guy they counted on to bring energy to each game. Every game.
There are arguments that when he was injured earlier in the season the Oilers went on a winning streak, but could that have been simply because the remaining players notched it up in order to hold down the fort?
In two games, now, the Oilers have been shut out twice. Last night in his first game as an Islander, Smyth notched a point on an assist and our other traded Oiler, Marc-Andre Bergeron (arguably our “best” defenseman) got a goal.
Smyth is an elite player who wanted to stay in Edmonton, which few elite players would do, and not only that, he was worth every dime for the spirit he brought to the team, and the love fans had for him.
I won’t be surprised if there’s a massive drop in support for this club in the next few weeks.
The Oilers management would be smart to get him back at season’s end.