40-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Ryan Smyth Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
Smyth announced his retirement Friday, according to the Edmonton Journal.
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Ryan Smyth: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Ryan Smyth.
Some thought Smyth might retire this off-season as age has certainly caught up to him. He was held to only two goals in 47 games last season and is no longer a top-six forward. With his ice time dwindling, Smyth may still decide to hang up the skates, but as of early August, he is slotted to play on the third line with little to no power play time. The Oilers won't cut him however, even though he is no longer an offensive force. His value is as a mentor to the young Oiler forwards. Avoid him come draft day.
When you look at Smyth's 2011-12 season, you could say he had a productive one -- 19 goals and 27 assists. But on closer examination, you realize the bulk of his points came in the first half of the season and at 36, his game is in decline. He is also no longer relied upon to be a big offensive threat as that will fall to the young guns on the team. Instead, he'll be a leader and steadying influence for those young players. Smyth should be a fixture on the third line this season.
Smyth got his wish and was traded back to Edmonton this offseason. The veteran winger has had some of his best seasons with the Oilers, having recorded six seasons of 25 points or more with the Canadian club. His last two seasons with the Kings saw Smyth score 22 and 23 goals, respectively, which may be too much to ask now as Smyth's role with the Oilers may be more of a mentor to the younger players and not the man to go to in must scoring situations.
Smyth's first season in Los Angeles wasn't any different from his stops elsewhere, as he produced when in the lineup (22G, 31A), but missed significant time due to injuries (67 games played). Nearly half of his points (24 of 53) came on the power play as he led all Kings' forwards in power play minutes (3:55 minutes per game), and he typically found himself skating alongside Anze Kopitar at even strength as well. Sooner or later his style of play will catch up with him, and at 34-years old, you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank. Complicating matters is a fractured ankle that he sustained at the IIHF World Championships. He's supposed to be healthy when training camp opens, but will likely have missed a good deal of offseason training as a result. He'll produce if healthy, but that's becoming less and less of a probability as time marches on.
). Smyth’s years of hard-nosed style of play are beginning to show up on the stat sheet and the decline may be a sharp one it starts rolling. 26 goals for a pathetic Avs team is nothing to sneeze at and he’ll be a top six forward for the Kings after an offseason trade but you have to wonder how much his 33-year body has left in the tank.
Smyth should once again return to his spot as the Avs' No. 1 left winger in 2008-09. Before Sakic went down with his injury last year, Smyth played with him on the team's top line. That should be the case again this year, but coach Granato may decide to tinker a bit and experiment with his line combinations. Regardless, whether Smyth winds up flanking Sakic or Stastny, he will be given premier ice time, both at regular strength and on the power play. The question is, how many games will he play in that role? Smyth missed 27 games to injury last year and at 32 years of age, the veteran warrior is showing more signs of wear and tear. That makes him somewhat of a risk from a fantasy perspective. So, pencil him in for 50-55 points at the outset, with upside to about 60-65 if he can avoid the injury bug. Just don't take a chance on him too early in your draft - there are other players out there that are more of a sure thing for that level of production.
Smyth will line up alongside Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski on Colorado's first line.
The development of Hemsky, Horcoff and Stoll took a lot of the spotlight away from Smyth last year, but that was a good thing. Smyth put together one of the best seasons of his career in 2005-06, recording the second-highest totals of his career in goals (36), points (66) and power play goals (19). As long as he's healthy, don't be surprised if he posts back-to-back 30 goal seasons for the first time in his career.
Smyth was the man for Edmonton in 2003-04, leading the team in nearly every offensive category. He led the way in goals (23), assists (36), points (59), power play goals (8), power play assists (10), game winning goals (6), and shots (245). He will be the focal point of the offense up front again, so expect similar production this year. His point total should hover in the 55 to 65 point range.