Money key issue in Smyth-Oilers talks

Money key issue in Smyth-Oilers talks

Edmonton Oilers winger Ryan Smyth hoped to have a new contract before the season ended and while there is a two-year deal being discussed, money is the issue.

How much is he worth?

“He wants to remain in Edmonton and they know that,” said Smyth’s agent Don Meehan.

Nobody thinks this will get to July 1 when Smyth can be an unrestricted free agent. However, this has gone on longer than it should have.

An annual salary that’s comparable to Smyth, based on his age (36) and his points (46) this pasts season, might be one-time Oiler Jason Arnott, who is 37.

Arnott had a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues for 2. 5-million, signing as an unrestricted free agent last summer. He has career points in 1,244 NHL games.

Smyth has 806 points in 1,151 games. He likely would be paid for what he can still do on the ice — he may be a third-line winger next season, with power-play time — and some goodwill for playing 852 games as an Oiler.

If not Arnott, then how about winger Milan Hejduk, 36, who signed a one-year $2.6 million deal with the Colorado Avalanche this past season? Hejduk only had 37 points, nine fewer than Smyth, however. There’s also talk he may retire.