Why the Leafs should not sign Ryan Smyth this offseason

Ryan Smyth is a great player but the Leafs should pass on him. The Leafs should save that money and invest in other free agents and keeping their youth.

The reason why the Leafs as a franchise has failed the last while is that they give away prospects for players that are past their prime for a short amount of time. Or they overspend on free agents that are past their prime. In the salary cap era you must be careful who you sign to big bucks because it might hinder your team’s future in so many ways. Smyth will probably want around $6 million. I am sorry he is not worth it. I would rather use that money in getting a Scott Hartnell who is 25 and is entering his prime and use the money you saved from Hartnell toward other players. If the price/contract is right the Leafs could go for a Forsberg or Kariya to help the Leafs lack of scoring punch. If the price is not right then you go balls out next years free agency and hope a guy like Marleau, Thornton, Iginla or another big player could be pursued. One of these guys can take over the torch from Sundin.

My arguement on not signing Smyth is based on this. Would you rather have 2 good players with potential vs 1 good player that can produce but may be beyond his prime and overpay for him with the potential of screwing up your salary cap OR would you rather have Ryan Smyth compared to a Marleau, Thornton, Iginla or another big free agent? To me the choice is easy, you pass on Smyth.

23 Responses to Why the Leafs should not sign Ryan Smyth this offseason

  1. Peca4PM says:

    100% agree….he may be worth it the first two years, but hes lookin for 6 years and a cap hit of 6 mil in that 5th and 6th year is not something this team can deal with, go for a more all around player like kariya, with a shorter contract, 3 or 4 yrs

  2. JuicemaN says:

    Exactly, I've been preaching the Smyth topic for months now, I do not want them to sign hi mto any amount of money that is higher than 3.5 Million, he's not worth more than that.  Get Hartnell for 3-3.5 and let Smyth go ripp some other team off.  Marleau is for some reason one of my favourite players and I would love to see him in Toronto.

    good post!

  3. Glucker says:

    hartnell's agent is looking for 4

  4. Glucker says:

    well, in 6 years that 6 mill won't look like much

  5. Glucker says:

    I'd sign Smyth over Marleau this year, cuz Marleau is RFA i think, and i dont wanna have to give up so much for him

  6. Hoondog2 says:

    In my personal opinion Smyth is not the way to go.

    The Leafs need gap fillers for 1 more year before impact players such as Tlusty and Kulemin start to graduate to the big club.  The Leafs should be looking at 1 year deals until next year.

    Trade McCabe to NYI for Hunter and pick/picks.
    Trade Pohl to move up in the draft.
    Sign Peca and Bertuzzi to 1 year deals
    Sign a good backup for 1 year.

    Tucker               Sundin                Bertuzzi
    Antro.                Welly                  Ponik.
    Steen                Stajan                 Hunter
    Kilger                 Peca                   Devereaux

    Kaberle                Kubina
    Colaiacovo            White
    Gill                      Kronwall

    (Cujo, Weekes)

    This team gets the Leafs in the playoffs, and valuble experience for next year.

    It is not unrealistic to think next years team could look like this

    Sundin              Thornton              Bertuzzi
    Antro.               Wellwood             Ponik.
    Steen                 Stajan                Tucker
    Kulemin              Tlusty                 Hunter

    Kaberle                 Kubina
    Colaiacovo             White
    Stralman               Kronwall


    This team could compete with anybody!

    I'm not saying this would happen, but we have the freedom to pursue these kind of options.

  7. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Marleau isn't a free agent at all.

  8. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Iginla, Thornton, and Marleau will all be signed before July 1st next year.

    Also, who's to say the cap doesn't go up? Who's to say Sundin doesn't retire? Every year we say the cap won't go up that much, and it went up $5 million, and then possibly $8 million now. At this rate, just the cap increase could even it out enough to sign a Marleau, Thornton, or Iginla.

    Smyth scored 36 goals on a team with no center. Here he gets Sundin. He's a rebounding guy. McCabe and Sundin both have huge shots with big rebounds. Do you realize how many goals the Leafs missed out on because no one was in front of the net? Why do you think Roberts played so well here?

    And by the way, I'd rather Smyth than Marleau.

  9. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Also, why say Smyth MAY be past his prime, and then think of the bright idea of signing Kariya or Forsberg?

  10. Wilson52 says:

      Leafy, read my article a bit closer. Marleau is a free agent next year. Read carefully before you comment.

  11. Wilson52 says:

      Leafy you are such a hyporcite. You said in an earlier article that you would like to see Kariya in a Leaf uniform. Also, if you sign Hartnell you use the money you saved on him and pursue a Forsberg or Kariya if the contract/money is right. Smyth will want 6 million and a long term contract while Kariya or Forsberg would want around the 4 million range and a shorter term contract which will not lock up your cap for years. Also, Forsberg and Sundin have played together and we all know what they did in the Olympics together. Kariya is a skilled player that has a great shot and can make sick passes. I think Sundin would benefit more from a guy of Kariya's make rather than Smyth's make.
      If they do not sign a big free agent this offseason use that money to keep your youth and pursue a big name free agent next year. It is going to be hard for San Jose to keep both Marleau and Thornton because they will want big money or they may want to test the waters. Who knows, its a gamble.
    I rather get Hartnell and another player than Smyth this year or wait till next year.

  12. lukeleim says:

    Vitaly Vishnevski 1.2-1.5 million
    Brandon Bochenski 800,000-1.1 million
    Michael Ryan 600,000-900,000
    Jeff Friesen 800,000-1 million
    Scott Walker 1.8 million-2.5 million
    Josef Vasicek 800,000-1 million
    David Tanabe 800,000-1.2 million
    Bryan Berard 1 million-1.5 million
    Patrik Stefan 1 million-1.5 million
    Todd Bertuzzi 2 million-3 million
    Mathieu Garon 1.5 million-2 million
    Martin Skoula 1.2 million-1.8 million
    Todd White 1.5 million- 2.2 million
    David Aebischer 1.2 million-1.8 million
    Paul Kariya 3.5 million-4.5 million
    Mike York 1.8 million-2.2 million
    Robert Esche 1.2 million-1.8 million
    Curtis Joseph 800,000-1.2 million
    Alexander Mogilny 650,000-1.1 million
    Jeremy Roenick 500,000-800,000
    Gary Roberts 1 million-2 million
    Mark Recchi 1.5 million-2.2 million
    Radek Dvorak 1 million-1.8 million
    Michael Peca 1.5 million-2 million
    Bates Battaglia 750,000-1 million
    Trevor Linden 600,000-1 million
    Jeff Cowan 600,000-800,000

    Worst bargain UFA's 2007-2008:
    Ryan Smyth 6 million-7 million actual worth: 5.5 million
    Chris Drury 6 million-7.2 million actual worth: 5.2 million
    Daniel Briere 6.5 million-maximum actual worth: 6 million
    Scott Gomez 6 million-7 million actual worth: 5.5 million
    Michal Handzus 3.5 million-5 million actual worth: 3 million
    Sheldon Souray 4.5 million-6 million actual worth: 4 million
    Scott Hartnell 3 million-4.5 million actual worth: 2 million
    Scott Hannan 4 million-5 million actual worth: 3 million
    Andy Sutton 3.5 million-4 million actual worth: 2.2 million
    Michael Nylander 4.5 million-5.5 million actual worth: 4 million

  13. the_word says:

    Always nice to read an article from someone who gets it.  Forget signing two forwards for your top two lines, you sign Hartnell and you've filled in the Leafs stop two lines.  You can then have money to get a new goaltender (and it shouldn't be a back up), leave yourself wiggle room for the season and not lock yourself up with Smyth for 5 to six years.

    Not only Harnell cheaper, but he's as productive Smyth, so there is no short term lost.

  14. fernz says:

    i wouldnt sign betuzzi because he would want way too much money and than if da leafs do sign him den hes going to miss games with injury problems!!!!!!1 sign someone like kariya, hartnell, briere, drury or someone else good because dey wont ask as much money as bertuzzi will.

  15. Wilson52 says:

         Leafy you finally made a good point. However is it worth 6 million a year for 4 years or more to sign a guy like this? Yes he is a good leader, yes he is good at scoring the trashy goals but I believe he ties up your salary cap for years.  If he was cheaper or younger I would sign him. However the Leafs need more skilled players and by committing 6 million to Smyth you lose the ability to acquire two players around the same range Smyth could be potentially making.  Also, Smyth has not scored over 40 or more goals in a season. Is that worth 6 million?  I would gamble on guy like Bertuzzi even though he could be cancer to sit in front of the net and collect trash at a cheaper price. Kariya who has proven he can score and set up plays in the NHL. Or go for Forsberg who is one of the best play makers in the league and make Sundin and the guy riding shot gun on their line into a 30+ goal scorer. All these guys are cheaper and proven they can produce just as much or more than Smyth. All this aside I rather see the Leafs go after Hartnell first and spend 3-4 million a year. He is big, strong, physical, responsible on both ends of the ice, can play wing or centre and he is only 25. Hartnell is a player that can play a great role on a lot of teams for years to come.

     The only time I believe you spend over 6 million on a player is if he is a franchise player. Smyth is an excellent player but not a franchise player.
    The way you build a team is carefully sign the right players to good contracts and when you have money to spare then you go out and make a splash.

  16. Wilson52 says:

      To add to what I said earlier, how do you know for sure if Marleau, Thornton, Iginla are going to be signed before free agency starts next year? A lot can happen and there is a lot of uncertainty in the salary cap era in the NHL

  17. JuicemaN says:

    I think in a year or two he'll be worth that but ight now he's not…I'm getting sick of GM's paying players for their potential and not for what they've done.

    I hope he doesn't get 4 million….I thought this damn salary cap was supposed to minimize wasted money…I guess not.

  18. KingCanada says:

    Im sorry but i ACTUALLY agree with Leafy, Smyth IS a franchise player, he is wat you would want EVERY captain to be like, he has qualities like say a player like Drury altho good player doesnt put that many points compared to the rest with the salary hell make, but people will still fork top dollar for those intangibles he brings.

    Sundin will retire soon and he NEEDS a winger, i dont mind overpaying for Smyth, he would be a GREAT investment, if he wants top dollar id sign him only a few years like 2-3 but if he wants a pay cut say at like 5.5 id sign him forever, dont care if he declines over the years, just dont care..hed make a GREAT replacement for Sundin as a captain.

  19. Wilson52 says:

        Interesting. Like I said, do you know that Smyth has never scored 40+ goals in a season before? Do you know that Smyth has never has never reached the 80 point plateau or averaged a point per game in one season? I like Smyth, in fact I am one of his biggest fans but a forward that has not scored 40+ goals, 80+ points and averaged more than a point per game during a season is not worth $6-7 million. Do you want to have this type of contract screwing up your books for a long time if he does not produce? You are stuck with him and it will be hard to move him. To succeed in the salary cap era you have to be really intelligent with your finances. The problem with a lot of Leaf fans is that they look to much into the present instead of looking at the big picture. Making the playoffs are nice but to win the cup, you must have a plan. I rather suffer through 3 bad season and have 3-6 kick butt years and winning a cup compared to 6 ok years when the Leafs make the playoffs.

       To me the way you win in the salary cap era is you need a good mix of young players (they do not take up so much cap space). That means drafting and developing are key. When you have the money you pounce on a big name franchise player to help you win the cup. Why do you think the Ducks won the Cup? They developed within really well within and when the timing was right they went out and spent big bucks on Niedermayer and used a lot of the cap space to make a good trade with the Oilers in acquiring Pronger.  With the new free agency rules in place, you are going better players in their mid to late 20's become free agents. For the most part, I would rather invest in a big name free agent in his mid to late 20's compared to a player in his early 30's.

        To me Smyth is not the guy you go out and spend big bucks on. I would rather wait and get a bigger name than Smyth who is younger for about the same range or a million dollars more. I would like to hear your response to that because I know what you are going to say next.

  20. Wilson52 says:

      Thank you but too bad Hartnell is not available. Read what I put above and see if you agree.

  21. KingCanada says:

    I am well aware of his career point totals and all that but thats not the point.  Points dont tell the whole story, look at Jagr, he scores points by the boatload but is a shitty captain if u ask me.  Smyth to me is the steriotypical Leaf that Maurice is trying to mold our young players into.  Maurice enforces a high offence crash and bang style and wat better way to learn then one of the best in the game in Smyth.

    Hes the glue that holds a team together, look wat happenned to Edmonton when he got traded, disaster.  Not to mention we will need a new Captain, and i dont want it to be Darcy Tucker.

  22. Wilson52 says:

    I knew it!!!! First of all I knew you were going to go with an angle like Jagr's. Second of all I knew you were going to mention the Edmonton situation. Third of all I knew you were going to miss my point. I would rather bring in a younger guy that can produce and build a team around for 5-8 years. Marleau, Thornton or Iginla could be available next year. What they have going is that they are younger, faster, more productive, more skill and have leadership abilities. Also is Smyth worth is asking price? Is it worth the cap hit? Could you find a better player for around that range?

    I think the 6 million give or take that could be spent on Ryan Smyth could be put to better use by spending it on other resources. Go back and review what I said about Anaheim. That is how you win the Stanley Cup. Hey I may be wrong about Smyth but that is the way I feel. The reason why I feel this way because the Leafs in the past have overpaid and gave up too much for players in the their 30's or past their prime. I can make a list that would boggle your mind.

    As a Leaf fan I am sick and tired of other Leaf fans not evaluating all the potential options. I will give you credit, you make valid points. Its guys like Leafy or JoeSmo that post trades and ideas that are unrealistic, have no direction, vision or sense make me want to laugh at them.

  23. sikboy21 says:

    That's a bit scary – inflation isn't that nuts.  You also can't guarantee that the cap will continue to increase.

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