There are few people in the NHL at the moment that are more familiar with Craig MacTavish’s aggressive posture than the recently traded Ladislav Smid. After signing a four-year contract over the summer, the defensive specialist didn’t figure to be going anywhere. After the Edmonton Oilers started the season 4-13-2, you couldn’t blame Smid for believing that his job was even safer than before.
After all, this was an Oilers team that was getting crushed in their own zone. While a minus-six doesn’t look good on a team like the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s pretty darn OK for a guy on a team that has a negative-27 goal differential through just 19 games.
Yet Smid was deemed dispensable by the “bold” MacTavish as the GM decided to try and patch all the holes on Edmonton’s sinking ship at once by signing Ilya Bryzgalov to a one-year deal. That contract required cap space, so MacTavish flipped Smid to a provincial-rival in the Calgary Flames.
Smid bets that more trades are coming down the pipe though. He spoke to Mark Spector of SportsNet.ca, and the recently traded defender had some interesting things to say:
They’re going to start dealing guys. Mac (GM Craig MacTavish) is not afraid to move guys, for sure. He wants to succeed. He doesn’t want to wait. I think there’s been too much waiting, too much waiting. He’s not going to (mess) around.
Take it from the guy who recently moved into a house that he built in Edmonton following his four-year pact. He may be onto something. MacTavish is cornered at this point, and dealing Smid across enemy lines may seem normal compared to what’s coming next.