ryan smyth oilers

Contract talks between Smyth, Oilers at a stalemate


Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports negotiations between the Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Smyth have hit a snag.

The issue, it appears, is not how long the Oilers want to sign Smyth for — his agent, Don Meehan, says a two-year deal is on the table — but rather how much money the Oilers want to spend.

“Nobody is saying what the Oilers are offering,” Matheson writes. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the $2.5 million-$2.75 million range.  Smyth could be looking for more than $3 million a year.”

Smyth’s in a precarious position. He’s made it known he wants to be in Edmonton (hence why he orchestrated his trade out of Los Angeles) and while he’s coming off a productive year, he’s 36 years old and struggled in the second half of the season.

It’s a very similar scenario to that of Colorado forward Milan Hejduk, who has a bunch in common with Smyth: age, career stats, etc.

Hejduk, it should be noted, recently re-upped with Colorado on a one-year deal worth $2 million (in 2011-12, he played on a one-year, $3 million deal.)

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.