Ryan Smyth isn’t getting any younger, a fact emphasized on a young, upstart Edmonton Oilers team.
The 37-year-old Smyth is entering the final year of his two-year contract with Edmonton, which will pay him $2.25 million for this upcoming season. He is coming off a tough year, offensively, after producing only two goals and 13 points in 47 regular season games.
Once the heart and soul of the Oilers, Smyth is now the aging veteran on a team full of youth and talent, as in the case with players like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
Given his age and declining offensive production, there were suggestions this spring – as pointed out Jonathan Willis in a blog post for the Edmonton Journal – that the Oilers should buy Smyth out of the remaining year of his contract.
With training camp on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what role Smyth fits into.
“Whatever the coaches have planned for myself, for the team. Whatever is best for the team,” Smyth told Sportsnet.
“Obviously I want to be an asset and help, whether it’s offensively chipping in or keeping the pucks out of our end.”
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are going to take their rivalry outside on Saturday.
The Flyers visit the Penguins in a Stadium Series clash at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. You can catch the action on NBC or online with the NBC Sports Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Goalie nods: Murray, Neuvirth get the call at Heinz Field
Kris Letang won’t play in outdoor game; Schultz game-time decision
NHL On NBC: Penguins, Flyers meet in Stadium Series
Giroux: ‘It’s all business’ between Penguins and Flyers at Heinz Field
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have made a minor league trade.
The Bolts on Saturday acquired right winger Stefan Fournier from the Coyotes in exchange for right winger Jeremy Morin, who has played 82 career NHL games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fournier stands six-foot-three-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has two goals and four points in 29 games with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the AHL.
Morin, who has spent the majority of his pro career in the Blackhawks organization, has been a productive minor league player over the years. He has nine goals and 21 points in 43 games this season with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.
The New York Islanders entered today with a three-game winning streak and holders of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
But yeah, it’s been a disastrous start for the Islanders on Saturday. The Blue Jackets scored three times in the first period, chasing Thomas Greiss from the New York net after he stopped 14 of 17 shots faced.
Jean-Francois Berube entered the game to begin the second period and promptly surrendered a goal to Josh Anderson, who scored his 12th of the season.
Oh, look at that: Another heated melee involving the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings.
You’ll recall a first-period fight fest in a pivotal Pacific Division game between these teams almost one full year ago. On Saturday, in another meeting between these California rivals, the Ducks and Kings were once again at odds.
This latest conflict? Well, Corey Perry was involved. Again. (Last year, order had been restored during a brief scrum before Perry gave an extra shot to a Kings player, resulting in mayhem.)
Perry was called this time around for interference on Anze Kopitar. Kings players, as you might expect, suddenly rushed over before Nate Thompson and Brayden McNabb squared off in the main event.