Ladislav Smid was the second Oiler traded this season, but he doubts he’ll be the last.
“They’re going to start dealing guys,” Smid told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector on Tuesday. “Mac [GM Craig MacTavish] is not afraid to move guys, for sure.
“He wants to succeed. He doesn’t want to wait.”
Trading Smid to inter-provincial rival Calgary underscores MacTavish’s aggressive approach.
The 27-year-old blueliner wasn’t viewed as a prime candidate to be dealt, especially since he signed a four-year, $14 million extension with the Oilers seven months ago. Smid planned to be with the Oilers for a while, even building a new house in Edmonton — but when MacTavish took over GM duties from Steve Tambellini (the guy that signed Smid), all bets were off.
Now it seems they’re really off.
Trade rumors have swirled around the Edmonton organization for almost the entire season. Jordan Eberle was linked to Philadelphia and Nail Yakupov’s name has been tossed around incessantly, so much so that all parties involved were in shoot-down mode on Tuesday.
Yakupov said “I love this city and I want to play for this team,” while MacTavish accused ESPN’s Craig Custance — who on Monday reported Yakupov’s agent, Igor Larionov, was headed to Edmonton to discuss his client’s role on the team — of “manufacturing” a story.
Of course, it could be argued MacTavish also played a role in said manufacturing.
He promised “bold things” and to be a “man of action” upon taking the Oilers gig and, to be frank, flipping Smid and Mike Brown isn’t exactly rocketing off the boldness chart. (MacTavish did make several moves in the offseason, but that was before the Oilers went 4-13-2 to start the year. The time for boldness has arrived again.)
As such, it’s unsurprising to hear Smid talk of an Oilers team that’s ready to keep dealing.
“I think there’s been too much waiting, too much waiting,” Smid said of MacTavish. “He’s not going to (mess) around.”