The trade is done, per Darren Dreger at the draft. It would seem some complications arose this morning, with the original deal being to Calgary pending Smyth’s approval. Ryan preferred Edmonton (Duh) and allegedly asked Oiler GM Steve Tambellini to up his offer to beat Calgary’s. The result is a 4th round pick and former boom hopeful, now nearly bust, winger Gilbert Brule.
Now, Dreger is reporting it as official, but Tambellini refuses to confirm it at this time, likely to not steal any official Oiler thunder from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who became the 2011 first overall pick just 15 minutes ago.
So who the hell is Brule?
Well he began his NHL career as a Columbus Blue Jacket, being selected 6th overall in 2005. He played 7 NHL games that year. His true rookie season 06-07 saw him pot 9 goals and 10 assists in 78 games. The following year played 61 games, scoring just 9 points. He was then traded to the Oilers in the summer of 08 for Raffi Torres. Brule missed the cut at Oilers camp in 08-09. Since then he has played in 117 games over three seasons with Edmonton, scoring 26 goals and 23 assists. In 09-10 he had his best NHL season with 17 goals and 20 assists in 65 games.
Gilbert has developed a reputation for being poor at avoiding injury. He’s been called a bust. He was of one of those who scored at above a PPG clip in the WHL, but has obviously not been to find his scoring touch in the NHL. From what I can tell, he has spent most of his time, on either team, in a 3rd or 4th line role. Let’s also factor in that he has only played for two teams, both of which are terrible (Columbus less, but their successes have been since he was traded). Let’s also consider that Dean may flip Brule. Or he may fill out the depth of our bottom six. Or he may finally find his scoring touch if he plays with a team that can actually score goals (ie: not the Oilers or then Jackets).
He has one year left on his contract that pays him $1.8 million this year. He will be an RFA after this season.
So long Smytty. I wholly enjoyed your time with LA. Part of me wishes that you would have retired a King. You certainly would have been an asset on the 2011-2012 Kings roster, though I am now excited to see what Lombardi does with the 4.5ish million in cap space. Ultimately, I hope that Smyth’s family issues are sorted out and that they do not cause him too much distress. It would give me great joy to see Ryan end his career where it began on a high note, with a strong season nurturing the glut of young left wingers on the Oiler’s roster. He is also allowed to spear Jason Labarbera any time he pleases. He’s earned it.