Flames acquire Smid for Horak



The first ever trade between the Flames and Oilers involved an entirely mediocre defender (Steve Staios!). That’s pretty much true of the second ever trade between the clubs as well, except this time at least the dude isn’t completely over the hill.

Word came down this evening that the Flames have moved Roman Horak and G Laurent Brossoit for Ladislav Smid and G Olivier Roy.

Smid is 27 years old and one of the guys attained for Chris Pronger when he demanded a trade out of Edmonton started their downward spiral. He is entirely uninspiring as an NHLer – he has limited offense (career high 15 points) and doesn’t do anything in particular well. Smid has spent a lot of time taking on tough minutes for Edmonton the last few years, but he’s also spent most of the that time getting beat up. In fact, part of the Oilers on-going issues could be ably summed up by saying "Smid is a top-4 defender on this team".

Which isn’t to say Smid is completely useless. At 27 he’s near the peak age for NHLers. He’s big at 6’3, 209 pounds and he can hold his own in most physical confrontations. If the Flames plan is to sub him at the end of the rotation in favor of O’Brien, Billins, Breen or Smith, then that’s probably a step up. Otherwise, meh.

I was never as high as Roman Horak as some others, but I’m surprised the club moved him along for an eminently replaceable defender. Hartley clearly wasn’t anywhere near as enamoured with the former Ranger draft pick as Brent Sutter, so maybe the organization figured he was never going to crack the big club anyways. 

Brossoit and Roy are a swap of netminding prospects. The success of Jon Gillies probably made Brossoit seem expendable to the Flames, but even then I’m guessing this part of the deal was executed at the request of the Oilers (since Roy is an inferior prospect).

UPDATE – here is JW’s take for Oilersnation.

  • loudogYYC

    I’ve totally warmed up to this deal. At first I was pissed cuz I like Horak and I didn’t know much about Smid.
    The only think I don’t like about Smid is the 3 years left at $3.5M, it makes me think of Sarich’s last 3 years on his $3.6M/yr contract. Way too much money for such a limited player. I hope Smid turns out to be better than Sarich was.

    • everton fc

      Smid is only 27 years old. Remember that so way younger than Sarich. He also didn’t have the veteran dmen to play with to enable him to play within his strengths. I am looking forward to seeing him play & see how he does.

  • beloch

    I watch the occasional Oilers game, so I’m accustomed to seeing the League’s best and brightest utterly humiliate Smid pretty much every time he’s out on the ice. As such, I was initially dismayed to see him acquired by the Flames. Some Oiler fans are pretty happy to write Smid off too, saying that he’s been declining for years. However, the Oilers have such horrible depth in defense that Smid has been on their top pairing more often than not for years. He hasn’t declined, he’s been thrown out against tougher and tougher competition. He’s faced the toughest combination of zone-starts and QoC of any oiler this season, and that’s including Petry!

    To sum up, the Flames just snatched one of the Oilers’ top two defenders to play on their bottom pairing (once Gio is back), and all they had to give up were a pair of prospects who didn’t look like they were likely to crack the Flames’ roster any time soon. This is a minor win for the Flames, but if MacT doesn’t use the cap-space he liberated to bring back a stud defender to replace Smid, this is a huge loss for the Oilers. It’s nice to see Burke and Feaster pull off another heist!

  • loudogYYC

    Anyone in the nation going to his first practice to see who they pair him with? Feaster said the trade was made to take minutes away from the top two pairings.(create 3 sound pairings) Hopefully that means now and not until Gio gets back. Now if they would apply this same logic to the forwards and sit the guys who only play 5-8 minutes a game and bring up players from the farm that have earned another look or a first look.(Yes back to my favorite topic of rolling 4 lines)

    • Deaner_

      huh. Well, if they put Smid with, say, Derek Smith on the third pair, they could probably play about 15 per game. I say Smith because he can actually play with the puck, unlike O’Brien.

      I still think they’re probably thinking of playing Smid in Gio’s spot until he comes back, but it’s nice to know that they’re not proclaiming that they just got the next great defenseman.

      I’m still waiting for Feaster to preposterously over-sell Olivier Roy… they haven’t really talked about expectations other than sending him to Alaska.

  • MWflames

    Little late to the party, but here are my thoughts:

    – Praise management for properly identifying areas of weakness. This team needed a stay at home defender badly. Smid will help spread the work load, and should be an improvement on the PK and in defending a lead type situations. Also, our top four was performing well with everyone healthy, but our abysmal depth was obvious when gio went down. Smid is much much better suited for top four when injuries occur than Butler.

    – Praise management for identify areas of strength. Horak and Brossoit were redundant assets. We have lots of utility/depth guys like Horak coming through the ranks over the next few years and it would have been quite a crowded bottom 6. Also, everyone and their dogs are predicting Gillies to make a mark at the NHL level before Brossoit, so he probably would have been shoved down the depth chart barring major breakthroughs.

    – Praise management for receiving value on the trade. Any who thinks Horak & Brossoit had much trade value is nuts. We got a quality depth defencemen (and I don’t mean like an O’brien or Sarich type depth defencemen, Smid can play). We got a little lucky as Edm probably had a hard-on for their home grown fan favourite Brossoit, but from a VALUE perspective, this is a steal.

    I don’t even think this a knee-jerk reaction to Gio going down either. This is simply bolstering a defensive core, that desperatly needs it (with or without Gio), with expendable assets. Smid’s contract is likely pretty respectable and I cannot see it hampering this team in any way. Will be decent trade bait in a year or two as well.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      These are dark days in Alberta. I think we may need to help each other to get out of the pit. Like Captain Jack Sparrow would say ” Well mate, not trading with the enemy is really a guideline not a set rule” 🙂