What happened to the Battle of Alberta? The Edmonton Oilers traded prominent defenceman Ladislav Smid to their biggest rivals the Calgary Flames this evening. The deal was concocted to free up cap space, allowing the Oilers to sign free agent goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
It’s rare for rivals to trade with each other. And as far as rivalries go, Edmonton/Calgary is one of the NHL’s most vicious from a historical point of view. But tensions have declined in recent seasons while both franchises have suffered from a lack of success.
Here are the trade details as tweeted by the Edmonton Oilers official Twitter account:
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 8, 2013
The Flames are rebuilding. They’re happy – finally doing it properly. In Calgary, prospects and picks are all the rage. But, with Brian Burke involved in the process there will be no hesitation to acquire quality players in the midst of a long-term shake-up.
The Oilers began the whole rebuild thing shortly after losing in the 2006 Stanley Cup finals, and in that time they’ve stockpiled an abundance of young assets only to find that a talented young core doesn’t always translate to high placement in the standings.
After years of reloading with high draft picks expectations were high for Edmonton entering this season, and they’ve quickly failed to answer the call. As the Flames add a veteran defenceman to the lineup in the early stages of a revamp, the Oilers find themselves still figuring out much about team identity, many years into a roster restructuring that is still very much in the exploration stage.
The deal is not world changing, but it’s a good one for both teams. Calgary inherit a reliable defenceman with a respectable cap hit of $3.5 mil per season until 2016-17. The Oilers free up cap space for an upgrade between the pipes. Cap numbers courtesy of Cap Geek dot com.