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Smyth, Oilers agree on two-year deal

Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:40 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

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NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
Smyth, Oilers agree on two-year deal

With a team of such young talent, the Edmonton Oilers were able to keep one of their own veterans shortly before he would have been available on the free agent market.

The Oilers announced Sunday they have signed forward Ryan Smyth, 36; it reportedly is a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.25 million. Smyth would have become an unrestricted free agent after finishing a five-year, $31.2 million contract he signed with the Colorado Avalanche in 2007.

Smyth had 46 points in 82 games last season for the Oilers after being away from them for four-plus seasons. Smyth was a first-round pick by the Oilers in 1994 (No. 6) and played in Edmonton until he was traded to the Islanders late in the 2006-07 season. He went on to play in Colorado and Los Angeles before returning to Edmonton via trade last summer.

Smyth has recorded 806 points in 1,151 NHL regular-season games. He has another 59 points in 93 playoff games and helped the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, when he had 16 points in 24 playoff games.

With young talent Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov, Smyth will continue his role as a veteran leader and mentor on the up-and-coming Oilers, who also won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes Saturday and signed the University of Wisconsin star defenseman to a two-year entry-level contract.

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp