Don't be surprised if the Edmonton Oilers have captain Jason Smith signed to a multi-year contract today, ahead of tonight's deadline to get a deal done before the collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA expires at midnight. Indications are the Oilers and agent Art Breeze intend to pursue a deal right up until the deadline, if need be, and that the parties are quickly closing in on agreeable terms.
"We're getting closer on Smith," confirmed assistant GM Scott Howson yesterday afternoon when asked about the state of negotiations with Breeze.
Howson is also expected to talk with agent Ritch Winter today to see if there's room to get a deal done on Radek Dvorak before the deadline.
It's possible, but the sides apparently aren't as close to coming to terms as in the case of Smith.