Anatomy of the deal

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe speaks to media about the Ryan Smyth trade at Rexall Place in  Edmonton on...

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe speaks to media about the Ryan Smyth trade at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Jason Franson)

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:15 PM ET

Don Meehan said the expiry date on Ryan Smyth as an Edmonton Oiler, down to the minute, came at 12:40 p.m. yesterday - twenty minutes prior to the trade deadline.

That's when Oilers GM Kevin Lowe pulled the plug on trying to sign the 12-year heart-and-soul, face-of-the-franchise, most beloved modern-day Oiler of them all.

"That's when it was realized we were not going to be able to come to a deal," said Smyth's career-long agent.

NEGOTIATIONS

In a telephone interview with the Sun only minutes after his client's trade to the New York Islanders had been announced, Meehan said there had been no lack of negotiations down to the wire.

"We had discussions throughout the last two days. We had negotiations. They weren't able to conclude.

"The last two days were pretty hectic. We had very active discussions. We ran out of time. We just weren't able to come to an agreement on all the issues involved.

"We'd never imposed any deadlines. Obviously, deadlines were more meaningful to them than to us.

"We had issues right until the last day which were critical. It was not only money."

Meehan called Smyth at home when the trade had been made official.

"He was shocked," he said.

"The first thing was to deal with his family."

WASN'T TOLD

He said there was no discussion at the point where the last negotiation attempt concluded.

"They didn't tell me,'' he said of the decision by Oilers GM Kevin Lowe to follow through with the trade.

"They obviously made their decision in what they felt was the best interest of the team. They never told me their rationale. They played things pretty close to the vest."

Meehan said when negotiations broke off during the summer, the Oilers told him there would be no further negotiations until after July 1, when Smyth became an unrestricted free agent.

"We had the understanding then, when they made an offer, that if we didn't take it, they wouldn't talk to us until the end of the year.

"In the last two months they asked to restart talks and we were happy to engage."

There was instant speculation that the Oilers served up Smyth as a rental for the Islanders' drive for the playoffs and might negotiate a return to Edmonton on July 1.

"Let's leave that for another day. That's a discussion for another time."


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