Ryan not cryin' for long

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

It's doubtful Ryan Smyth will be returning to the Oilers next season.

The sides may have only been about $100,000 apart when talks broke down before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline but sources say there's a lot of bitterness between the Oilers and Smyth in the aftermath of his trade to the Islanders.

While Smyth could have signed a four-year, $21.6-million (all terms US) deal and avoided the trade, it's believed he'll get upward of $6 million a year on the open market this summer as one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agents.

While Smyth had spent his entire NHL career in Edmonton, something went terribly wrong when both sides dug in and Oilers GM Kevin Lowe got upset enough to deal the heart and soul of his team to the Islanders for prospects Ryan O'Marra and Robert Nilsson and a first-round draft pick.

The Islanders will likely try to keep Smyth but they won't be alone in their pursuit. The Rangers, Panthers, Sabres, Coyotes, Kings, Canucks and Leafs may all make a pitch for Smyth's services.

Yes, Smyth was crying during his farewell press conference in Edmonton but once the dust settles this summer, he'll cash in with tears of joy.

OFF THE GLASS:

Two league executives told the Sun Senators GM John Muckler worked hard at the deadline to move backup G Martin Gerber and the $7.4 million (all terms US) remaining on his contract over the next two seasons. After happily signing Gerber as an UFA last July, sources say Muckler tried to package Gerber with D Christoph Schubert to the Bruins in exchange for D Paul Mara and G Tim Thomas. While Boston GM Peter Chiarelli is desperate for a goalie, sources say he politely told his former boss Muckler: "No thanks." It's believed the Senators will try to move Gerber this summer. The other player shopped around by Ottawa the most at the deadline: D Joe Corvo ... There's speculation the clock is ticking on Blue Jackets president and GM Doug MacLean because his club is going to miss the playoffs ... again. Just wondering? Would the Jackets bring in former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke to take over from MacLean? Clarke is close friends with former Philadelphia and current Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock. The reason Clarke stepped down from his post with the Flyers was because he didn't want to give in to owner Ed Snider's demands to fire Hitchcock.

AROUND THE BOARDS:

Former Rangers D Aaron Ward has learned the hard way not to cross captain Jaromir Jagr. Dealt to the Bruins for D Paul Mara at the deadline, Ward must be happy to be off Broadway. Sources say during a recent game against the Bolts, Ward got dressed down by Jagr in front of the Tampa bench on the ice for throwing a pass into the Czech superstar's feet. Ward, who isn't one to back down, told Jagr on the New York bench he wasn't going to take the criticism sitting down and warned him to "never do that again." That incident earned Ward his walking papers ... Several teams -- including Los Angeles, Boston and Tampa -- asked for permission to speak with G Martin Biron's agent before he was dealt to the Flyers. Biron has said he is willing to sign with Philly.

RUMOURS DU JOUR:

There were several teams -- including the Ducks, Wild, Wings and Sharks -- who spoke to the Isles about W Jason Blake. While it's believed GM Garth Snow was waiting until just before the deadline to make the move, he got a call from the Oilers early in the afternoon to let him know Smyth was available and backed off on dealing Blake ... There's varying degree of talk out there but the word is Lowe contacted more than 12 teams before dealing Smyth to the Isles. A lot of GMs are claiming they never got a call and they could have offered a better package ... The whisper is Bolts GM Jay Feaster has been told he's going to have to cut money out of his budget next season and the club's payroll could be in the $37-million range. That's led to speculation the Bolts will deal C Vinny Lecavalier. If that's the case, the lineup starts with Montreal GM Bob Gainey... Avalanche C Joe Sakic has let it be known he'd like to return to Colorado next season and negotiations on a new contract are expected to take place soon ... The Coyotes will try to bring back C Yanic Perreault, who was dealt to the Leafs at the trade deadline, next season ... The Senators haven't had any contract talks with G Ray Emery, who is making $925,000 this season and will become a retstricted free agent in the off-season. He could seek a deal similar to the $2.5 million G Ryan Miller is making with the Sabres.


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