Ladislav Smid didn’t like it the first time the Oilers traded him, so the mere threat of being moved had him sweating like Charlie Sheen at a border crossing.
“It was two nervous weeks for me, but I’m really happy today,” said Smid, reporting to work Tuesday after surviving Monday’s trade deadline.
“There was lots said about me being traded somewhere. You’re trying not to pay too much attention to it, but at the same time you think about it a bit. I’d be lying if I said no.”
Smid, who was included in the Ottawa deal that would have seen him, Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano go to the Senators for Dany Heatley, is a big fan of Edmonton and wants to put down roots.
“I’ve said it before, I’d like to stay here,” he said. “I think we have a great group of guys here and I see huge potential for the future. I would like to be a part of it. I like the city, I like our fans. I’d like to stay here.”
Even when it’s -20 C all winter and the team’s in 30th?
“I just like the team,” he said. “I enjoy coming to the lockerroom every day. It’s fun here. It’s hockey crazy and I love it.
“Every game is sold out. It’s just really fun to play here. I know we haven’t been winning much but I think this team can be really good and I’d like to be a part of it in the future.”
FROM SHUTOUT TO SIT OUT: Devan Dubnyk shut out the Predators last time they met, but after giving up eight goals in his last two starts, he was asked to step aside for Martin Gerber against Nashville Tuesday.
“It’s important for Gerbs to get a game in and I think Dubie needs to know that I have that latitude as a coach, that it’s not a slam dunk (he starts),” said Renney. “He was much better against Boston than he was against St. Louis, but there are still some things he needs to look at.”
TILL WE MEET AGAIN: Jordan Eberle has already been in touch with former, and future, teammate Colten Teubert, who went nine picks ahead of him in the 2008 NHL entry draft.
They spent four years together in Regina and the Oilers are hoping, after acquiring Teubert in the Dustin Penner trade, that they’ll be reunited some day in Edmonton.
“It’s kind of funny that we can’t get away from each other,” said Eberle. “Whole junior career, world juniors and all that stuff. Now this. He’s a good defensive defenceman, in your face kind of player. He gets guys off their games. I guess we need some of that.”
NO HOSE ZONE: Don’t expect to see Teubert with the big team this year, not even for a quick peek. The organization is taking this development thing slowly.
“We don’t have to force these kids to drink out of a fire hose,” said Renney. “Let’s slow down and do the right thing here and allow a kid that should probably be in the minors now to complete that loop.”