1. It is clear that Smyth wanted a 5 year contract in excess of 25 million dollars.
2. Despite his heroics this season, his loyalty to the team and his ability to play tough minutes, Ryan Smyth is not worth in excess of 25 million dollars over 5 years.
3. On an open market, Smyth will more than likely be offered a 5 year deal in excess of 25 million dollars; however, unless you define worth as what the highest bidder is willing to pay, point 2 still stands.
4. It is unfortunate that Ryan's career year in terms of production is coincided with his first shot at unrestricted free agency. Taking into account past production, at best what Smyth can be counted on is an average of 35 goals and 70 points per year over the span of a 5 year contract. Is that kind of production worth nearly 6 million dollars per season? I don't think so.
5. The return is on par with what Forsberg garnered, and I have no reason to believe that the market would yield anything more in terms of asset value. Sure, at this point neither O'Marra nor Nilsson are sure fire NHLers; however, they both have significant upside and are more likely than not to become regulars in the big show. Matt would have rather seen a single prospect of a greater pedigree than the two we picked up. However, there is no evidence to suggest that such a prospect was available, nor do I think many teams would be willing to part with a guy that is pretty much a lock to be an impact player at the NHL level for 20 games of Ryan Smyth. I am thus forced to conclude that Lower garnered as much value as the market would procure.
6. It is better to get something than nothing.
7. Whether or not Lowe used up funds by overpaying members of this team is immaterial. Even if he did, one overpay does not justify another.
8. Thus I simply conclude that Lowe made the right deal.