Top 5 Questions Oilers Exhibition Games Will Answer

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#5 – Where will Ryan Smyth fit in the roster?

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings April 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Ryan Smyth (94) and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27) chase down the puck in the second period of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SportsThe savvy veteran will be fighting for a roster spot over the next few weeks and while it sounds outrageous to think that Ryan Smyth may not have a role on this club, it could be the cold hard truth.

Youth and speed have taken over the Oilers roster and Smyth was unable to adapt last year, coming up short on multiple occasions when he was racing and competing for a loose puck.

The third line may be suited for Smyth if he can prove he can keep up to the likes of Boyd Gordon, David Perron and/or Ales Hemsky.  If he can’t then the fourth line may be the only opportunity for the former heart and soul of the Oilers and even then, the question would be asked if he’s the type of player you want on a fourth line.

We’ve looked at Smyth’s situation in the past and maybe a full summer of training and not having to wait until January to play will help number 94.  The lockout hurt him when he wasn’t overseas playing like so many young stars did.

The next eight games will help decide Smyth’s fate with this club and at least this Oilers’ fan wants to see him ride off into the sunset following a full and productive year with the only team he belongs to play on.

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