Former Edmonton Oiler faithful, Ryan Smyth, is heading back to the place where he belongs and never wanted to leave. The Los Angeles Kings forward was traded to the Oilers in exchange for forward Gilbert Brule and a fourth-round draft pick. Smyth is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.5 million this season, although the cap hit is $6.25 million.
Earlier in the week, Smyth asked the Kings to be dealt back to the Oilers, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his career. He’s been on three other teams in the last five seasons, the last two with the Kings. He had 23 goals and 24 assists with the Kings last season. Smyth has 355 goals and 405 assists in 1069 career games.
Back in 2007, due to failed contract negotiations, Smyth was traded to the Islanders for part of the 2006-07 season. Becoming an unrestricted free agent in the subsequent off-season, he signed a five-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche. After two seasons with the team, he was traded to the Kings in July 2009.
A crying Ryan had held a conference before leaving for joining the Islander – that was the scene that stole the hockey headlines at the time of the trade that sent him to Long Island. When it became public that his contract extension was denied on the basis of just $100,000 the whole thing seemed very avoidable by the Oilers management. Now things seem to be set back in place and a 35 year old Smyth can return to his beloved team and perform a more supporting role and help mold the youngsters there.
Update: Looks like I spoke too soon, the trade may be in jeopardy. It seems that the LA Kings have raised an issue with forward Gilbert Brule’s fitness. Kings were to get Brule and a fourth round draft pick in exchange for Smyth. We’ll have to see what happens.
Second Update: The deal to bring Ryan Smyth back to the Edmonton Oilers is complete. The Los Angeles Kings traded to Smyth to the Oilers in exchange for forward Colin Fraser and a seventh round draft pick in 2012 on Sunday