LA Kings’ left wing, Ryan Smyth is entering his last season with the team. He is respected, loved, has proven himself a mentor and a valuable contributor on and off the ice. With all of those accolades, the Kings have to find a way to trade him if they want to have any shot of improving their roster through free agency. His $6.25 million dollar cap hit is a leash around Dean Lombardi’s neck that will keep our GM from making any significant acquisitions. Here is why:

The Salary Cap is currently at $59.4 million. It will likely go up. Let’s assume it rises to the expected $62.4 million.

The Kings currently sit at $48 million (rounded up). That assumes Michal Handzus and Alexei Ponikarovsky don’t sign. Add Brayden Schenn and you add a little over $3 million. Now, the Kings are at $51 million.

“That’s $11.4 million Scribe? What’s the problem.”

Did you forget Drew Doughty and Wayne Simmonds are restricted free agents? Want to risk Doughty to an offer sheet? Long term, short term, who the hell knows with Drew but let’s assume he signs long term, with a cap hit of $5 million. Let’s further assume Wayne Simmonds signs short term with a cap hit of $2 million…am I dreaming here? Maybe. Humor me. Now, we are a little over $4 million under the Cap. The more we pay Drew and Wayne, the worse it gets.

If you assume Brayden Schenn takes Michal Handzus’ spot, who takes that of Ponikarovsky? Bring someone from within? While the choices are many, if you go down the middle with Kopitar, Stoll, Schenn and Loktionov as your centers, you have Dustin squared (Penner and Brown) as your 1st line wings, Smyth and Williams as the second pair, Clifford and Simmonds as your third pair, and Lewis and Richardson as your fourth pair. Lewis could also play center. What about Scott Parse? Let’s see how he plays in camp before we slot him in. He did just miss over one half a season and had surgery.

Regardless of the pairings, we have a maximum of $4 million, give or take, with which to play. Damn, I just realized Trevor Lewis is also an RFA. Take another $1.5 off the cap. That leaves $2.5 million? That isn’t going to add a top 6 anything.

Now, turn that $2.5 million into nearly $9 million. Suddenly, Brad Richards is well within our sights. Want Zach Parise? We can not only afford him, we can trade for him and sign him long term (please don’t raise your fist and claim there is no way we are getting Parise. I realize it’s a long shot. I am using him as an example or, better stated, a symbol of the type of talent we can get with a Smyth-less team). The different between the LA Kings icing essentially the same team as last season, minus a couple of veterans, plus a couple of kids verses adding a definitive top 6 forward through free agency or a trade is Ryan Smyth’s contract.

Do you have the patience to ride out another season of potentially “more of the same” or do you want to take that next step now? I am not asking you. If I was, you would respond, “is Terry Murray still coaching this team?” I am asking Dean Lombardi.

If the LA Kings haven’t asked Ryan Smyth to retire, I would be surprised.

If Lombardi is not seriously considering trading him to the Oilers for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th round pick, or another Canadian team, I would be down right shocked. There is that pesky no movement clause.

If I know Dean, he sees that contract as the greatest obstacle he has to improve the on ice product.

If I know Dean, he knows he has to make a move.

Bah, what do I know?

What do you think boys and girls?

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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27 replies

  1. Doesn’t Smyth have an NMC? Would he really waive it to go to Edmonton, even with all the sentimentality that would involve? He’s never won a Cup. Would he retire and forego that one last chance?

    • Yup. He sure does. In fact, I just mentioned that. Would he go? I don’t know. I do know the Kings have talked with him and that’s all I can say about that issue. The question really becomes this: If he knows the GM wants to trade him and asks, does Smyth say no? I want to stay? This is the “business” aspect of any sports franchise that can be hard on the players and fans

  2. In a perfect world we could dump him and his huge salary cap to dangle some cash to a guy like Parise or Richards… but the guy can still lace up the skates. Albeit he’s lost a step or two.

    Better question is: What team would take him and his last year of playing in the NHL with that huge hit against their cap?

    Smyth had to waive his no-trade clause and up root his family to come to LA. The guy isn’t going anywhere. He’ll retire an LA King.

    • Bet you dinner and drinks before a game Ryan Smyth doesn’t finish this season as a King. Deal?

    • I agree. It would be extremely difficult to move him, even if he gave DL permission to find him a team. $6.25 mill is going to be a hard sell. There might not be alot of Richards type players available through free agency, or trade this summer, but there will be a few Smyth types available, that could be had for millions less, so convincing someone that they need him will take some work.

      A trade would probably yeild us the room to make a deal for a Richards, or Parise type, but I don’t think it will be that easy. The best thing we can do is make the best out of having him on our team, and make what could very well be his last season in the NHL a memorable one.

  3. I think Penner goes before Smyth. Penner is no longer even in the dog house. They have tied him in the yard and are selling tomatoes. I know the Penner doesn’t have the cap hit of Smyth but I think he has a no movement clause, where Penner does not.
    Heck get rid of both and free up 10.5 mil and get 13 mil to spend. Oh wait we forgot Alec Martinez. pocket change?
    If the Kings are going to trade Smyth it could be back to the Avs. Let him retire there. They are way under the cap and could use a guy getting paid 4+ but credited at 6+ and he might agree to waive his NMC for the Avs. I can not see him wanting to play for the Oil (ok I can’t see anyone wanting to play for them)

  4. I doubt Smyth goes anywhere.

  5. Maybe offer Smyth an over payed coaching spot?……maybe.

  6. You want to trade the only LW that has been able to score with Terry Murray as coach? We’ve already seen every other LW fail to score 20+ goals for Terry Murray over more than one season. He played all 82 games and still tied for the Kings scoring lead in the playoffs.

    Smyth is more valuable to the Kings than people want to admit, especially with Murray as coach.

    If Richards decides, against every indication and report, to sign with LA. Then Dean will move Stoll and send Schenn to the AHL. That is over $6 million in cap space. Besides Richards, what other top 6 forward is available for cap space?

    Parise isn’t going anywhere, especially not to LA. Worst case, NJ will file arbitration and he will get a 1 year deal.

    The greatest obstacle to improving the on ice product is behind the bench. Smyth has proven that he can score for Terry Murray. Penner has not shown the ability yet and is a huge question mark for next season. Losing Smyth and only getting 5-10 goals from Penner would not be good. Or do you think that Murray will open up the game and play a balanced style of hockey?

    • … I’d rather have Stoll and Schenn on the roster and not have Smyth. Any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      Stoll scored more goals and points at even strength last season than Smyth did. Stoll scored more game winning goals. Stoll was also great on the draw and good defensively, two things Smyth doesn’t bring to the table at all.

      To give up a center like Stoll, who is in his prime, and a center like Schenn, who is young and has good upside potential, in order to hold onto a 34-year-old left wing – that is lunacy, and if the Kings decide to do that, they deserve to lose.

      • You would rather have Stoll and Schenn than Richards next season? Schenn could end up in Manchester next season anyways, even without Richards in the lineup. Schenn has zero NHL goals and you would rather have him than Smyth?

        In 2012-13, the Kings could have Richards, Kopitar, Schenn down the middle and you wouldn’t want that?

        Smyth isn’t keeping Stoll and Schenn off of the roster, Richards would be. Until we know Doughty’s and Simmond’s cap hits, it is all guess work anyways. Dean has almost always signed a player for much less predicted by the media and fans.

        • … If Lombardi can’t move Smyth, then he shouldn’t be going after anyone like Richards. It’s that simple. He made this bed, he made the silly move to acquire Smyth and his contract in the first place, and now he has to sleep in it.

          Perhaps Schenn does end up in Manchester anyway; obviously we don’t know one way or the other. But to not even give him a chance to see if he can succeed in the NHL next season is a terrible waste. And for what??? To acquire Richards while keeping Smyth on the roster? No thanks. I’d rather have Stoll and Schenn than Smyth and Richards.

  7. It sounds like you know something we don’t, but I can’t imagine they’d ask him to retire. I think that would be pretty insulting to him. Despite the fact that he disappeared for half of the season, he still scored 23 goals and 47 points, and played well in the playoffs. Sure, his cap hit is too big right now, but that’s what you get at the end of contracts with older players, and he was useful for us the last two years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounces back this year and stays more consistent, picks up his speed a little and continues to play well around the net.

  8. Richards isn’t going to be a King anyway. There are a number of teams and GMs that want or need to sign a proven star player in his prime. The Rangers are going to buy out the last year of Drury’s contract and give Richards more money than he’s worth. They have a habit of doing that.

    You forgot to put Westgarth in the line-up. And Williams on the first line.

  9. If there’s a trade out there for a First line scoring superstar, then Jack Johnson is our best option to move…

    7 year deal, affordable for a ( So Called ) top 2-3 defenceman, ready to play now

    We have Martinez, who proved he can play, and may be even better in a more offensive role

    We have the depth on defence coming in, and can make greater players out of them than Jack!!!!

  10. I like Smyth and what he’s done here in LA, but it’s clear that we need to make some moves this off season, and someone has to be dealt. Perhaps the opportunity to get to finish out his career in Canada would be enough incentive to get him to waive his NMC, but how do we know that anyone we get for him will be able to produce in Terry Murray’s system? Penner has to go. We have seen that he cannot produce, and in spite of the damage he has done to his marketability with his performance with the Kings, he might bring in something on the trade market. I would not want to trade Johnson and have to rely on Martinez and Williams, who could have a recurrance of injury issues. We have to see what Doughty and Simmonds get offered, or if Simmonds is put out there as trade material. I would hate to lose him too, but if he got us Parise or Richards, it could well be worth it in the end.



    • … I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t see the Kings unloading that much salary without taking some salary in return. The Oilers aren’t into charity, last I checked.


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