From Rich Hammond:

Ryan Smyth has a conference call going on now to talk about his move back to Edmonton. Smyth made an opening statement, in which he offered thanks to the Kings organization — specifically Tim Leiweke, Philip Anschutz, Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall — and thanked Lombardi for “accepting my wish to come back to the Oilers’ organization.” Smyth confirmed that he had requested a trade, in contrast to comments earlier in the week, when he claimed to have no knowledge of the trade discussions or their origin. Smyth said that there were no illnesses or health concerns in his family.

In explaining further, Smyth said, “My wife and I discussed it for a while, that we wanted to come back to Canada, just for personal reasons. The kids are starting school situations, so we thought it was best to come back. … My wife and I discussed it just after the end of the season. I didn’t want (media reports) to explode to the level that it did. So yes, I did request (a trade) for family reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time down there (in Los Angeles). It was jus ta different lifestyle for me and my wife to live in.”

So, let me get this straight.

You went to Dean Lombardi and requested a trade because you wanted to go back home…not because there was any family emergency, anyone was dying or the like, but because you were home sick.

You did this knowing (a) you were under contract, (b) by requesting this trade you would severely limit Lombardi’s options and minimize the return, (c) allowed the trade information to leak through someone obviously close enough to you to leak it, (d) limited your destination to Edmonton and (e) lied about it with a “wow” and disingenuous surprise when confronted about it.

Does that about cover it?

It’s a good thing I wasn’t at that press conference:

Moderator: “Yes, Bobby Scribe in the back”

Me: “Ryan, would you characterize your request for a trade back to Edmonton as more vaginal or hormonal?”

This was one step above Dany Heatley territory. Yeah, yeah, Ryan is a class act, great guy, I believe (or believed) all of these things as well, but let’s be clear on one thing – he royally bent the Kings over on this one. Then again, in looking at his destination, he and Steve Tambellini are a nice fit. Good luck Ryan.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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50 replies

  1. F-You Ryan Smyth you piece of crap! Karma is coming your way you Canadian Cry Baby!

  2. Who cares guys get over it. He is slow skating 35 year old. We should not care about Smyth lying through his teeth. We get his $6 million cap hit off our books. Smyth has lost the compete factor in his game. His decision to leave a contending team to go back home should raise an eye to all Kings fans on the man who wears #94.

    • it is bad because we are trying to show players that LA is a great city and we want them to want to sign here. When you have a guy say he didnt want to raise his kids here it does have a negative affect. I was glad to get rid of him and that cap hit, but then to say what he did was classless, after Dean had allowed him to go home.

  3. … Lombardi should thank his lucky stars that Ryan Smyth was willing to indirectly help the Kings rid themselves of what would otherwise have been a very precarious cap situation.

    As a Kings’ fan, I’m not pissed off at all about this at all. It was a rare taste of good fortune and good news.

    • I hear what you’re saying and you are, in some respect, absolutely right but I don’t believe that the end justifies the means and I find myself annoyed. I am over it though, as of 5 minutes ago because you are correct, we are lucky to get rid of the cap hit

    • Precarious Cajun situation? How so? Had we kept Smyth we would have 10+ mill in space to resign doughty, Richardson, Lewis and Martinez. That’s about 9 mill worth of players if doughtys cap hit is 6 mill. The cap would have been fine. Admittedly it is now better, and I think the Kings will be better off so long as they adequately replace Smyth with a 3-4 mill LW, but smyths contract was not going to cripple our roster this year.

      • God I hate autocorrect. cap not Cajun… idiot phone.

      • Had we kept Smyth we would have 10+ mill in space to resign doughty, Richardson, Lewis and Martinez. That’s about 9 mill worth of players if doughtys cap hit is 6 mill. The cap would have been fine.

        … Except that Doughty’s cap hit is likely to be around $7 million, as it should be. I had projected in the initial post about Doughty (the four faces of Drew, I think it was) that Doughty would seek Kopitar-type money in his deal – and it seems as if that is what’s happening, according to Bob McKenzie on TSN. Doughty absolutely should get that.

        • Fair enough. Doughty should get 7 per only if he signs a contract that gives us 2-3 of his UFA years. If the term is five, bringing him right to UFA then 6 is about right to me. It will be very interesting to see the final numbers and term. According to Deans last interview after the Smyth deal, it sounds like they agree on money and are mostly talking term.

          Either way, Smyth or no Smyth, I don’t see us in cause trouble for another few years (next cap issue I see is Quick an Bernier needing new deals the same year). Now with Smyth gone we are glorious with cap space. Its a good start to the summer!

      • we could get 2 twenty goal guys for that cap hit, and they will be able to skate faster than my grandma.

  4. I go back to the same question I’ve been asking myself the last couple days, why now? It’s possible, but I’d bet a healthy amount of money homesickness is not the reason. There’s something else involved.

    It’s hard for me to believe DL would go through this process at a disadvantage without it being a must. Homesickness is not enough for DL to say ok Ryan, even though it’s screwing us, we’ll do whatever you want!

    Smyth is and will always be one of my favorite players. I don’t hold this against him for one reason, DL could have said, “no, you’re staying here for one more year” and I believe Smyth would have honored that with professionalism. Something else was going on folks.

    He’s gone now and I don’t hive a hoot about him. We have to move forward and continue to improve. We will be a better team. Richards will fill the leadership void and our team will get faster and more flexible.

  5. Oh! the irony. I woke up this morning thinking about the request, and came to all the conclusions, before Smyth even confirmed them. I admit that I personally felt that him being traded would be a huge benefit to the team, and help free up some capspace, but I was also willing to except him being here for his last year, and wanted us to win a cup, for him, so that he could go out on top.

    In the end (I guess) we all got what we wanted, but the disingenuis nature of how everything unfolded was sad, and truly unnecessary. I don’t believe he lied to protect the Kings. He forced the issue, limited DL’s options, then lied to protect his interests in wanting out, not DL’s interests in trying to salvage what he could.

    If he truly wanted to help the Kings, there were 28 other teams, and DL could have gotten a better deal with more teams involved. So him lying to protect the Kings, when he handicapped the deal to begin with, was selfish, and self centered.

    Totally ruined any respect, and admiration he had built with his playing time here in LA.

  6. Ouch!
    Bobby you have any young children?
    Smyth has always been about family.
    probably more then any other King..except maybe Brownie. LA is a rough town.that is the truth. If you are not a big city person, I could see you being very uncomfortable.
    Yes professional athlete. Yes Big Dollars. Yes better to
    just be honest. But only human after all.
    I wish him well.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  7. Who cares. You only live one life, and it’s way more important than hockey. Enjoy your last year Smyth. Thank you for clearing some cap space. Don’t mind these butthurt fools.

  8. He did throw the team under the bus. The only parts of what you said that I don’t agree with are 1) about allowing the leak to happen, (That was on Dean, as he admitted last week. In talking to other GMs about replacing Ryan, they were asking why he was leaving and DL “had to” explain it to them.) and 2) in your comment about “hiding behind” his family – that’s not really a fair characterization. Now that it is official, he’s pretty forthright about his reasoning – “yes, I did request the trade for family reasons.” That’s all the explanation anyone is owed.

  9. Smyth did tie our hands here. Although we would have been dumping that contract somewhere
    else without much return even if there was no No trade clause. Any team taking it would be doing us a favor, the cap hit is just way to high for the numbers he will put up and anybody who wants him could just wait until he’s UFA. So better to get the cap relief now and hopefully upgrade #2 LW this offseason then be stuck with Smyth for a year. Plus Smyth would have just walked end of next year. At least we got something although not really much from the trade. All in all I think its a good thing, we are off the hook early and hes just too damn slow. I dont know how in the hell he’s gonna be able to skate with those kids on edmonton. Liewike should really let DL use that cap up now and get a solid 1st line LW and play Parse or Penner 2nd line. I say Johnson, Bernier and propsect and or pick for Parise. Then I think the roster would be set.

  10. Everybody is better in the end. But in my mind it cost Smyth the most — now, I will always question his integrity for a few reasons.

    He undeniably bent Dean over by saying “Edmonton Only.” (I saw at least one reference his refusal to waive the NTC foor CGY.) He knew exactly what he was doing.

    He’s admitting that his compete and his drive are simply not there, and surely not worth millions in real salary and cap hit, if he’s willing to trade a legitimate shot at 2-3 rounds of playoff potential for …EDM. “I’m willing to accept losing to keep earning a paycheck rather than retiring with dignity…” is what I see in his actions.

    At the end of the day, he could have sent his family home and played the season here. Hard, absolutely. Impossible, not even close. He’s on the road much 1/2 the season and playing night games in L.A. (ergo, not home when the kids get home from school.) They could have survived that for $5MM plus.

    We get the cap space to get fresher legs so we’ll survive. But I don’t have the admiration for him that I did.

    Remember how his team and teammates treated him for his 1,000th game? ANd this was suitable payback?

    I hope we win the Cup and he stews in what he might have been part of if he’d stayed. (Of course, we wouldn’t win the cup if he’d stayed,…)

  11. Funny thing, even though I’m as pissed as anyone here about Captain Canada and for all it’s worth Canada can have him eh? We literally got him for nothing considering we picked up Kyle Quincey on waivers and essentially flipped him, Preissing (bad contract), and a 5th for Captain Crybaby. In essence other than paying his contract for a 2 years and Quincey if everyone remembers was hurt for 60+ games last year not doing much in the 20 he did play. At least we still came out on top IMHO with getting a 7th and Fraser in the end. Smyth and his Canadian love can go take his snow and his disapproval of an American city’s lifestyle, education, et.al. and stuff it.

  12. “Smyth said he’s a team guy.

    “Wherever Tom Renney wants me, I’ll play.””


    Team guy, yes indeed.

  13. One thing is for sure, Lombardi said that he wanted a comprarable return to Gagne or Arnott, and he sure got it. So considering what those guys got, who are very comparable to Smyth- aging, oft injured guy who makes just a bit too much money in the last year of a deal- you can’t really say he got fleeced or anything, or handcuffed to take less because of the leak. If anything the leak helped a great deal.

  14. Funny thing is his daughters are 1 and 3. They don’t technically start real school for at least 2 years (unless Canada starts earlier). With the money he makes, he could easily afford the best pre-school money could buy in LA (which has to be greater then any pre-school he could find in Edmonton).

    Has to be more to it because the family excuse doesn’t add up.

    • They were 1 and 3 in 2006. From wikipedia;

      Smyth and his wife Stacey have two daughters,[32] Isabella May (born 2003) and Elizabeth Ann (born April 4, 2005) and one son, Alexander (born June 26, 2008).

      • That makes sense. The point about schools can still apply to private schools. LA offers some of the best in the country, unless they had an issue with their childrens schools here. I’m just guessing here, because I’d like to give Smyth some rope here, but I can’t.

        • I’m guessing it’s not so much the education itself, but more the community and lifestyle. Growing up in small town Canada, everyone is behind you and supports you, whereas growing up in L.A., everyone is waiting for you to fail so they can laugh their damn asses off.

  15. Was Smyth really pleagued with back problems this season?

  16. I don’t understand all this ‘talk’ about living in the ‘big, tough city of LA’. The city consists of many small communities. It is not as though he had to live on the streets of downtown! If he would rather live in Canada than by the beach with easy access to skiing in the mountains fine. As for being ‘homesick’ get over it. It is a state of mind. Most of the Canadian players go “home” to Canada during the offseason anyway, the hockey season is not that long! I do not want anyone playing for the Kings who would rather live somewhere else. The crap about schools is just that.

  17. I’m so sick and tired of Smyth being lauded as some great “family man” for taking his ball and going back home to Canada. What, were he and his wife just TERRIFIED that their innocent Canadian children would be jumped by L.A. gangbangers at their exclusive Manhatten Beach private school? Give me a break! If Smyth cared so much about his family he’d retire and spend time with them, not remain in a profession that demands constant travel. He had one year left on his contract with the Kings-THAT HE AGREED TO. One stinking year (about 6 months of actual playing time). He didn’t keep his word. He’s not a “stand up guy.” He’s a spoiled, overpaid brat!

  18. I don’t see why anybody is bummed about this, Smyth did the Kings a favor. They were lucky to get any return for him in a salary dump. He doesn’t have enough left in the tank to help this team and at the salary he would have drawn / cap hit he can be easily replaced through free agency or from within the organization.

    And really I think this leaking out bent Edmonton over, not LA. Put pressure on the Oilers to bring in a beloved former hero. Before it leaked out they probably said no thanks.

    Kings are the winners here – thanks Ryan!

  19. For anyone interested, a rundown from a hockey blogger from Edmonton’s major newspaper measuring the general reaction from the populus regarding the Smyth trade (quoting this post, among others!):


  20. Hey Surly and Scibe you made it …. you are quoted in the Edmonton Journal today…awesome…


    • Ha ha. Not exactly “making it” by our measuring stick but at least he got my quote right. Not much substance to his article though. Just, “here is their reaction and remember the Gretzky trade.” I am firmly in the it’s in the past, doesn’t matter anymore camp now.

  21. At several points last season there were rumors of dissatisfaction and conflict in the locker room (and S & S aptly refused to discuss theme here.)

    Is there any reason to believe that this will go a ways to solving that? I’ve never liked the old “addition by subtraction” because most of the time the troubles are deeper than 1 or 2 players. But in this case did we just pull it off?

    • Is there any credible evidence that Smyth had anything to do with it?

      Also, you are right, we didn’t publish it because it was unconfirmed rumors.

      • I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking the question.

        Yes, it’s a roundabout way of speculating…But, I’m not asserting it happened.

        You guys have knowledge of rumors I’d never hear had you not mentioned them. So I figured if anybody would know, well, it’d be you.

        I withdraw the question, your honor.

        • I don’t withdraw the question. I wrote earlier I’d wager a large sum against Smyth and homesickness. I’ll double down saying there was a problem with structure and the coaching philosophy. Of course it’s speculation and rumor, but I’m willing to put my 30 plus years of experience in the locker room on the line. Smyth didn’t want to leave because of LA the city, he wanted to leave because of LA the hockey team. But that’s ok, we’ll be better for it. Go Kings.

  22. I’m pissed off too… at that UFA list making me dream about giving Kopi some Semin on his wing! man, that’s a nasty image. Smyth + Williams had old man magic, but no doubt Smyth was our biggest own zone liability. so give me Anze + scorer (even if defensively flighty, we can deal) + lunchpail (cf. Richardson) and see if that doesn’t make a bone fide #1 line. I’d love Palffy in a time machine–do R&D costs count against the cap?

    and I was under the impression that squashing room issues was the point of skating Matt Greene.

    • R&D costs are covered under operating costs, but if your going to go back, get me a young lucky Luc Robitaille.

  23. Sorry it was my fault. I told Smyth the best part of LA was near the 105 and the 110. It would be close to practice and Staples and away from the noise of the beach.

  24. Surly.. my phone is named POS.. isn’t that auto correct a NIGHTMARE?!!
    Your are so not alone..
    GO KINGS GO !!!

  25. I just sent out an SOS to try to find the email I recieved and lost.. no suprise.. about a year or so ago on Autocorrect.. it was hilarious! Hope to find and share..
    oh yea.. this is WAY off Topic.. :-0
    GO KINGS GO !!!


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