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.