The Los Angeles Kings have traded Ryan Smyth to the Edmonton Oilers for Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft.
The Kings had been having trouble working out a deal to get Smyth back to Alberta, as he had requested.
Well, L.A. and Edmonton have finally reached an agreement and completed a trade.
Of course, Smyth will be returning to the Oilers.
He began his NHL career in Edmonton in 1994-95. He did not play for another NHL franchise until getting traded to the New York Islanders during the 2006-07 season. He then spent the next two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche traded him to the Kings, with whom he spent the last two seasons.
L.A. sent Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a fifth-round 2010 draft pick to Colorado to get Smyth.
Smyth played 149 regular-season games for the Kings, scoring 45 goals and 55 assists. Last season, he recorded 23 goals and 24 assists.
Fraser played six NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, but he has only been an NHL regular since 2008-09.
He spent his first two full seasons with Chicago. In the 151 games he played in those campaigns, he scored 13 goals and 23 assists.
With Edmonton last season, he notched three goals and two assists in 67 games.
Obviously, Fraser is not meant to replace Smyth’s production. But his 2010-11 cap hit of $825,000 leaves room for Lombardi to make more moves to bolster the Kings’ offense — something he already did with the acquisition of Mike Richards.
In fact, it seems Fraser is more a replacement for Wayne Simmonds, who was lost in the Richards deal.
An Oilers blog named Lowetide discussed Fraser’s skills in a post from Aug. 23, 2010 – ”Toughness, penalty killing, faceoffs…” — and his role — “3rd line center, checker, penalty killer.”
Fraser was a member of the Blackhawks when they won the 2010 Stanley Cup.
Smyth has told the Oilers’ website he is “really excited” to be back and that he “never wanted to leave in the first place.”