The Los Angeles Kings have filed a grievance with the NHL in regards to the Edmonton Oilers’ alleged misrepresentation of the health of forward Colin Fraser, whom L.A. acquired in a trade.
A broken ankle that had yet to heal required surgery. Fraser was operated on in L.A. The surgery was said to be a success, but there is no timetable set for his return. This is in spite of claims made by the Oilers during trade negotiations that he would need little time to recover.
He suffered the fracture in March; Edmonton doctors did not believe surgery was necessary for it to heal.
If the Kings’ doctors had their way, he would have been operated on as soon as possible after they first examined him.
“Our doctor is saying…`There is no improvement in this bone in four months. What’s going to change in two weeks? Let’s go in there and get the surgery done as quickly as possible, so he can get ready to play,’ “ G.M. Dean Lombardi said in an interview on LAKingsInsider.com.
However, an independent doctor advised waiting a bit longer, and that is what was done.
While the two teams were working out a trade centered around Ryan Smyth, Edmonton’s doctor said Fraser would be able to start training soon. This was a major factor in Lombardi agreeing to his inclusion in the deal but turned out to be wrong.
It will now be up to commissioner Gary Bettman to decide how to deal with this.
There are a variety of ways this could turn out — outside of nothing changing, other possibilities include the Kings receiving additional compensation or Fraser being returned to the Oilers’ roster.
Fraser was not even the first player of questionable health status the Oilers tried to include in the trade.
One potential trade scenario fell through regarding issues surrounding the health of Gilbert Brule, who had suffered a concussion.
This all started when Smyth asked to be traded, preferably back to Edmonton, a request L.A. honored despite the negative impact it could to have on the team. Of course, Lombardi likely never imagined anything like this would happen; the presumed negative impact at the time would have been that which comes with losing the team’s fourth-leading scorer.