LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 03: Ryan Smyth #94, Drew Doughty #8 and Dustin Penner #25 of the Los Angeles Kings skate back to the bench after celebrating a goal by teammate Jarret Stoll #28 (not in photo) against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period during the NHL game at Staples Center on March 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Coyotes 1-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Helene Elliott gets more, not less, definitive.
Kings' Ryan Smyth wants to be traded back to Edmonton - latimes.com
Kings left wing Ryan Smyth [...[ wants to be traded back to the Edmonton Oilers and the Kings have tried to oblige him. A person with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to comment publicly confirmed that Smyth, citing his family's best interests and preference for the city where he began his career, had his agent talk to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi about a trade. Lombardi discussed scenarios with the Oilers but talks have dragged. Lombardi confirmed he had spoken to Smyth. "But I would like to keep those discussions private," Lombardi said Monday. Smyth's agent, Don Meehan, did not respond to several emails.
Which now means that either Ryan Smyth is deviously splitting hairs in denying he asked for a trade when the truth is he asked his agent to do it for him, or the source (presumably a Kings source) is lying.
However, look what we have here, Elliott has buried the lede:
Lombardi is also negotiating with Meehan on a new contract for franchise defenseman Drew Doughty, who can become a restricted free agent July 1. Lombardi visited Meehan's Toronto office twice and was blistered both times. Lombardi said he had made "a series of offers," and should have a better idea where things stand later this week.
That's not exactly how Lombardi framed it in his interview with Rich Hammond. And I just remembered I was in the middle of a response to that interview when the whole Smyth thing came up and forgot to post it. Oops. (coming right up)
I also wanted to mention this post from the Oilers fan blog, Lowtide:
You know, Ryan Smyth is the perfect mentor for these young Oilers. He bleeds copper and blue. I don't know that the cost--however severe--is as much an issue with this player as it would be with any other. Fracture is a terrible thing, and the Oilers, their fans, and ownership haven't been the same since he left. Ryan Smyth is one of us. Bob McKenzie wrote today that Smyth had requested a trade to Edmonton (since denied by Smyth, but McKenzie stands by his original story); it sounds like there will be a window of oppportunity sooner or later. Steve Tambellini needs to make it happen and put things right.
SBN's own Oilers' blog, The Purple and Gold, has been strangely silent on the Smyth matter.