Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond at LAKings.com,
Members of the Kings’ front office staged a one-day invasion of Toronto with a singular mission: win over Brad Richards, the prime target in this summer’s free-agent market.
The NHL’s signing period for unrestricted free agents started at 9 a.m. Pacific time Friday, and the Kings wasted no time in making their substantial pitch to Richards—a seven-time 20-goal scorer—in the office of his agent, Pat Morris.
In a meeting that lasted more than two hours, the Kings made their offer to Richards. The presentation had a multi-media aspect as well, as the Kings showed Richards a video that included greetings from Kobe Bryant and other local athletes and celebrities.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have acquired forward Colin Fraser and a seventh-round draft choice in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for left wing Ryan Smyth, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Fraser, 26, played in 67 games this past season with the Oilers. He recorded five points (3-2=5) and 60 penalty minutes. It was his first season in Edmonton after spending the previous four campaigns with Chicago, including the 2009-10 season when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and Fraser recorded career-highs in goals (seven), assists (12) and points (19).
A 6-1, 193-pound native of Sicamous, British Columbia, Fraser has played in 224 career NHL regular season games. He has 41 points (16-25=41) and 168 penalty minutes. He has also played in five career NHL postseason contests. He was originally selected by Philadelphia in the third-round (69th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft
From Bob McKenzie (twitter):
As @DarrenDreger reported, Ryan Smith is heading back to the Edmonton Oilers.
From Darren Dreger (tweet):
Sounds like it could be player for player. Smyth for Brule?
From Pierre Le Brun (twitter):
Source close to Ryan Smyth says he’s headed to Edmonton. Kings and Oilers still working out details. Is this drama finally over?
Update 7:22pm ET: From Helene Elliott (twitter)
ryan smyth goes back to edmonton for Brule and a pick. just wish he hadn’t denied that he wanted out. no shame in doing best for family.
Update 11:41pm ET: No news from the teams, yet, but Helene Elliott provides another update—
ok, it’s done. it’s Smyth to Edmonton for a fifth-round pick and Brule. but the Kings will move Brule along as soon as possible.
updated 12:08am 6/25/11, via Bob McKenzie tweet,
Confusion reigns supreme on Smyth to EDM deal. Tambellini says it’s not done. Misunderstanding on terms of conditional draft pick. Hmmm.
Los Angeles Kings forward Ryan Smyth could be returning to Alberta, but not with the Edmonton Oilers.
According to TSN’s Gord Miller, the Calgary Flames are closing in on a deal for Smyth, who would have to waive his no-trade. The Flames would send a late round pick back to Los Angeles.
Smyth is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.5 million this season, although the cap hit is $6.25 million.
Yesterday, Eric Duhatscheck at the Globe & Mail quoted Kings GM Dean Lombardi on the topic of Smyth:
Lombardi confirmed he had primarily dealt with three teams, and “particularly two right now.”
“I’m not in a great position here,” continued Lombardi. “I’m trying to adapt. I’ve talked to one team a number of times and they’ve been very forthright in terms of trying to get a deal together - and I hope to have that wrapped up here in a day or two.”
Update 2:40pm: At the same TSN link above, Miller reports this deal is already done, “pending ownership approval.”
from Rich Hammond of Kings.com,
The Kings wasted no time in making a major offseason move, as they acquired All-Star center Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in exchange for winger Wayne Simmonds, center Brayden Schenn and a 2012 second-round draft pick.
In Richards, the Kings get a two-time 30-goal scorer who, at age 26, should be just entering his prime years. The move gives the Kings an enviable one-two punch at center with Anze Kopitar and Richards, both of whom are point-per-game threats.
Richards, who served as the Flyers’ captain, is under contract through the 2019-20 season and is known as a strong two-way player in all situations.
“This is an incredible add to our hockey club,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. “‘m very, very excited about it. You don’t want to lose anybody, to take anybody off your hockey club. Simmer has been a great trooper and a great player for us, and I wish him all the luck, but on the other side of it, with adding a guy like Mike Richards, this really helps us start to live up to our own expectations, of just moving on and becoming a real good team. He’s a proven, quality player, a quality guy. He’s a captain. It’s going to be a tremendous fit, I think, to our hockey club.”
via Bob McKenzie tweet,
It is not done but CGY is working to acquire Ryan Smyth. Smyth has final say with his NTC but it may be as close as he gets to EDM.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
Mike Richards would have been an awfully nice fit at centre for the Maple Leafs.
Jeff Carter less so - more of a shooter - but still pretty good.
Alas, the frustration for Brian Burke is on the day the Flyers moved both, he got shut out on both.
Richards, a more expensive, 2011 version of Doug Gilmour, you could argue, was the one Burke bid hardest on. But, from a Leaf perspective, at least Los Angeles likely won’t be in the bidding for Brad Richards now that they’ve got Mike Richards, the former Philly captain.
If Brad Richards now wants the big money and the long term, it looks like he’ll have to get it from the Rangers or the Leafs. Anywhere else, he’ll have to go for a discount. This we know; he won’t wave his no-trade, so he’ll be free and open to offers on July 1st.
And the Leafs will be making him an offer.
From Gord Miller at TSN via Twitter:
Mike Richards to LA for a package including Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds? Hearing from good sources that it could happen.
And from Bob McKenzie—
Unconfirmed reports that Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds would be PHI bound. But not done yet. Could happen. Stay tuned.
Update 4:09pm ET: TSN story—
The overhaul of the Philadelphia Flyers continued on Thursday, as the club shipped captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings.
Coming back to the Philadelphia are forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
Update 4:30pm ET: Note—Philadelphia also received a 2nd round pick from LA in this trade.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have acquired center Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forwards Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second round draft selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Richards, who served as the Flyers’ captain for the past three years, is 26 years old. He is signed through the 2019-20 NHL season after inking a 12-year contract with Philadelphia in December of 2007. Richards is a two-time 30-goal scorer who has averaged 28 goals, 42 assists and 70 points over the last four seasons while playing in an average of 78 regular season games per year. He has also during that time played in 57 total playoff games while helping lead Philadelphia to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. During that playoff run he recorded 23 points in 23 playoff games.
Said Lombardi: “We felt at this stage of the franchise it was time to make a significant move for an impact player. Mike Richards is not only one of the top players in the league, he’s also universally recognized as one of the finer leaders in the game and one of its elite competitors. Additionally, given that he’s only 26-years-old and he’s on a long-term contract, he fits our plan now and for the long-term future.”
From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News:
TSN’s Bob McKenzie broke the story on Monday evening, citing a source who claimed Smyth had told Kings management he’d prefer to return to the Oilers if a trade could be worked out.
McKenzie noted no deal was in place and it would be difficult to move Smyth, given his current contract, which will pay him $4.5 million next season, but comes with a cap hit of $6.25 million. McKenzie also suggested Oilers management would be lukewarm to the prospect of bringing back Smyth, though he would be a good mentor to the young players on the team.
Smyth subsequently denied he was seeking a trade, telling the Edmonton Journal he had no idea where this was coming from, but the Los Angeles Times and LAKingsInsider.com cited sources confirming McKenzie’s report.
Whether or not Smyth requested a trade, it doesn’t make sense for the Oilers to acquire him when he’s still carrying a hefty cap hit, let alone the assets they’d have to part with to land him.
read on plus other odds & ends
For more on Smyth’s future, an article from John MacKinnon at the Edmonton Journal
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Could Ryan Smyth be returning to the Edmonton Oilers in order to finish his career with the team that selected him in the first round of the 1994 entry draft?
A deal certainly isn’t imminent and won’t necessarily be an easy transaction for either the Los Angeles Kings or Oilers to close, but sources tell TSN the 35-year-old left winger has indicated to the Kings his preference would be to play next season in Edmonton if a trade can be worked out.
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