Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

One Player Unhappy With The Playoffs

Last season Ryan Smyth was a member of the Los Angeles Kings.  He requested a trade to Edmonton - his original NHL team - for family reasons.  The trade was a bit of a fiasco.  At first Los Angeles was a bit unhappy with the circumstances but eventually agreed to a trade for Gilbert Brule and a 4th round draft pick in the 2011 Entry Draft.  That trade never went through because Brule was shown to be hurt more seriously than expected in his Kings physical.  A trade was eventually negotiated for Colin Fraser and a 7th round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.  It wasn’t a particularly big price to pay for Smyth.

Smyth returned to Edmonton and had a solid season on a bad team, but as a result of his trade demands he is likely to miss out on a Stanley Cup victory.  Smyth will be a free agent this summer and has thus far been unable to reach a contract agreement to stay in Edmonton.

It is possible that Los Angeles would not have been able to get into this position to win the Stanley Cup if Smyth was still on their roster.  Smyth commands a significant $6.5 million salary cap hit.  Would LA have been able to trade for Jeff Carter if they had Smyth’s contract on their books?

In a league where there is no clear best team right now, it looks like Los Angeles is the lucky team that will win the Stanley Cup.  Who would have thought that their Stanley Cup victory may have been made possible by Ryan Smyth’s trade request last summer?  And what must Ryan Smyth be thinking today when he realizes that he probably could have been there for a Stanley Cup?

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink


Nathan's avatar

So it was Smyth leaving that likely enabled them to get Carter, and thus be the team they are now, but Smyth is missing out on a Cup? Doesn’t add up. At this stage in their careers, Jeff Carter is a much better player than Ryan Smyth, so even if you could rationalize that it was essentially a swap of those two players, the Kings still wouldn’t have been as good of a team with Smyth in place of Carter, and as you say, in a year where there’s no clear team that is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the playoff pack, that marginal difference can be all it took for the Kings to be where they’re at.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/07/12 at 03:23 PM ET


It’s not luck.

Posted by Garth on 06/07/12 at 04:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/07/12 at 02:21 PM ET

If this blog has taught me anything, it is that if an elite team does not win the Cup, then it is luck.

But on to the actual question at hand, does LA make it this far with Smyth and no Carter? Maybe. Smyth was a 45-50 pt/season guy. Carter was on pace for about 45 with LA. Probably Carter would have been better than 45 if he’d had 82 games w/ LA instead of 16.

However, if Smyth were on their roster all season, LA may have not had such a poor offensive season. Potentially they enter the postseason with a higher seed, more home ice and easier opponents. But they made it this far by being the underdog and maybe they would not have gelled so much if they didn’t have to work so hard just to make the playoffs. But then you also gotta factor in the effect of the Venus transit from this week and how it impacted Smyth’s astrological sign. And also, did a butterfly flap its wings in Thailand last December? Do dogs barking keep Smyth up at night, and do his old neighbors in LA even have dogs? What other unknowns have we not even considered?

No offense, but it’s complete and utter speculation. As for my opinion, I doubt Smyth feels like he gypped himself out of a shot at the Cup by leaving LA. For one thing, it was already clear LA was in good position to make a run at the Cup two seasons ago. And Smyth still left. For a bad Edmonton team. The sad thing for him will be if they don’t re-sign him, because Edmonton has some great pieces in place now too. Maybe he will go to Columbus so he can continue being one of the best players on a bad team. Maybe that’s his thing.

Posted by awould on 06/07/12 at 06:12 PM ET

Pharazon's avatar

how do you know he’s unhappy…

where are the quotes with what’s he’s said?

have you spoken to him personally? this is a misleading title based on nothing but an assumption, that may have no place in fact.

he might be happy for his former teammates, but happy that he is with his family in edmonton. you don’t know this do you?

another poorly writen and misleading article with no research

Posted by Pharazon from England on 06/08/12 at 09:37 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com