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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Forward Ryan Smyth Returns to Edmonton

Ryan Smyth is on his way back to the Edmonton Oilers. The Los Angeles Kings announced on Sunday that they have traded Smyth to the Oilers for center Colin Fraser and a seventh round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. The original agreement had Gilbert Brule and a fourth-round pick going to the Kings, but an injury to the 24-year-old forward kept them from sealing the deal. Sources claim the Kings intended to buy out the final year of Brule's contract, but the current collective bargaining agreement prohibits NHL teams from buying out injured players. Los Angeles was willing to trade Smyth to Edmonton for just a seventh-round pick, but the Oilers wanted to move a little salary and included Fraser in the deal. Smyth requested a trade last week to his former team, where he spent 12 seasons from 1994 to 2007. He has one more year remaining on his current contract. In all 82 games last season with the Kings, he had 23 goals and 24 assists for 47 points. Fraser appeared in 67 games last season with the Oilers, scoring three goals and two assists for five points and 60 penalty minutes. This is a decent move for the Oilers, as Smyth will bring lots of leadership to the young team. He also brings plenty of veteran, offensive depth and skill on the power play. Fraser will bring plenty of grit and toughness to the Kings' checking lines. In the end, this trade was mainly for Los Angeles to shed some salary after acquiring Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers this past week, as well as satisfy Smyth's request to be traded back to Edmonton.

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