Kings Moving Up
It used to be that a trade involving Ryan Smyth was front page news. Now, it's an afterthought.
Captain Canada isn't the player he was, but at 33, he was still good enough to get an invite from Steve Yzerman. His move to join the Los Angeles Kings puts him on his fourth team three years, unfortunate for a player who once looked like he was an Edmonton Oiler for life.
Smyth had to waive his no-trade for this deal to happen between the Kings and Avalanche, and apparently didn't resist a la Dany Heatley, who can forget about a deal that would take him to Los Angeles now.
For the Kings, this was their latest move to add experience to an impressive young roster that includes Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson, Alexander Frolov and Drew Doughty. As well as Smyth, the Kings have added Justin Williams at the trade deadline and then signed free agent defenceman Rob Scuderi away from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
After missing post-season play every season since last making it in 2002, the Kings may be poised to make it back to the playoffs. They had 79 points last year in the tough Pacific Division.
Colorado, meanwhile, has been looking to dump contracts for a while now, so they were happy to exchange Smyth's deal ($6.25 cap hit, three years left at $6.5 million, $5.5 million, $4.5 million) for the contracts of defenceman Tom Preissing (two more years at $2.75 million) and rearguard Kyle Quincey (two more years at $550,000).
Defenceman Scott Hannan (two more years at $4.5 million) may be the next Avs player to go as Colorado management looks to shed money. The Avalanche are rebuilding around Paul Stastny and newly drafted Matt Duchene, and this is going to take a while. Attendance in Denver after so many years of sellouts will be interesting to watch.