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L.A. Kings mad at Edmonton over Ryan Smyth deal as Colin Fraser is injured

Jun 30, 2011, 1:55 PM EDT

Colin Fraser Getty Images

When the Los Angeles Kings traded Ryan Smyth to Edmonton to help do him a solid and allow him to play closer to home, the Edmonton Oilers were happy to do their part and oblige them. After all, the deal helps Smyth go back home and gives the Kings over $6 million in salary cap space. Colin Fraser was the player sent in return and while the Kings plans may have been to either play him or buy him out of his contract those plans are shot now.

The Kings’ medical staff discovered that Fraser is injured when checking him out and now the Kings are upset with Edmonton for sending them a broken player. Under more normal circumstances, the deal would be reversed and nullified while the teams better worked things out. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal finds out that Fraser needs foot surgery that will knock him out of action for four months making this transaction all the more bizarre.

This time around, the Kings are happy to have Smyth’s salary off their books and after haggling things out with Edmonton on this deal before they should’ve guessed something could be up. The player the Kings initially wanted was Gilbert Brule but that was nixed when it was found out that Brule was also injured.

According to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times, the Oilers medical staff cleared Fraser but when he arrived in Los Angeles, the Kings staff found out that he was not. This kind of mistake reflects poorly upon Oilers GM Steve Tambellini because he attempted to send out one injured player and managed to not know he had a second one and sent him to L.A. anyhow. Kings GM Dean Lombardi has every reason to be angry about this but according to Elliott, the trade will not be rescinded and the teams will work out an alternate means of compensation.

As it is, the Kings are stuck with Fraser now and they’ll get a little something else from the Oilers for the hassle but this just looks bad for Edmonton all around. Yes, they had injury woes all last season but attempting to peddle off a couple of broken wares and nearly getting away with it the second time makes Tambellini look like a sketchy car salesman trying to ditch a lemon.

To make deals in good faith, especially one where you’re trying to do right by a player that wants to play in Edmonton, the least the Oilers could do is not rip off the team they’re dealing with. We’ll be curious to see if this affects deals moving forward with Edmonton in the near future with other teams.

  1. bigkniht37 - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    one would also think the Kings would request an in person physical for a trade before it was signed off on…they are just as at fault as the oilers here. you knew they were trying to send you a broken player once so why would you trust them again?

    • miketoasty - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

      No you are just plain wrong. This isn’t the L.A.’s organizations fault, the other team said he was cleared after telling you their first player wasn’t. You sometimes just have to trust people when you are trying to help out a player. This looks terrible for Edmonton and their staff/management.

      Oh and bigskiht37 how would you like for me to trade you Sidney Crosby, tell you he is cleared and then once your doctors check him out find out he will be injured the rest of the season. Oh and say its also his last year on his contract. How would you feel then?

  2. bigbear42 - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    There is a good reason why when trades are announced you hear the term “pending physical.” I believe Marco Sturm at one point last season was sent back after being traded but unable to pass the physical. It’s hard to tell whether the Oilers were trying to pull a fast one or if its just really sloppy work on their end. Either way, this doesnt inspire hope in their front office as they try to rebuild.

  3. dbick - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    This is how I envision the oilers reacting

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