It is FINALLY official, the Edmonton Oilers found the right deal to bring in Ryan Smyth from the LA Kings for Colin Fraser and a 7th round pick in the 2012 Draft.
During the 2011 NHL Draft, there were reports of a possible deal involving Ryan Smyth in exchange for Oilers forward Gilbert Brule. After TSN broke the news that both sides had reached a deal, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini announced that the deal was put on hold, due to some health issues involving Gilbert Brule.
Instead, the LA Kings opted to pick up underachieving, 26 year-old Colin Fraser, who had an abysmal season with the Oilers last season. Fraser managed only 5 points in 67 games and for the latter part of the season was a healthy scratch for more than a hand-full of games.
Ryan Smyth on the other hand played a full 82 games, with the LA Kings and earned 47 points with 23 tucks last season. Smyth left the Oilers in 2007 and found a new home with the New York Islanders and only played 18 games before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche the following year. After spending 2 years with the Av's, Smyth found himself in LA-LA Land in 2009 and posted 100 points for the club in 2 seasons.
At the present moment, this trade is a brilliant one for the Oilers and a horrible one for the LA Kings. There is NO doubt that Oil Country will embrace the Mullet Man when he steps on the ice at Rexall this coming season, and now it's up to #94 to live up to the hype.
With the return of Smyth, it is somewhat imminent that Tom Renney will re-unite Smyth with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. The upside is that it is quite possible the trio could put up same numbers they did during the 2006 Cup run. While it is wishful thinking, it is worth the experiment; especially now that Ales Hemsky is healthy, it is more than likely he will remain with the Edmonton Oilers for the remainder of his contract.
What is glaringly obvious and one that all Oilers fans should understand is that, Ryan Smyth's return will be a short one given his age; and the fact that the Oilers have a lovely over abundance of talent waiting to be slotted into the line-up.
Enjoy the nostalgia while it last folks, though remember the players we had to give up in the last 4 years to find H.O.P.E. etc.
In the mean time.
Welcome back Ryan Smyth.