Kings Acquire Ryan Smyth in trade with Colorado
Last week I wrote that the Los Angeles Kings offseason had been a disappointment up til then as they were unable to make any moves to add a solid veteran forward to their young and talented core of players.
Just hours after posting that story, Los Angeles was able to acquire veteran winger Ryan Smyth in a trade with Colorado for defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing along with a fifth round draft pick in 2010.
While I would rather the Kings have been able to add someone to the team through free agency, this is the next best thing. When the offseason began the Kings had only three players on their team that were 30 or older (Handzus 32, Ivanans 30, O’Donnell 37). While all of these guys are good players, none of them are the type that can take the Kings to their next level of development.
Smyth has tremendous toughness and grit and is more than capable of leading the Kings both on the ice and in the locker room. At 33, he is still productive having scored 26 goals and 59 points for Colorado last season. Smyth is a 14 year NHL veteran with many years of international experience and was a big reason why the Edmonton Oilers advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi showed a belief in his young team that they can take the next step and reach the postseason next year. Most importantly, he was able to do it without sacrificing too much of his young talent.
The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since losing in the first round in 2002. Die hard fans are clamoring to see post season hockey return to the Staples Center. With the addition of Smyth and defenseman Rob Scuderi, their chances of making it back to the playoffs have greatly improved.