When Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi dealt Ryan Smyth to the Edmonton Oilers last month, he achieved two goals.
First, he moved a player who no longer wanted to play in LA and instead wanted to return home to Alberta. Second, being able to unload Smyth's $6.25 million cap hit certainly made the acquisition of Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers a bit easier.
Of course, the Smyth deal wasn't without complications as Colin Fraser, who went to the Kings as part of the deal, ended up needing surgery this week on his ankle, a detail that Lombardi claims Oilers GM Steve Tambellini didn't include when the two consummated the deal. Tambellini defended the trade saying that Lombardi knew exactly what he was getting in Fraser and his medical history.
Fraser's agent claims that his client will be 100-percent healthy, but a timetable for his return from the ankle surgery is unknown. Lombardi's idea was that Fraser and his $825,000 salary to remain on the Oilers' roster until he's fully cleared to play. The NHL tried to get involved after Lombardi publicly commented on things, but it was to no avail.
From the LA Times:
When mediation by NHL counsel David Zimmerman did not produce a settlement between the Kings and Oilers, Fraser saw the doctor in Cleveland and the Kings accepted that doctor's advice to wait a few weeks for the fracture to heal. Since it didn't heal, Fraser had the surgery this week.
If the Kings win their grievance, the Oilers could be penalized a draft choice or whatever other measure Bettman might determine would be a fair remedy
Commissioner Gary Bettman hears and decides on all grievance hearings and nothing is scheduled as of now.
Despite Lombardi's public airing of grievances earlier this month over the deal, the Kings aren't looking to void the deal and return Fraser to Edmonton and bring back Smyth -- even after the Kings' GM brought up two weeks ago that there was a fallback team should things break down. An earlier version of the deal had Gilbert Brule heading to Los Angeles instead of Fraser, but that trade was scratched when the Oilers' forward still hadn't been cleared to play after suffering two concussions last season. The Kings had planned to buyout Brule after the deal went through, but per the NHL CBA, injured players cannot be bought out.
If this is how Lombardi is reacting over a bottom of the depth chart forward's health within the Kings' lineup, we'd hate love to see what would happened if an offer sheet was thrown Drew Doughty's way, what with Deano known for keeping his pimp hand strong.
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