- Scott Burnside, NHL
- 0 Shares
ST. PAUL, MINN. -- The Ryan Smyth saga continued to drag on through the end of the NHL draft Saturday with no end in sight.
The rugged winger has asked for a trade out of Los Angeles for family reasons. Smyth, who has one more year left on his contract, has asked to be traded back to his original NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers.
But L.A. GM Dean Lombardi said Saturday there are still complications with what the Oilers are offering in return.
Though he declined to name specific players, it's believed the Oilers have offered Gilbert Brule -- who has health issues -- plus a draft pick.
Lombardi said he doesn't want to trade Smyth, who had a strong season for the Kings last year. But having resigned himself to acquiescing to Smyth's request, Lombardi said he won't be penalized twice.
He said he needs to make a deal that will continue to give him cap space to try and fill Smyth's place on the roster.
"Without getting into the details I guess, no, I don't think we're closer," Lombardi said. "The way we had always proposed it, we were always very clear on what we could take back.
"The thing that's hard about this is this isn't a player we were counting on losing. Because actually he had one of his best years for us. He was the first one in the weight room. I thought his first 40 games he was one of our best players. He tailed off a little bit in the last 40 and then in the playoffs he was Ryan Smyth, everything you wanted.
Lombardi said he looked at comparable trades involving veteran players in the final year of their contracts, including deals that involved Simon Gagne and Jason Arnott, which both yielded position players when they went to Tampa Bay and Washington, respectively.
"To me it was kind of simple. Alright, if something has to come back to make this work then there has to be certain things in place that allow me to run my cap," Lombardi said. "And if they're not in place then this makes no sense. Because I have to replace this player. That's the only urgency for me is that I have to replace him. In order to replace him, whatever I'm taking back has to allow me full freedom to keep that (cap) space available. If that is not there I can't do this deal.
"Those conditions weren't there so there's no deal. That's where it broke down."
Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini would say only that the deal wasn't done and he couldn't discuss the issue.
It's believed Lombardi was also discussing a Smyth deal with Calgary GM Jay Feaster, but with the Flames tying up Alex Tanguay to a new five-year deal worth $3.5 million annually it's believed Calgary could not accept Smyth, who has one year left on his deal with a cap hit of $6.25 million.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
23hESPN stats & info