Ryan Smyth arrived in Los Angeles via trade last July, from Colorado in exchange for Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a fifth-round pick, but as much as anyone, Smyth chose to be with the Kings. He waived his no-movement clause to accept the trade, despite being 33 years old and having his family settled in the Denver area. Smyth finished this season with 22 goals and 31 assists, despite missing 15 games with an upper-body injury, and is cited as one of the major reasons why linemate Anze Kopitar took such a big step forward this season. Did joining the Kings this season match Smyth’s expectations and hopes?
SMYTH: “Obviously, looking back at it, and looking at the youth and the excitement on the team, I’ve said it before but I think it was the right choice. We did end up making the playoffs. Management did a good job of recruiting a couple guys who gave us that extra little move to get in. I thought we competed really hard, throughout the year, to be deserving of the playoffs. Right at the end there, we didn’t know where we were going to be slotted. That’s great for the league and that’s great for the team in itself. I see nothing but a bright future here.”