Ryan Smyth is headed back to Edmonton, in exchange for winger Gilbert Brule and a fourth-round draft pick. Interestingly enough, when news of a potential trade broke, on Monday, I talked to a member of the Oilers’ broadcast team, who suggested this as a possibility. I don’t know if he wants his name publicly mentioned, but he certainly made a nice call.
Brule, 24, is under contract for one more season, with a salary-cap hit of $1.85 million. He’s a natural center who can play right wing as well. Brule had a run of injuries this season that limited him to 41 games (with seven goals and two assists), but in 2009-10 he had 17 goals and 20 assists in 65 games. That’s been a knock on Brule, the fact that his aggressive style and relative lack of bulk — he’s listed at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds — can lead to injuries.
[NOTE: Note that neither team has officially announced a trade yet. Given Smyth's no-trade clause -- not that he wouldn't waive it for Edmonton -- and the fact that the draft is going on, we might not hear anything official quickly.]
[UPDATE: Just communicated with a Kings source in Minnesota, who said the hold-up in the Ryan Smyth trade might be resolved in about an hour (it's now 6:50 p.m.), otherwise it will have to go into tomorrow. Not trying to be purposely vague here, because I truly don't know exactly what the hold-up is. The deal is in place. In other news, the Kings announced that Mike Richards will wear No. 10. With any luck, he will wear it longer than its last three owners (Marco Sturm, Brayden Schenn and Alyn McCauley), who lasted a combined total of 35 games with it.]
[UPDATE 2: Do we have Smythgate? TSN's Bob McKenzie and Gord Miller report that the hold-up in the Ryan Smyth trade involves the conditions of the draft pick. So, we (officially) wait, possibly until the morning. Incidentally, it seems likely that Brule won't stay with the Kings. If they don't trade him, they can buy him out at a good value. Because of his age, Brule could be cut free for one-third of his salary, spread over two seasons, meaning the Kings would be on the hook for only $308,333 this season and next season (that would count against the salary cap).]