Ryan Smyth has a conference call going on now to talk about his move back to Edmonton. Smyth made an opening statement, in which he offered thanks to the Kings organization — specifically Tim Leiweke, Philip Anschutz, Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall — and thanked Lombardi for “accepting my wish to come back to the Oilers’ organization.” Smyth confirmed that he had requested a trade, in contrast to comments earlier in the week, when he claimed to have no knowledge of the trade discussions or their origin. Smyth said that there were no illnesses or health concerns in his family.
In explaining further, Smyth said, “My wife and I discussed it for a while, that we wanted to come back to Canada, just for personal reasons. The kids are starting school situations, so we thought it was best to come back. … My wife and I discussed it just after the end of the season. I didn’t want (media reports) to explode to the level that it did. So yes, I did request (a trade) for family reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time down there (in Los Angeles). It was just a different lifestyle for me and my wife to live in.”