Ryan Smyth interview

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Here’s the Q&A I did a few minutes ago with new Kings winger Ryan Smyth. He’s scheduled to come to Los Angeles this week and have his physical exam on Monday…

—–

Question: Athletes never seem to be completely surprised by a trade, but did you see this coming at all?

SMYTH: “Well, with having the no-movement clause, I knew something was going on when they came to me and asked if I would be willing to drop my no-trade clause to come to L.A. So I had some time to think about it and talk about it with my wife and my family. It was tough because Colorado is a great place. There are four major sports teams, four seasons and a great organization, a winning organization. Mr. (Stan) Kroenke has done very well and been very successful over the years. To pull me in a couple years ago was pretty special, so it was tough leaving here but I’m really excited. The excitement of Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall and some of the players I’ve known over the years, it’s been awesome to hear and I’m just overwhelmed and honored to be a King.”

Question: You talked about some of the discussion with your family. What were some of the factors you weighed?

SMYTH: “Obviously we have a beautiful home in Colorado, so we had to weigh the factors of all that stuff, and moving. Then you look at the hockey front. (The Avalanche) came to me and said they wanted to rebuild, and money was an issue, and obviously that goes hand in hand with my issue and my contract. It was mutual at the end of the day, and I have nothing but great things to say about Colorado.”

Question: Playing in Colorado, you’ve had a chance to get a decent look at the Kings. What are your impressions?

SMYTH: “Watching these young kids play, and to see the energy and excitement and the direction the organization is going in, there’s nothing but upside. I’m honored to be a part of it and I hope I can contribute a lot.”

Question: Any particular Kings players jump out at you?

SMYTH: “Quite a few. Over the years, playing for my country, I got a chance to see Kopitar before anybody really knew who he was. I remember lining up against him at the faceoff circle and seeing how dominant and powerful he was. He has tremendous upside. I just know he’s a pretty exciting player to watch. Obviously, Stoll, because I got a chance to play with him in Edmonton. Drew Doughty is a tremendous hockey player. For a young player to come in and do what he did, that was tremendous. Like I said, I’m just really excited by the upside that’s there.”

Question: Given your experiences, what do you think you can bring to this team, and what do these young guys need to know about winning?

SMYTH: “I want to bring my experience. I don’t want to change my game. I’m a guy who goes to the net hard. It’s important to just play at both ends of the rink and have the determination to win. It’s a fine line around the league, between winning and losing, because the parity around the league is so tight. Whether it’s a mental edge in the locker room or something you do on the bench, you have to be prepared.”

Question: Largely because of the way you play, you’ve opened yourself up to injury risk over the years. How do you feel now? And was it frustrating at all in the last couple years?

SMYTH: “I feel real healthy. Other than a few injuries that I’ve had over the years, things have been good and I feel up to par right now and I’m itching to go. As far as how things went, we had a lot of injuries and it’s tough to compete with all the injuries. It seemed like we were never all healthy at once.”

Those who want even more Ryan Smyth quotes can read an interview on the Kings’ website.

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  • Marko

    Rich, working on 4th of July to bring us the latest inside Kings scoop, God bless you man!

  • Paul from Oxnard

    It’s a holiday Rich! Take a day off! :D Happy 4th to you.

  • AK47

    Thanks Rich, you’re the man

  • Dee

    Great pic Rich! That’s what the Kings have needed for the past 2 years, someone who will run over anyone and anything to get to the net. Of course, we loved to hate him before but now that he is King…Welcome to LA Ryan!!

  • josh e.

    If I remember correctly…every time we played against smyth…he would score a pair it seemed like! welcome myh friend..I hope you played well with stoll in edmonton cuz youre going to play with him again most likely

  • jet

    Never truer, that a picture is worth a thousand words.

  • Stonewall

    All Hail Rich! Thanks man. I appreciate what you do.

  • darko25o

    Smyth’s gloves say it all! ! !
    -and thank you very much Rich, your dedication is greatly appreciated

  • AEG rulez

    Rich,

    DL is a genius, but even he can’t match you in effort and dedication. Many, many thanks.

  • Action

    Anyone remember Smyth undressing Doughty last season?

  • Freddie

    Thanks Rich, Now take the rest of the day off and enjoy….You deserve it. Happy 4th!!

  • CanadianKing

    A real class act. This guy is the definition of hard work and dedication.

    Thanks alot Rich, and Happy Independence Day to all south of the border.

  • Moondoggie

    Rich,

    Like the others, your work is phenomenal, especially on a holiday like the 4th. Your dedication to your profession, to the Kings and its fan base is endless, thank you. Your selection of this foto was perfect.

    It looks like we got our LW and a pretty good one at that, plus experience, someone like Ryan said that “goes hard to the net”, someone with character who will be a strong and positive influence in the lockeroom, particularly with the kids.

    While I’ll certainly miss Quincey and what will be endless contributions for years to come with the Avs, the fact is we had too many young defensemen in the system and someone had to go. Like I said in another thread, to achieve greatness, you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice greatness. The Kings did all of that and more with just one trade. To those few who doubt DL’s ability to manage a team, he is a true master of his trade, how did we ever get so lucky to get this guy???? DL and his staff are amazing. The Kings are going to be something to watch this next decade.

    Congratz to all and have a terrific 4th of July!

  • Kevin Y

    Great work, Rich! Being a Kings fan wouldn’t be the same without your tremendous efforts.

    Reading this interview, it seems like the Kings are getting a good player beyond just what he brings to the stats sheet. I think he’ll be a very good fit on this squad, and I hope he lasts at least the duration of this contract, and maybe beyond that.

  • wavesinair

    Two really solid VETERAN additions to the team. Exactly the kinds of players I love. Playoffs, here we come!

  • number 6

    Rich, when I saw there was a new piece on Ryan Smyth the first thing I thought was “Richhh… take some time off… it’s a holiday”, then of course I saw everyone else saying the same thing. I don’t think “thank you” really suffices anymore… but what else can one say other than that.. Thank You Rich.

    Oh, and yes I think it’s a really good move for the team.

  • kingsince67

    Anthony you are pretty quiet, you know this team is huge now even if Fro is not signed. Fro needs to get his junk together now.
    Chris, if you have ever played with guys like Gabby you would know, by the way have you ever been paid to play hockey ? I have and that does not make me an expert, but it does give me insight to what makes a good team mate and a plain great player…RS is just that. He is ever bit an Adam Dadmarsh and we all loved what he brought to the table. This guy will make a difference, I know I have sat in a locker room with guys like this and know what they do for a team that does show up on the ice challenging the guys to be better. Kopy, Brownie, Fro and the rest…this is the guy that can help make the games a lot more fun for us all…..get to camp in shape and ready because he will be and will expect nothing less from anyone else. from one Candian to another…Welcome Captain Canada, we are ready for the playoffs.

  • madA

    Anyone see this? While the Smyth trade is great news, this may be even more interesting:

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=283730

  • Stonewall

    Wow. Set ‘em free!!

  • darko25o

    …I’ll take Mr. Versteeg

  • Ersberg

    I asked this question in a previous thread, but what do you guys think, is DL done dealing or do you think more “tweaking” is in order?

  • KevinWestgarth

    I think it would be great if DL could somehow trade Handzus and a draft pick, maybe add a purcell or Moulson, for a 2nd line center, i.e., Jordan Staal anybody??

    I would like to see Moen signed, but I would rather have a 2nd line center so Stoll can go back to the third line. I’ve seen Clune play, and he would fit in well on the third line at left wing:

    Smyth-Kopi-Williams
    Frolov-Staal-Brown
    Clune-Stoll-Simmonds
    King?-Lewis-Westgarth

  • KevinWestgarth

    Ersberg said,

    “I asked this question in a previous thread, but what do you guys think, is DL done dealing or do you think more “tweaking” is in order?”

    DL is definitely not finished. None of the young D-men are NHL ready, so DL is going to sign or trade for a veteran D-man. DL should just resign Gauthier- he’s cheap, physical, a veteran, and seems to get along well in terms of chemistry and the King’s new identity.

  • Moondoggie

    Hey Ersberg, how ya doin? Happy 4th of July!

    This ought to answer your question. Good interview with DL, it really puts into perspective what he’s done and what’s left to do….

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=433487&navid=DL|NHL|Home

    What a great job by DL and his staff!!! Excellent!

    Go Kings!!!

  • WWAMD

    This trade is OK…It had to be done, but OK, not a run away as most here believe.

    I’ve posted before the issues around Quiency and Priessing. I have an inside source that told me Priessing was healthy all along and that the reason he didn’t play was because he was VERY vocal with coaches about the direction of the team and himself. He’s a productive puck moving defensemen and will do WELL in COL. Quiency was a great player and quietly wanted to leave LA and head back to Detroit asap. LA knew this. Quiency also had back surgery so this upcoming year may be a lose/recovery year. And soon he’d be back with Detroit. BOTH these defensemen are GOOD, but did not fit the team. Smyth is heart and soul, but injury prone and high contract. So I believe this trade was Equal and not a run away for the Kings. Far trade…and good job Dean. Hopefully Smyth stays healthy and produces a lot. I never liked Smyth, but I hope I become a fan of his soon!

  • Stonewall

    I for one would like to see the Goat back. It would depend on the contract of course. I love having a defenseman that makes opposing forwards honest and keep their heads up. A bad penalty here or there is totally acceptable. I thought he was well spoken and articulate when he was up in the booth with Bob ‘n Jim during his, um, ‘time off’. I only bring that up as it’s really the only thing I know about him off-ice.

  • KevinWestgarth

    WWAMD,

    Who is your source?

  • WWAMD

    Kevin, won’t say….but its not a single source just so u know. On a side note, I talk to Kevin W. once in a while, he lives a few minutes away in Windsor, Ontario. Good guy, tough competitor.

  • Cry Baby

    WWAMD,

    Yeah right…LOL!

    Lame,
    Cry Baby

  • WWTMD

    WWAMD, you have no sources, you’ve been debunked plenty of times at every message board you’ve posted at by people with actual sources. Stop it.

  • Moondoggie

    Stonewall….Funny thing and I know I’ll catch hell for this but I agree with you, I like the idea of bringing back Goat too. Granted I’m still pissed about that goal he allowed against Detroit but I like what you said here:

    “I love having a defenseman that makes opposing forwards honest and keep their heads up. A bad penalty here or there is totally acceptable”. I do hate some of the penalties he took, some were at really bad times in a game. I still loved the hit he put on in Montreal even tho it cost him a couple of games. That was highlight reel and old time hockey.

    Who knows what the cost would be but he is a known entity. I’d rather have someone who has played with the team and is physical than an unknown (which I sincerely doubt DL would deal for).

    Sure, bring back Goat…why not?

  • WWAMD

    WWTMD,

    I’ve posted here, LGK and HF and all three boards I’ve been proven right over and over again. I’m sure your refering to JJFan posting after my posting on HF, which didn’t prove anything. If anything it proved me right again lol. Anyways it doesn’t matter whether you believe me or not since I promised my sources I’d never post inside info on the net again. I posted that Preissing was never injured a loooong time ago. Look at that he has to pass a physical in order to head to Colorado, how in the world did he pass that? I really don’t care whether you believe me or not. You Kings fans are spoiled enough with Rich. No sense in giving unappreciative fans any more info.

  • josh e.

    WWAMD…I can’t say whether ur wrong and whether ur right…we can only speculate…

    but if you refer to us as “you kings fans” you are insinuating u aren’t a kings fan yourself. you seem like one of those fans when convenient and cynics when convenient…stop annoying us…we all know you and anthony are the same person with 2 different accounts…I have 2 accounts as well…its not hard…

  • Justin LA

    haha I think Josh is on to something here. Lets look at this theory:
    WWAMD- (A) stands for anthony
    WWTMD- (T) stands for tony
    I think we have a winner, or loser to be exact.
    WWAMD,
    I dont think anyone would mind never having to hear your conspiracies or “sources” on the blog again. So we unappreciative kings fans we’ll remain spoiled with Rich. PUN!

  • josh e.

    HAHAHA epic….

    the A in WWAMD is definitely Anthony…

    wait til i tell MY SOURCE about that theory…his name is wayne simmonds…i went to hebrew school with him…

  • maraudking

    If WWAMD claims to be a Kings fan, then he can leave his Kings merch a the door.” Us Kings fans” at least know how to spell. I have no issue of people voicing opinions on an OPEN FOURM. But your limited hockey knowledge, and constant badgering are quite an eye sore. The fact that so many of us are on here, only shows how appreciative we are to have a guy like Rich in LA.

    I apologize in advance Rich.

    And thank you for the continuous work that you do. Where should I send the beers?

  • WWTMD

    Well, it was pretty obvious.

    WWAMD = What Would Andy Murray Do
    WWTMD = What Would Terry Murray Do

  • -J

    “Priessing was healthy all along and that the reason he didn’t play was because he was VERY vocal with coaches about the direction of the team and himself.” WTF does he think he is, the coach and GM? His job is to play, not bitch about the direction of the team and how he is being used.

    “Quiency was a great player and quietly wanted to leave LA and head back to Detroit asap.” Why, did he miss grand rapids so much, becuase that’s right were he’d be if was back in Detroit’s organization.

    Seriously, WWAMD, if those situations are true and the Kings brass knew it, then the Kings absolutely made the right move getting rid of both those guys.

    Don’t ever take sides against the family.

  • variable

    i like the trade…d.l. made a very good bargain…

    WWAMD/WWTMD/WD40/WWF/WNBA/KFC….

    yr mustard is off yr hot dog…

  • Cry Baby

    Ersberg…

    You asked if we thought DL is done dealing. My opinion (with no inside sources) is that he got the two things wanted; a veteran Dman and LW. I think (I do have an inside source on this one) that DL might continue with some minor tweaks here and there, but nothing major.

  • speedy

    well…. yes I am happy with the trade I think RS will help. Ok player not the sniper I was looking for so I think we should keep making moves. Stoll or Handzus needs to be moved and a true #1 center be brought in. Not that I am not happy with Kopi but until someone steps up we really are marginal down the center. Lots of potential but we are not there yet. wouldnt hurt to move kopi to second line take a little pressure off of him he might explode this year in that position. what do you guys think ? do you agree ? what center would you like to have from one of these cap strapped teams?

  • KevinWestgarth

    WWAMD,

    If you have real sources, you need to tell us something that will be proven soon, not something unknown. All this insider talk about Quincy and Preissing cannot be proven, so give me something that can be, and i might give you a little credit.

    On a slightly different note, I think this anthonyy guy is really a Ducks fan. Come on, who in their right mind can love POS and what he brings to the table??

  • Lucas

    wait til i tell MY SOURCE about that theory…his name is wayne simmonds…i went to hebrew school with him…

    This comment killed me. Well done Josh E.

    I’ve thought that WWAMD was Anthony(y) all along. Where did this guy come from? Maybe he’s DL’s young, runty, unattractive, untalented lawyer-brother. I have no other explanation for the irrational hatred.

    Richard Hammond….thank you sooo freaking much for this blog. You make being a foreign Kings fan that much easier.

  • Gary B

    So, the question is, Rich, do we care if the Kings lose money? j/k

  • KevinWestgarth

    Handzus + Moller and a 2nd round pick for Jordan Staal.

    Resign Gauthier.

    Smyth-Kopi-Williams
    Frolov-Staal-Brown
    Clune-Stoll-Simmonds
    King?-Lewis-Westgarth

  • WWAMD

    Kevin,

    I’ve stated sooo many “proofs” truths etc. before. I don’t know how far back LGK records go, but try searching for O’Sullivan signing. I talked to people close to Sully and I was the only one to know what date he would sign because I got news of it. I wrote on LGK 3 days prior to Sully signing that he would sign in 3 days. Also I posted on here about Preissing NOT being injured all season and I also posted on here that Frolov was also NOT injured. I can’t prove those wrong but from a realiable source whom I am close to has told me. I also stated over at LGK that Jack Johnson was lowballed by Dean and JJFan confirmed that Dean does this but stayed his distance from confirming he did it to jack, he left it out in the open. See JJFan knows as much as I do about Jack, but he won’t let the cat out of the bag because in a way he is representing Jack. Now if you want to know my “source” first I won’t say because peoples jobs are on the line and second its not just one suorce. I’ve also posted on here, although I can not prove it that Dean and Luc were in a huge argument that lasted for a month over keeping Cammy as a King. Luc wanted him to stay and Dean told him that he is the GM and he makes the descisions. Players in the locker room also voiced their opinion about keeping Cammy and that they blamed the season being unsuccessful on Dean getting rid of him and not replacing him with a star winger. Hence Kopi and Brown stated that they needed a scoring winger. Can’t really prove that either. I also refer to “you Kings fans” not because I am not a fan but the difference in location. I live in Canada and most live in the US so I feel as a different type of fan. Reason why I have many sources is that players/trainers/etc live and work here in Ontario canada and I am very connected in the hockey program here. But I have gotten in trouble before about posting some of my inside information, I thought it would be nice for you guys to know what I know. But everytime I post something, there is a big fuss, even when I am proven right like Sully when he was down here in Ontario I keep tabs on him and let you guys know and I was right but no one likes to admit they are wrong. Anyways, for arguments sake I promised myself and my sources I would never write anything on the net again. Maybe a slight indication once in a while but no full out details.

    BTW it stands for What would andy murray do and Anthonny is very different then myself, he’s just a lil S#*$ disturber.

  • -J

    “Anyways, for arguments sake I promised myself and my sources I would never write anything on the net again.” apparently you can’t keep you promises….

  • Duckhunter

    WWAMD,

    You don’t offend me in any way, you keep throwing things out there, I’ll listen. I like hearing things from all sides because there’s a little truth to everything.

  • Tavares

    Shoulda signed in LI Smyth instead of the Avs. They would not have put you out as trade bait. You went there because you could settle in there and the team would be better, but you got neither. At least the Kings will appreciate you.

  • KevinWestgarth

    WWAMD,

    Whether the Luc DL quarrel is true or not, I did not nor do I blame DL for trading Cammy. 6+ million for cammy is a little steep to say the least, and hopefully Theubert will step it up in a couple seasons. No way in hell would I sign Cammy for 5 mill, nor would I sign Fro to 5 mill. Its insane and I expect DL to trade Fro very soon.

    Fro doesn’t fit into DL’s King identity, nor does he fit in mine. Maybe DL should trade Fro to the Rangers so he can be with his buddy Avery…

  • vicarious

    While I do not doubt that Preissing was upset with his benching, it seems inconsistent with what I saw of his character and intelligence that he would be “really vocal” with the coaches. Sean Avery–yes. A smart guy like Preissing–might of sd something thoughtful in private.

    Let’s hope for the best. If the key players stay healthy, then next year’s team should challenge for the playoffs. If the key players lack injury luck, Anthony can explain its all DL’s fault. I bet the April 2010 posts are already written.

    As far as team issues goes, all teams have them. In the last Lakers run to the Championship, the LA Times reported that some of the players were arguing so much during the playoff run that some of the coaches were in favor of letting them fight it out to the death. Joking I’m sure– but I’m also sure the coaches all kind of agreed. As probably did the rest of the team. And the players involved. Those issues–who plays, what plays are run, who plays with who– are magnified when your team is losing. Whatever. Put 30 guys together with 5-7 coaches and there should be a few dust ups. That’s CS stuff. Nearing age 50, I still fight with my own brother now and again. I hv to since he’s always wrong. And Mom still always takes his side. whatever on that too: he’s still wrong.

  • jet

    Does it really matter if Pressing was injured or not? If not, then it was very accommodating of management to cover his poor play with a vertigo story. I saw a couple of games where he played in Manchester and he played an above average 2nd pairing AHL game. He still had some trouble with the bigger forwards coming out of the corners and going straight to goal, but his skating and balance seemed fine.
    The Aves defense was so bad last year that he may have a shot. If Q can be a number 3 and Pressing can be a number 6, then they can show their fans they received some value. The Aves also pick up 3M in cap space to be able to play with a full roster. So, a year ago the Aves would have received Q and two firsts, but we now live in a cap unfriendly era. Someone forgot to tell Philly.

    Look, there can only be one boss. And it is DL’s rear that is on the line. Some may not like his style, but it is a clearly defined style and Cammi does not fit. I’ll repost DL’s moves to support this point. out – Cammi, POS, Q, Boyle and IN – Williams, Symth, Elkins, O’D, Scuds. Recent drafts – Schenn, Clifford, DD, Teubs.

    Cammy got his 40 goals last year and then went into injury prevention mode. As I have posted many times, He scored only 2 or 3 goals in the Flames last 20 games of the season (counting playoffs, but not the last regular season game, as playoff positions had already been defined). Cammy looks out for number one. Cammy has his big pay day. It will be interesting to see if his production drops 20% or more this year. Symth puts the team number one. Let’s not compare who is a better for the Kings.

    Finally, how can you lowball JJ? As I posted earlier he has only played 250 in the past 5 years. So his experience says 3 years for 7M. Did he play well after coming off an injury? Not really, but he played better for the US. Still, it is difficult to bump up his salary too much for international play. He did come into camp last year in very good shape so bump him up to 4 years for 10M. Does he have the potential to be a first liner, yes, but not likely this year or next. It is hard to pay too much extra for potential, but move him up to 5 yr for 15.5M. Will the coming cap reductions hit every player? Yes, bump the contract down to 5 yr for 14M. As I posted before, will JJ fight over a half million here or there, not likely with DLs input on the national team. There will be a contract by camp.

  • Moondoggie

    Good commentary Jet…thx!

    Frankly I see arbitration coming for JMFJ but we’ll see. DL doesn’t seem to think so but then you look at what the Kings went through with Cammy and, well….I do hope we don’t go through that again.

    DL & staff have been pretty busy of late. Now they can focus on the contracts and the upcoming season. Let’s see how it all plays out, the team sure does look good on paper.

    Quisp, what do you think?

  • KevinWestgarth

    Would anybody be open to trading Moller and Hickey?? I personally think Hickey and Moller are too small to play on the Kings. Those two could land the kings a real good player…

  • darko25o

    great points on JJ Jet!

  • Quisp

    Moondoggie –

    Johnson is not eligible for arbitration or an offer sheet.

    Kevin Westgarth, re trading Moller and Hickey –

    No, never. They are the future captains.

    Re WWAMD –

    Yes, I get it. You have inside information, coming from someone you know in Ontario, who is some kind of trainer or whatever, who knows someone who works for the Kings, who hears things. Ever hear of the game of telephone? I have two observations for you:

    1) The chances of your information being 100% accurate, having passed through several sources from the original source, is demonstrably ZERO.

    2) Anyone close enough to the Kings to have good information would NEVER disclose it on a message board, for obvious reasons. Conversely, anyone purporting to be peddling “inside” information is not close enough to the source to be reliable.

  • jet

    Thanks folks.

  • variable

    david cross jokes about the “parade of delusion”…apparently, this blog is not safe from sanctimonious conjecture and pure b.s d. cross lambastes rather accurately and humorously…

    stern has his “wack pack”…maybe we need one of our own…

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