Smyth gets his wish; Kings get Fraser.

Ryan Smyth’s trade request was granted and the 35-year-old left wing is an Edmonton Oiler once again.

In return, the Kings receive forward Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. Lombardi said Saturday that he wanted to acquire a player whom he could send to the minors, buy out or trade, so keeping Fraser would not appear to be high on the Kings’ wish list.

In Fraser, the Kings receive an energy-line forward who topped out with seven goals and 19 points in 2009-10, his second NHL season, for the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks. Fraser dipped to three goals and five points in 67 games for the Oilers last season. In 224 career NHL games he has 16 goals, 41 points and 168 penalty minutes.

According to, the Kings can buy out Fraser at a cost of $275,000 over two seasons.

Smyth, whom Lombardi said requested a trade home about two months ago, heads back to the city he called home from 1994-2007. The Alberta native scored 23 goals last season –third on the team — and his (long anticipated) departure gives the Kings their most pressing need to fill when free agency begins July 1.

Smyth is scheduled to have a conference call in Edmonton at 4 p.m. today.

Update: Dean Lombardi said that Fraser has a chance to be with the Kings in training camp and beyond. More from Lombardi in tomorrow’s editions.

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Ryan Smyth update.

The trade that would have sent Ryan Smyth to Edmonton for Gilbert Brule and a draft pick, reported as complete at one point Friday, is off.

Dean Lombardi told reporters Saturday in Minnesota that talks broke down when it became clear to the Kings’ GM that the proposed trade wouldn’t leave him enough cap space to sign a replacement for Smyth, a 23-goal scorer last season.

Lombardi didn’t get into the specific reasons why — the NHL prohibits general mangers from tampering with players under contract to other teams — but he offered some general reasons.

Given the four choices he had with the player (Brule) he was reportedly acquiring — playing him, trading him, buying out his contract or sending him to the minors — “I have to have the last three,” Lombardi said. “I’m losing Ryan Smyth here, a 20-goal proven scorer. I’m not going to get that back from any team I’m dealing with.”

Lombardi went on to say that “it’s not a money issue. Whether it’s a two-way or a one-way contract, your ability to buy out or waive, there’s certain things that have to be in place to keep that ability in place.”

That explanation seems to agree with a report on that Brule, who missed 41 games last season due to injury and illness, is still injured and therefore unable to be bought out by the Kings under the terms of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.

Lombardi said he’d rather not be stuck with playing Brule. “I’d rather go to the marketplace and say, ‘OK,’ like the deal I have with the other team, I’ll go and get it,” he said.

Smyth, an Alberta native, requested a trade home, so Lombardi’s “other team” is presumed to be the Calgary Flames.

This could all change by the end of the day. For now plan on reading more, along with a recap of the Kings’ draft picks, in tomorrow’s editions.

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Goaltender Christopher Gibson leads six Kings picks on Day 2.

Christopher Gibson, a goaltender from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, became the Kings’ first pick at the Entry Draft Saturday, going 49th overall in the second round.

Gibson has an interesting background: His father Peter Gibson, a martial arts instructor, was born in England. His mother, Ulla Perttilahti, is Finnish. Gibson grew up in Karkkila, Finland, but at age 15 left for North America to play hockey.

In his second major junior season, Gibson fnished first in the QMJHL with a .920 save percentage and second with a 2.42 goals-against average last season. In four playoff games, those numbers dipped to .865 and 5.20, but he was good enough to become the third goalie drafted this year (Magnus Hellberg went to Nashville at #38 and John Gibson went to Anaheim at #39).

The scouting report on Gibson is that he uses his 6-foot-1 frame and positioning to cut down on opposing shooters’ angles.

The Kings used their final five picks to select center Andy Andreoff (third round, 80th overall), left wing Nick Shore (third round, 82nd overall), left wing Michael Mersch (fourth round, 110th overall), left wing Joel Lowry (fifth round, 140th overall) and left wing Michael Schumacher (seventh round, 200th overall).

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Brown (finally) wins NHL Foundation Award.

After his nomination fell short each of the last two seasons, Kings captain Dustin Brown captured the NHL Foundation Award, which “recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

The Dustin and Nicole Brown Charitable Fund – which serves disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles and his hometown of Ithaca, N.Y. – will receive $25,000 from the NHL Foundation. Brown donated a total of $15,000 to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles this season and served through a number of other community outreach efforts.

From the NHL’s official release:

Two seasons ago, as part of the program he and his wife Nicole launched with KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, Brown’s per-hit donation plan raised $70,000 to build a new playground in Carson, CA, that now hosts more than 100 kids per day.

In mid-December, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Brown hosted an unforgettable day behind the scenes at STAPLES Center and then the following night at the Kings Wild game for Will McCloud, a six year old boy who was battling leukemia. Brown also again served as the team spokesman for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, an organization dedicated to providing support for clinical research in pediatric cancer, while improving the medical environment for all children. And he volunteered to be the spokesman for the Club’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Night. In addition to adopting a local family over the holiday season as part of the Kings’ Adopt-a-Family program, Brown and his wife independently adopted a large family with a child currently being treated at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He led extensive team participation in Kings Community Corner, a ticket-donation program that has enabled more than 15,000 Los Angeles youth and military members to experience Kings hockey live at STAPLES

And through his budding engagement with social media, Brown (@DustinBrown23) has raised awareness for Make My Day Monday, which promotes committing random acts of kindness each Monday, and raised funds for Japanese earthquake relief, donating $1 for each of the 9,425 new followers he attracted on Twitter during a one-week period in March.

A few more Kings collected votes Wednesday:
Continue reading “Brown (finally) wins NHL Foundation Award.” »

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Preseason schedule, development camp dates announced.

The Kings announced the dates for their prospects development camp — July 11-12 at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo — and all preseason games (below):

Wed.       Sept. 21       Coyotes      Phoenix  Arena     7 p.m.

Wed.      Sept. 21       Coyotes       Los Angeles      STAPLES Center     7:30 p.m.

Sun.       Sept. 25        Ducks          Los Angeles      STAPLES Center     6:30 p.m.

Tue.       Sept. 27        Penguins      Kansas City      Sprint Center       5 p.m.

Wed.      Sept. 28       Avalanche     Colorado          Pepsi Center        6 p.m.

Fri.         Sept. 30       Ducks           Anaheim      &nbsp   Honda Center         7 p.m.

Sat.       Oct. 1          Avalanche      Las Vegas      MGM Grand          6 p.m.

Times for the development camp sessions and the list of invited players haven’t been announced yet.

The Kings play one exhibition game in Germany on Oct. 4 before starting the regular season in Stockholm, Sweden three days later. The will play the special exhibition game is scheduled for 7 p.m. (10 a.m. Pacific Time) at the O2 World Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, against the Hamburg Freezers of the German Elite League.

The Kings then open their regular season with two games in Europe – Oct. 7 against the Rangers at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm and Oct. 8 against the Sabres in Berlin. The Kings are the designated “home team” for both games.

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Toffoli invited to Team Canada development camp.

Forward prospect Tyler Toffoli was one of 46 players invited Friday to Team Canada’s national junior team development camp.

The camp, held Aug. 3-7 in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alberta, is used to winnow down the roster to 22 players for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held in Calgary and Edmonton from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2012.

Toffoli, who recently signed his entry-level contract, has never played in the World Junior Championships. He tied for the Ontario Hockey League lead in 2010-11 with 108 points and led the league with 57 goals. The 20-year-old right wing scored a goal in his first pro game with the Manchester Monarchs in April, then had a goal in five Calder Cup playoff games.

The complete development camp roster can be found here.

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Live Game 7 chat.

Join me and a few other hockey bums below for a live chat during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Bruins and Canucks get started from Vancouver at 5 p.m.

Also, if you’re in the area of Sonny McLean’s in Santa Monica, we can have a live Game 7 chat there too — the face-to-face kind (remember those?).

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Forbort, Gravel make USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp roster.

Kings prospects Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel were among the 40 players chosen by USA Hockey to take part in the National Junior Evaluation Camp this August in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The players will be auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta.

Forbort, a defenseman for the University of North Dakota, helped the U.S. capture bronze at the 2010 WJC tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. The 15th overall pick at the 2010 draft, Forbort finished his collegiate season with 15 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 38 games.

Gravel, a defenseman for St. Cloud State, had one goal, six points, and four penalty minutes in 36 games last season for the Huskies.

Other local players named to the evaluation camp were Boston University forward Matt Nieto (Long Beach), Kelowna Rockets forward Shane McColgan (Manhattan Beach), U.S. Under-18 National Development Team forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor), and Western Michigan forward Chase Balisy (Rancho Santa Margarita).

The complete U.S. roster can be found here.

Here’s the tentative schedule of events for the evaluation camp:
Continue reading “Forbort, Gravel make USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp roster.” »

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