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Numbers Game: Smyth returns to Edmonton

Scott Cullen
6/26/2011 3:21:05 PM
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Wanting a return to Edmonton, Ryan Smyth got his wish.

Numbers Game examines the deal that sent the hard-working veteran back to the city in which he played his first 770 NHL games.

The Oilers Get: LW Ryan Smyth.

Smyth, 35, scored more than 20 goals for the 11th time in his career last season, but he isn't as effective as he once was and played 18:02 per game last season, his fewest minutes per game since 1998-1999.

While he had a solid showing in the playoffs, with five points in six games, Smyth went through a stretch during which he scored two goals in a 36-game stretch in the second half of the season.

Smyth is going into the final year of his contract, which comes at a cap hit of $6.25-million, but the actual cost is only $4.5-million (www.capgeek.com), which makes it a little more palatable to bring him back to a rebuilding team.

Provided Smyth slides into a supporting role with the Oilers, and allows the youngsters the room to grown, Smyth can still be productive in a secondary scoring role, doing what he's always done, crashing the crease and scoring ugly goals -- maybe even another 20.

The Kings Get: C Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick. (was Brule and a fourth)

Fraser, 26, is a hard-working energy player who managed just five points in 67 games last season. Signed for $825,000 next season, he figures to continue in a fourth-line role in Los Angeles.

In terms of straight-up value, the Oilers are getting the better player for next season, but he wanted to go back to Edmonton and the Kings gain very little future value and, more importantly, gain some cap room, with Fraser obviously much cheaper than Smyth.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

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