Tambellini stands by Smyth-Fraser deal

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:42 PM ET

The deal that wouldn't die came back to life Thursday when the Los Angeles Kings began crying foul over Colin Fraser, saying they're getting damaged goods in return for Ryan Smyth.

This, after the first attempt at a Smyth-to-Edmonton deal blew up when the Kings claimed Gilbert Brule wasn't fully recovered from the variety of maladies that limited him to 41 games last year.

There was even talk out of LA that the Kings might petition the league to void the transaction.

But Oilers GM Steve Tambellini was having none of it. He made it perfectly clear that the Smyth deal is done, there is no going back, and the LA Kings knew exactly what they were getting in Fraser.

"He blocked a shot toward the end of last year and broke a bone in his foot," said Tambellini, at a hastily-called evening press conference at the Oilers office. "Our head medical doctor and staff were very clear and very confident that he'd be given the go-ahead to begin full training for the upcoming season by Wednesday."

That's not how the Kings see it. After viewing his medical information (X-rays taken some time ago), speaking with Oilers doctors and agreeing to take Fraser in the deal, they sent him to see their own medical personnel, who found that the fracture is not healing very quickly. Tests also found a cyst. They believe he requires surgery and four months of recovery.

"What they decide to do as a team, that's up to them," said Tambellini. "That's their player and I wish him all the very best. I feel very comfortable that they were very aware of the status of Colin."

It boils down to two diagnoses of the same injury. The opinion of the Oilers medical staff and specialists in Edmonton is that Fraser is good to go. In the opinion of the Kings medical staff and specialists in LA, he needs surgery and four months of rehab.

Either way, Tambellini said all the information was on the table when the deal was consummated,

"In any situation you can have a different assessment from different doctors. Our staff has worked with him for some time, they're very good, they're very well respected among the league and their peers."

Tambellini said the deal is done, there will be no going back to the bargaining table to re-work things or sweeten the pot.

"Absolutely not. We have good information, solid people and we tried to help them as much as we can.

"As far as the injury, they knew Colin had a bone that was broken in his foot. That's up to Los Angeles to decide what they want to do with that."

This doesn't look good on the Oilers. Some might view it as Tambellini twice trying to unload what the recipient deemed to be damaged goods. It could make future trades more difficult if GMs are worried that the Oilers might be trying to pull a fast one.

"None whatsoever," said Tambellini, when asked if there are any concerns that his reputation is taking a hit. "We're consistent, we're open and this organization has very, very high standards."

As for Fraser, he's pretty much in the dark about his situation.

"I don't really know what's going on," he said. "Right now I don't have all the facts."

He pretty sure he'll remain LA property.

"As far as I know," he said. "Till I hear differently I'm a King."

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