Today, Smyth and his tormentor, budding NHL star center Anze Kopitar, are on the same line for the Los Angeles Kings.
Two years after signing with the Avalanche as a free agent, the 33-year old Smyth found himself on the worst team in the Western Conference, with a franchise in need of a major overhaul.
Salvation came in the form of a trade offer on July 11 from Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Smyth possessed a no-move clause in his Colorado contract and could have blocked the deal, but after talking it over with his wife he gave the trade his blessing and his family was on its way to California.
On the first day of training camp, coach Terry Murray placed the veteran left wing on a line with Kopitar and Justin Williams and they have not been split up since. Four games into the season, Smyth has four goals and three assists and the 22-year-old Kopitar is 3-6-9.
"We've clicked well," Smyth said Monday afternoon before the Kings faced the New York Islanders. "The thing with Anze is, the puck doesn't die with him. He always makes the complete play."
For his and their sake, here's hoping Justin can keep healthy. Three words come to mind about Williams' play in Los Angeles "Under the radar".