Flames in hunt for Smyth?

When Ryan Smyth was a free-agent and taking bids for his services in the summer of 2007, the Calgary Flames were an ardent pursuant.

Flames captain Jarome Iginla even personally talked to Smyth to sell him on moving to Southern Alberta.

Then-GM Darryl Sutter also called Smyth directly, on top of dealing with his agent, Don Meehan.

But it was to no avail at the time. Smyth signed with the Colorado Avalanche, inking a five-year contract with a US$6.25-million cap hit.

Could the long-time Edmonton Oilers forward be making his way to the Stampede City now?

Smyth has reportedly asked to be traded from the Kings with one year remaining on his contract and wants to land back in Edmonton, but a source confirmed yesterday the Flames are also in the mix for the 35-year-old left winger.

The level of interest from the Flames is the great unknown.

On one hand, it’s easy to dismiss the Flames being in the fray as simply a tactic being used by the Kings to make Oilers GM Steve Tambellini move faster in closing a deal everybody expects to happen.

Or it’s to try raising the asking price, although the Kings aren’t in a position of strength when it’s out that a player has asked to be moved, especially with his age, salary cap hit and diminishing production.

(Of course, the Oilers probably owe the Kings a big favour after foisting Dustin Penner on them at the deadline and even receiving defenceman Colten Teubert, a first-round pick at this year’s draft and another draft choice in return, but that’s another story.)

On the other hand, the Flames could have some solid reasons for making a trade to bring in Smyth.

For starters, if Alex Tanguay isn’t going to come to terms on a new contract and leave via free agency on July 1, the Flames will be looking for another left winger to play in the top three lines.