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Saturday, July 30, 2011
Reports: Kings file grievance

ESPNLosAngeles.com

It seems as if Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi has finally had enough.

The Kings filed a formal grievance with the NHL over Colin Fraser's fitness on Friday, according to multiple media reports.

The Kings believe that Fraser's old team, the Edmonton Oilers, misrepresented the extent of his ankle injury at the time of the trade, which sent Ryan Smyth back to Edmonton.

Fraser had surgery earlier this week to repair an unhealed ankle fracture and is out indefinitely, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Oilers had said Fraser would be cleared to play in a few days, the paper reported.

Lombardi isn't trying to void the trade, and the Kings are likely to waive Fraser anyway -- but they can't do it until he's healthy, and Lombardi believes the Oilers misled him.

Lombardi thinks Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini is attempting to distract everybody from that misrepresentation by arguing about the severity of Fraser's injury -- and it's not even the first time the Oilers have tried to trade an injured player to Los Angeles.

"This is twice. There comes a point where you say, 'This is wrong,' " said Lombardi earlier this month, who recently said he "would have rather invested my money in Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton's word."

After Smyth demanded a trade back to the Oilers in June, the Kings agreed to deal the veteran center to Edmonton for forward Gilbert Brule -- until they learned Brule hadn't been cleared to return from a concussion. Los Angeles instead acquired Fraser on June 26.

Fraser's agent, Jerry Johansen, said Friday his client is expected to fully recover.

"How long it will take, I don't know," Johansen said, according to the paper. "The bottom line is Colin Fraser is going to be healthy. His situation isn't serious. He's going to be 100 percent."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hears and decides on all grievances. No hearing has been scheduled yet.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.