Smith was placed on waivers Thursday for the purpose of reassignment, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Smith's demotion to the minors was only a matter of time, as the 'Canes have both Scott Darling and Cam Ward under contract as their goaltending tandem. The 28-year-old Smith did suit up in 10 NHL contests for the Avalanche last season, putting up decent results (5-8-1 with a 2.57 GAA and .911 save percentage) when you take his team context into account. Unless Carolina trades away Ward prior to the deadline -- or the injury bug bites -- Smith will spend most or all of the year with AHL Charlotte.
Smith will tend goal for Monday's preseason contest with Buffalo, Michael Smith of the team's official site reports. Monday will be Smith's first appearance in a Carolina uniform, though the 28-year-old has suited up for five other organizations in eight seasons prior. Smith struggled mightily in the first 10 NHL games of his career with Colorado last season, but is a proven AHL goaltender and will provide organizational depth.
Smith signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Hurricanes on Saturday. It was a rough first stint in the NHL for Smith, as he posted a 1-6-1 record, .888 save percentage and 3.54 GAA -- not that it's easy to be a backstop in Colorado. As long as Scott Darling and Cam Ward are protecting the crease in Carolina, the 28-year old will likely play close to a full season for AHL Charlotte.
Smith stopped 42 of 45 shots in Saturday's shootout loss to the Stars. Smith was far busier than opposing netminder Kari Lehtonen, and if one of his teammates had scored in the shootout, he may have come away with a victory. The 27-year-old closes out the season with two solid appearances, but his .888 save percentage puts some uncertainty around his future. Smith showed what he's capable of in Saturday's loss, but we'll need to see more of that from him at the NHL level before we put any stock in his fantasy value.
Smith will be in goal Saturday in Dallas, Rick Sadowski of NHL.com reports. Colorado has back-to-back games to finish off the season, meaning Smith will play Saturday and watch Calvin Pickard in net Sunday. Smith has only made three appearances in the past month, recording a horrid .838 save percentage coupled with a 4.77 GAA. This start will be a good opportunity to show he has potential in the long term, but fantasy owners should steer clear for now.
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