Smid (neck) has signed on to play with Liberec of the Czech Extraliga next season, thus ending his tenure with the Flames, Darren Haynes of the Canadian Press reports. Smid was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and with his injury history, it's entirely likely that Calgary would not have wanted to take a chance on him. The 31-year-old blueliner showed promise early in his career, but found it difficult to stay healthy later on and never quite lived up to the potential that many saw in him. A return to the NHL could be in the cards if he can turn in some good, healthy seasons in his native Czech Republic, but we wouldn't count on it.
While Smid (neck) is still expected to miss the entire 2016-17 campaign, the defenseman said he is working out almost every day, adding, "Because I'm not taking any contact, I don't really feel any pain anymore." Smid's 2014-15 campaign came to an end when he was on the receiving end of a high hit from Simon Despres -- who was with the Penguins at the time -- that required he go under the knife, and then Smid encountered a setback last season upon getting hit by Jason Zucker in a game against the Wild -- the 30-year-old Smid hasn't played since leaving that Feb. 17 contest. Hopefully, the veteran can continue to progress and be out there for the 2017-18 campaign, though it's worth noting that he'll be an unrestricted free agent in July.
Smid (neck) has been designated for injured reserve according to the NHL's official media site. Smid will not suit up at all this season as a result of this lingering neck ailment. The defenseman could be placed on long-term injured reserve later in the season in order to provide the Flames with some salary cap relief. Regardless of the technical designation, fantasy owners may want to bail on the 30-year-old given his uncertain future.
Smid will miss the 2016-17 season due to his neck injury. Smid wasn't productive last season, posting no points with a minus-7 rating. This neck problem has been bothering him for years, so hopefully he can take this season to make a full recovery and we'll see him return to form next fall.
Smid (neck) was included in a list of players not ready for on-ice activity Friday in training camp, Aaron Vickers of NHL.com reports. Smid has been bothered by neck injuries the past two seasons and it appears the issue has lingered through the offseason as he's not ready for full-participation activities in training camp. He still has several weeks before Calgary's first regular season game against the Oilers on Oct. 12 but his status for preseason and Opening Night appears highly questionable.
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