Ladislav Smid is… back?
After assigning Smid to a conditioning stint mere days ago, it appears as though the little-used blueliner is already back with the big club, as the Flames have recalled him. Smid played one game for the Stockton Heat, a 2-1 loss in which he was on the ice for the opposition’s first goal against. He had no shots or points, but that said, he is said to have played rather well in his game.
And now he’s back already. Huh.
“What was the point of that?” is something you may be wondering, and quite frankly, it’s something I’m wondering, too. Smid could have spent another 10 days with the Heat, and played another four games with them, including Stockton’s contest tonight against Bakersfield. Instead, it appears as though the one game Smid played was enough.
Smid has now played a grand total of five professional hockey games this season: four in the NHL, and one in the AHL. He has played eight hockey games total throughout all of 2015, having been forced to miss a lot of time due to a neck injury.
So basically: the Flames sent Smid to play on a conditioning stint, something that typically happens to players who haven’t played in a long time, usually due to injury, and need to get their legs back under them. Then, after playing all of one game, they’ve brought him back up to the NHL, where he’s spent most of his time sitting in the press box – a path he is probably likely to continue on, as he may very well be the worst of the Flames’ seven defenders on the roster.
The Flames do have back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow, and Bob Hartley has a history of sometimes sitting his sixth defenceman so his seventh can get a game in. He occasionally sat Deryk Engelland last season in order to play Raphael Diaz, and he’s already sat Engelland once this season to play Smid. So it’s possible Smid could get to play tomorrow, and his one-game conditioning stint was to ensure he’d be ready.
But if that’s not the case, then I’ve really got nothing. Smid carries a $3.5 million cap and is under contract for this season and the next. He’s overpaid and never utilized because he’s a poor option. It’s an incredibly weird situation all around – and increasingly, it’s looking like a poorly handled one.