After surprisingly being placed on waivers yesterday, Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith has cleared. He was also immediately brought back up to the NHL, and will play in tomorrow’s preseason game against the Chicago Blackhwaks.
A veteran of over 500 NHL games, Smith has played more for Ottawa than anyone else on the roster. The move likely came as the team’s last effort to try and get rid of his $3.25 cap hit, after reportedly being unsuccessful in trying to trade him over the past couple of seasons. It could also have been due to the team trying to make more space for rookies on the main roster such as Filip Chlapik, although that appears out of the question now that he’s been recalled.
The move was met with some criticism from teammates, with Matt Duchene bluntly calling it a “kick in the balls”. Hopefully all is settled now that he’s back up, although it likely didn’t leave a lasting impression on the players. A respected veteran in the locker room, Smith was most recently playing alongside Mark Stone and Brady Tkachuk.
Edit: This post originally stated Smith would be assigned to Belleville. He has since been recalled to Ottawa.