When Tampa Bay put Mike Smith on waivers yesterday, you knew things were going bad for the oft-injured former starting goalie. He missed chunks of time this season, like in previous seasons, with injuries and now with Dwayne Roloson around seizing the starting job, Smith was squeezed out of the mix.
Today, Smith cleared waivers and appears headed to the AHL to join the Norfolk Admirals. While the demotion helps Norfolk as Cedrick Desjardins is hurt there, for Smith it’s a tough blow. Smith is in the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent next year. It was thought that the Islanders might think about claiming him, but it turned out they’d had their fill with goalie waiver drama with Evgeni Nabokov and wouldn’t pursue Smith.
Smith headed into this season competing with Dan Ellis for the starting job but both goalies went through fits of inconsistency leading to the Lightning starting off slowly. Now with Roloson in place and the team on top of the Southeast Division, Smith and his slightly larger contract are destined for the AHL.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.