Leafs waive Smithson

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After a 13-game audition with Toronto, Jerred Smithson could be on his way out of town.

The veteran center was placed on waivers Wednesday, the Maple Leafs announced. Head coach Randy Carlyle was blunt in both his assessment of and reasoning behind the move.

“We felt we have players ahead of him,” Carlyle said, as per Sportsnet’s Fan 590. “Simple as that.”

Smithson, 34, signed with the Leafs in early November after a successful tryout with the AHL Marlies. Toronto was dealing with major issues at the center position at the time of the deal — Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland were both out of action — and Smithson went on to appear in 13 games for Toronto, failing to register a point while averaging 10:20 TOI per game.

Putting Smithson on waivers is somewhat surprising, given Bozak suffered another injury during Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to San Jose. Bozak is expected to undergo an MRI today and if he’s unable to play, the Leafs would be left with Nazem Kadri, Trevor Smith, Peter Holland and Jay McClement as its top four centers.