Today, Brad Treliving announced that Ladislav Smid will not play this season.
Smid has been suffering on and off the past couple years from a serious neck injury, and has not been able to shake it off. Last season he only played in 22 games before being shut down for the season. While he has not officially retired, this could spell the end of Smid’s career. His injuries have been pretty serious and ongoing for years; it is probably for the best that he focuses on his family and his health. We definitely wish him all the best in the future, as that is a very tough way for anyone’s career to end.
What are the Implications of this?
CapFriendly currently has the Flames with $7.96M of cap space heading into this upcoming season. Due to the fact Smid will not be playing this season, he will be placed on the long-term injured reserve once the season commences. The Flames will have to be salary cap compliant with Smid’s salary included until this can occur. Once Smid can be placed on the LTIR, $3.5M of cap space is freed up for the Flames to use this season. That gives the organization a lot more money to play with. This will be beneficial in filling out the rest of the roster once Gaudreau is signed, as Freddie Hamilton still needs a contract as well. It also may provide an opportunity for Jakub Nakladal or one of the several players on a PTO to sign with the club.
Smid not playing also has some ramifications on the defence group for this season. Without Smid, the group is comprised of Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, Jyrki Jokipakka, Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman. That means there is room for one more defender to make the roster and battle for a spot in the line up. It could be Nakladal or it could be a PTO like Grossman (hopefully not). At this time, the best shot likely is Tyler Wotherspoon, who is on a 2-way deal but is waiver eligible. If he has a good camp, it is likely the Flames will not want to risk losing him for nothing. Ultimately, there is an open spot on the roster and some money about to be freed up, it will be interesting to see what plays out next. Just please do not sign Kris Russell.