The Gemel Smith Era could be over for the Bruins just as quickly as it began, as Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has placed the forward on waivers less than two weeks after acquiring him via waivers from the Dallas Stars on Dec. 6.
The 24-year-old Smith skated in three games with the Bruins after shuffling up from Dallas, with two hits, three shots on goal, and a minus-3 rating while averaging 10:00 of time on ice per night. He played in 14 games with Dallas this season prior to the aforementioned waiver claim, posting two goals and a helper for Dallas.
A Hail Mary play to spark a struggling Boston bottom-six that had been playing without any bite all year, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was honest about the difficulty of finding Smith’s fit within the Boston mix earlier this week.
“I still have a certain loyalty to those players so they’re going to have to outplay those guys that we’re sitting out as well. So that’s part of it with Gemel right now, finding out where he fits,” Cassidy said. “Sometimes it’s not easy, but that’s the business. When you get picked up on waivers, it’s important that the individual really step up and solidify a spot because usually someone’s coming back into the lineup or you’ve decided to make a change for whatever reason.
“For us, we thought he could add some speed to our lineup. I don’t know [Smith] that much as a player. He comes here, doesn’t know us as well, so that’s it you’ve got to sort of get in there and get going.”
If Smith sneaks through waivers, he will report to the P-Bruins.
But Smith’s trip to the waiver wire could mean something even better for the Bruins, though, and that’s the potential return of Patrice Bergeron after missing the previous 15 games with a rib/shoulder injury.
In addition to the Smith move, the Bruins also reassigned Jeremy Lauzon to the Providence Bruins.
The 21-year-old Lauzon has appeared in 15 games for the Bruins this season, with one goal and 10 shots on goal over that stretch, but had been a healthy scratch in seven straight games.
The Bruins will get back to the practice rink Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Warrior Ice Arena.