The Toronto Maple Leafs are bringing in a veteran NHL centre, apparently. His name is Jerred Smithson.
The Leafs have yet to make any official announcement, and Kypreos seems to be the only source reporting it, so the news should be taken with at least one grain of salt, if not a whole tablespoon. But the addition of Smithson makes a lot of sense, as the Marlies roster currently only has three centres listed: Greg McKegg, Andrew Crescenzi and Sam Carrick. Marlies captain Trevor Smith was called up to the Leafs today, but is probably only up as insurance in case James van Riemsdyk can’t play tonight due to injury.
Because of injuries to Nikolai Kulemin and Frazer McLaren and David Clarkson‘s suspension, the Leafs have needed to use Marlies Carter Ashton, Troy Bodie, David Broll, Josh Leivo and Smith regularly to fill out their forward ranks. Smithson is another option to use if the Leafs run into any more injury troubles at centre.
Smithson is 34 years old and carries 588 games of NHL experience with him, scoring 96 points in his career. Smithson began last year with the Florida Panthers and was traded to the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline for a fourth-round pick. He’s not a scorer by any means, but at least he’s proved himself capable of playing on an NHL fourth line. At the very, very least, maybe he can provide some Obi-Wan Kenobi-type leadership and guidance to the young Marlies on a cheap contract.