Update (11:50am): General Fanager provides the contract details and it is indeed a two-way deal. Smith will earn $675K in the NHL – a figure $100K above the minimum – and $150K in the AHL. It’s a contract structure that is becoming more common for players like Smith; players who excel in the AHL but can’t find a regular NHL job. The NHL salary is just above the minimum but in order to lure Smith, Colorado had to guarantee him an AHL salary well above the average for a minor league player.
The Colorado Avalanche have announced the signing of veteran depth forward Ben Smith to a one-year deal, per the club’s website. Financial details were not made immediately available but it’s likely Smith’s 2016-17 salary won’t be much more than the league minimum. Additionally, there was no mention whether the arrangement is a one or two-way deal. Of course under terms of a two-way contract, Smith would earn a lesser salary while suiting up in the AHL.
Smith split this past season between Toronto and San Jose, tallying six points in 16 contests for the Leafs after going scoreless in six games with the Sharks. He also netted 12 goals and 16 points in 19 AHL games.
It’s likely Smith will split the upcoming campaign playing for the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio while also serving as experienced depth for the big league team should injuries arise. Colorado would already seem to have plenty of other options up front after signing UFA F Joe Colborne and trading for C Rocco Grimaldi this summer. But it’s never bad to stock a few veteran players like Smith in your organization, even if their biggest contribution is mentoring the team’s prospects in the minor leagues.
(Team depth charts courtesy of Roster Resource)