The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed Ben Smith off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Smith will be joining Toronto for a second stint with the team. Late last season, he was acquired from San Jose by the Leafs as a salary throw-in as part of the James Reimer trade and evidently the team liked what it saw from Smith even though they didn’t re-sign him in the offseason. He had two goals and four assists with the Leafs in 16 games but was held off the scoresheet in six contests with San Jose.
This season, Smith has played in four games with the Avalanche, collecting zero points and a -2 rating while averaging 10:46 per night. For his career, he has played in 201 NHL contests between Chicago, San Jose, Toronto, and Colorado, picking up 27 goals and 23 assists.
Smith will likely reprise his fourth line penalty killing with the Maple Leafs, who also waived Milan Michalek on Monday. He’ll earn $675K in the NHL this year and $150K in the minors after signing a two-way deal back in the offseason. As James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail points out, the Leafs will actually save $275K on the cap by adding Smith in place of Michalek although just over $3MM of Michalek’s salary will still count on their cap if he clears and is sent to the minors.
[Related: Maple Leafs Depth Chart]