The Buffalo Sabres have decided that Dalton Smith has done enough to earn an NHL deal, signing the minor league veteran to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level. Smith has been with the Rochester Americans for the last three seasons, playing on AHL contracts.
If a deal like this comes as some surprise, it is important to note who the Sabres play on Tuesday evening. Buffalo will welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning into their building tomorrow night, the same team that has injured both Vladimir Sobotka and Rasmus Dahlin this season. Though Smith isn’t a prototypical enforcer, he does play an extremely heavy game and is not afraid to stand up for his teammates or drop the gloves.
The fact that Smith isn’t on waivers prior to signing indicates that he will not be sent down immediately. In fact, he was on the ice with the team at practice today and could very well be added to the lineup for tomorrow night. The 27-year old has four points in 21 games for the Americans this season.