The Chicago Blackhawks gave an update today on the health of Zack Smith, indicating the forward has undergone back surgery and will be out for three to four months. Smith hasn’t played since the middle of February, and obviously won’t play again this season. The team has also announced that Lucas Carlsson will miss tonight’s game and is in the concussion protocol.
Smith, 31, has another year on his contract with the Blackhawks, but it is unclear at this point where exactly he will fit in next season. In 50 games this year the former Ottawa Senator scored just four goals and 11 points, a far stretch from his career-high of 25 goals set just a few seasons ago. Add in back surgery and several months removed from action and who knows what kind of player will be ready for training camp.
It’s obvious that the Blackhawks need to give even more opportunity to their young forwards as well, meaning it might be tough for Smith to find a ton of regular playing time. Still, with a $3.25MM cap hit there’s no hiding him, so hopefully he can come back even stronger.