Gemel Smith

Bruins place Gemel Smith on waivers after just three games

gemel_smith_bruins.jpg
USA Today Sports Photo

Bruins place Gemel Smith on waivers after just three games

It looks like the Bruins are pulling the plug on the very brief Gemel Smith experience.

After picking up the fast-skating former Dallas Stars forward on waivers a couple of weeks ago while in Florida in search of forward depth, the B’s placed Smith on waivers on Tuesday after scratching him for the last couple of games.

The 24-year-old Smith skated in three games with the Bruins this season after being claimed off waivers from Dallas, but didn’t make much of an impact with the short window to show his abilities.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted it was going to be a tough spot for Smith with a coaching staff that really didn’t know his game very well, and he really needed to flash in those first few games if he was going to push another player off the B’s roster.

“He’s got good foot speed and hands, but I think he has to initiate more when he’s out there,” said Cassidy of Smith. “Whether it’s on the fore-check or with the puck, we have to kind of identify what he is for us. When you bring in a player like that in the middle of the year, you want to look at them. But I still have a certain loyalty to those players [already with the Bruins] so he’s going to have to outplay those players.”

It was clear that he didn’t outplay anybody in his three games with the Black and Gold, but that’s also a difficult sample size to make any judgments on a player.

Smith played in 14 games with Dallas this season, posting two goals and one assist for three points before getting put on waivers by them as well. The Bruins also sent defenseman Jeremy Lauzon back to AHL Providence in another Tuesday afternoon roster move.  

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Newly acquired Gemel Smith to make Bruins debut tonight

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Newly acquired Gemel Smith to make Bruins debut tonight

BRIGHTON, Mass – New Bruins acquisition Gemel Smith was on the ice for the Saturday morning skate and will make his Black and Gold debut tonight in a divisional game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

What could be better than that?

Smith will play left wing with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner against the Leafs and will get an immediate look on the bottom-six for a team that could use a little more physical and offensive pop at the bottom of their forward group. Smith, 24, has totaled 11 goals and 20 points in 77 games the past three seasons with the Stars and now he’ll get a look from a Bruins organization that could desperately use some energy amid a three-game losing streak.

“He’s got some time in the league. He’s fast. He should help us on the fore-check, and he’s done more penalty killing than power play. It’s a pretty good program there in Dallas, so I suspect he’ll be good away from the puck,” said Bruce Cassidy of a player that has two goals, three points and a plus-1 rating in 14 games with the Stars this season prior to being waived. “I’m not sure what happened there and why he got pushed out, but we’ll put him in tonight. He’s out West, so we didn’t get to him a lot. We’ll see if he slides up, and he’s played left wing predominantly and some center.”

Clearly, Smith isn’t going to be a game-changing addition and the fact he was waived means he wasn’t playing well enough with the Stars. Still, the Bruins needed to do something to switch things up and improve both their penalty killing and their bottom-six depth. the hope is that Smith can do one, or preferably both.  

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Bruins claim center Gemel Smith off waivers from Dallas Stars

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AP Photo

Bruins claim center Gemel Smith off waivers from Dallas Stars

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Bruins will be adding to their NHL roster amid a slew of injuries, but it will be via the waiver wire rather than a trade.

The Bruins claimed Gemel Smith -- a 24-year-old center who's posted 11 goals and 20 points in 77 games over parts of three seasons -- off waivers from the Dallas Stars on Thursday. With the Bruins bouncing between inexperienced centers like Colby Cave and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson after Patrice Bergeron's injury, Smith may at least give the Bruins -- who currently rank 28th in goals scored in the 31-team NHL -- a little more consistency and offensive pop.

Smith, whose best season was 2017-18 (6 goals and 11 points along with a plus-5 rating in 46 games), seems like a good temporary fit for a third line that’s essentially been looking for a center all season.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Smith isn’t a bruiser or a prolific scorer by any means, but gives the B's some much-needed depth at center. He was a fourth-round pick of the Stars in the 2014 Draft and posted professional highs of 12 goals and 33 points for the AHL Texas Stars in 2016-17.

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