Bruins place forward Craig Smith on waivers

Charles Krupa
The Bruins have waived forward Craig Smith, whose production has fallen off this season.

An indication their patience has worn thin with Craig Smith’s faded production and diminished roster impact, the Bruins on Sunday placed the veteran winger on waivers, according to and,  two NHL-salary-tracking websites.

By mid-afternoon, the Bruins had not made public any roster moves or new waiver listings.

The Wisconsin-born Smith, 33, is in the final season of a three-year free-agent deal he signed here on Oct. 10,  2020 after spending nine seasons with the Nashville Predators. For years a vibrant skater and volume shooter, he eventually became only a third- or fourth-line role player for the Bruins, this season producing a paltry 1-3—4 line across 17 games.


He was held back this season by injury, and his ice time diminished with the emergence of wingers Trent Frederic and newcomer AJ Greer. The rebirth of Nick Foligno, 5-9—14 to date, also made it a greater challenge for Smith to log ice time.

Foligno, another free-agent signee now finishing up a two-year deal, was placed on waivers at the very start of the season and went unclaimed. The Bruins at the time also waived veteran backliner Mike Reilly, who cleared in mid-October and eventually played 10 games with the varsity before being assigned to AHL Providence on Nov. 8.

Reilly, 29, has a deal through next season that carries a $3M cap hit.

The Bruins have sought a trading partner for Smith for some time, according to a team exec contacted on Sunday, but have found no takers. He is drawing a mid-range salary ($4.3 million) this season, one impediment to a possible trade, and he carries a $3.1M cap hit, yet another obstacle in GM Don Sweeney finding a viable/willing trade partner.

The stalled cap in recent years, in large part due to COVID, has left 22 clubs with less than $3M in cap space (per figures of capfriendly and puckpedia).

Smith contributed an assist in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets. It was his first point since Oct. 27.


In the likelihood that there are no takers, Smith could be assigned to Providence by Monday afternoon. Given that the varsity goes on a brief Christmas break after Friday night’s game in Newark, it’s also possible he remains in Boston to practice and decides his next move on the other side of the recess.


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