In the first Florida Panthers move of the 2012 trade deadline season, the club has traded a 6th round pick in the upcoming draft for Nashville Predators center Jerred Smithson. The 33 year-old Smithson brings a less than desired scoring arsenal of 5 points (1G/5A) through 53 games and a grand total of 89 (36 goals) points in some 500 NHL games. Smithson may not be the scoring threat people are expecting Florida to deal for, but he does hold value as another defensive forward not unlike currently injured John Madden. Expected to fill in a 3rd/4th line center position, Smithson's assets lie in his faceoff percentage (55.6%) and penalty killing prowess; again the reasons Madden was signed. If coach Kevin Dineen utilizes him in the same manner as Nashville, he's expected to clock anywhere from 10-15 minutes of ice time and first PK unit duties. As are many of the deals with Nashville, assistant general manager Mike Santos may be sifting through players he was familiar with in his previous post to find a perfect fit for the Panthers.
Through 53 games, Smithson is second on the Predators in faceoff percentage, 3rd in hits (98), 10th in blocked shots (36) and 5th in shorthanded TOI/game with 2:05 minutes/game. The seven-year veteran is signed through 2013 with an 800K cap hit.
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Check out our SB Nation cousin On the Forecheck for their thoughts on today's trade.