Sabres' Smith thinks he'll get a good look to try to make the team

C.J. Smith gets to play with Sam Reinhart and Casey Mittelstadt in Columbus

Paul Hamilton
September 17, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - C.J. Smith had a good training camp last season, but was still sent to Rochester. The same promises were made last season that have been made this season, if you perform, you’ll be rewarded. Smith said, “It’s something I just put in the back of my mind and don’t really think about it. I’ve just got to worry about this camp as it’s obviously a new coach and new opportunity, so I just have to take advantage of what’s given to me right now.”

Smith gets a real good opportunity in Columbus as he’ll be with Sam Reinhart and Casey Mittelstadt. He said he couldn’t ask for more, “I’m real excited with the opportunity I’m getting tonight. They’re really good and it’s a big opportunity for me.”

Smith got 11 games with the Sabres last season, scoring two goals. In 62 games with Rochester, he netted 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points. Smith thought when he got his NHL opportunity, he made the most of it, “I thought I did well. There’s things out of my control, so I’m just hoping to get more of a consistent opportunity this year.”

Ralph Krueger has maintained from the start that the best players will win the jobs. He said that pertains to Smith too, “All players have come in here with a clean slate in their minds. I don’t feel much of the past influencing what we do now.

“They all realize that they have a true opportunity here with performance to work themselves up to different roles within the organization.”

Join me and Brian Koziol for the pre-game starting at 6:45 when he’ll be joined by Smith.

 

Tonight’s lineup:

Smith - Mittelstadt - Reinhart

Pekar - Sobotka - Okposo

Olofsson - Asplund - Olson

Wilson - Ruotsalainen - Dea

 

McCabe - Borgen

Hickey - Fitzgerald

Bryson - Montour

Jokiharju

 

Ullmark

Hammond

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