Is Craig Smith Worth Keeping Around This Season?

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in Game Six of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 12, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins won 5-2. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in Game Six of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 12, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins won 5-2. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Bruins have an ugly problem on the horizon with this upcoming season’s roster and when looking at some possible housekeeping things that the Bruins could do, one could begin to look at forward Craig Smith and wonder just how he fits in and if the Bruins could keep him or move on.

Craig Smith signed a 3-year deal with the Bruins back in 2020 and he is currently entering the final season of that contract. In that time, what has Smith done for the Bruins?

What does Craig Smith bring to the Bruins lineup?

Besides missing 8 games for Boston this season, Smith actually wasn’t all that bad playing in the 3rd line role and on the power play. In regular statistics, he potted 16 goals and 20 assists which for a 3rd line player in the NHL is pretty good. On the Advanced stats side, his IXG or Individual Expected Goals For was 11.55 so he did surpass those expectations. It’s not over the moon but important to look at.

Since joining Boston, he’s now had consecutive 30+ point seasons and when looking at his numbers over his career, he is right where he should be and is doing great for being in his 30s in the role he does play. He also plays in all areas of the ice, making him more important to the Bruins.

What could the Bruins be looking at doing with Smith?

Even though Smith has done great for Boston, it has to be wondered with the current state of the roster if they could keep him around or potentially move him. There’s a few things to unpack here. For starters, he’s been consistent, which is a pro that works in his favor. A few cons though are the fact that he’s entering a contract year where his deal is going to expire at the end of the season. If Sweeney were to look to move him, it should only be if he has an absolutely slow start for the team and isn’t producing to the 30-point pace that he’s seen throughout his NHL career. On another note, the Bruins would have suitors lined up for Smith’s services if they decided that they weren’t going to extend him beyond this season.

Overall, I hope it works out for Craig Smith, he’s been great and his contract was a good one for the Bruins, let’s just wait and see how long he’s still in Boston.