The Wild signed free-agent center Nathan Smith on Wednesday to a one-year, $550,000 contract. He’ll make $80,000 in the minors.
Smith, 27, a former Vancouver Canucks’ first-round pick, has played 17 NHL games over parts of four seasons with Vancouver and Pittsburgh. In 2007-08, he played for Wild coach Todd Richards in Wilkes-Barre, where he scored 50 points in 68 games.
Smith played last season for the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, where he played 44 games with 6 goals and 10 assists. He has 15 NHL games to his credit, the last of which were 13 games with the Penguins in the 07-08 campaign.
The other news from the supposedly vacationing Russo is this:
Wild has also signed Ryan Lannon to an NHL deal. The ex-Harvard dman is also a former Baby Pen
Lannon has yet to make his NHL debut, playing three seasons with the Baby Pens before being assigned to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL for last season. He played in 63 games, getting five assists and 33 PIM.
So, the train of former Todd Richards players continues. Hopefully these guys know what they are doing, and are not just fulfilling promises made to past players. Russo says the Lannon deal is a NHL contract. Guessing from the number of d-men already under contract, that means a two-way NHL contract.