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Breaking: Veteran D-man leaves the NHL to ink new deal overseas

The former 9th overall pick and a veteran of over 500 NHL games has apparently had enough of North America.

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Once lauded as a cornerstone defenseman for both the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, it looks as though 31 year-old defenseman Ladislav Smid has decided to return home. The tough luck blue liner who missed all of last season with a serious neck injury has signed a contract in his native country with Liberec of the Czech League.

He last played in the NHL with the Calgary Flames in 2015-16, but was limited to just 22 games due to injury. In fact, much of Smid’s NHL career can be characterized by injury and lineup absences. He never managed a complete NHL schedule during his eight seasons in the league.

Oilers fans may remember Smid as a big part of the package, along with Joffrey Lupul and draft picks, from the Anaheim Ducks for Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Pronger in a blockbuster trade that shocked the hockey world. Unfortunately for Oilers fans, Smid came nowhere close to meeting expectations and was ultimately moved to Calgary in a minor deal that netted the team backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit.

Farewell Laddy Smid, we hardly knew you.