UFA Smith leaves Calgary, off to Swiss league

Flames GM Brad Treliving discusses the 3 signings by his club on the first day of free agency, including veteran goalie Jonas Hiller, who will create great competition with Karri Rämö in the nets.

After failing to land a new NHL contract, unrestricted free agent Derek Smith is off to Switzerland.

The 200-pound defenceman from Belleville, Ont., has inked a one-year contract with the ZSC Lions, also the club team of fellow Canadian and former NHLer Guillaume Latendresse.

The 29-year-old Smith played 94 career NHL games with the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames, putting up 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) as he saw sporadic action from 2009-10 through 2013-14. Smith’s two-year, one-way contract with the Flames organization expired on July 1.

He spent a majority of his professional career in the American Hockey League, scoring 168 points (41 goals, 127 assists) in 311 games for the Binghamton Senators and the Abbotsford Heat. As a member of the AHL Senators, Smith won the Calder Cup in 2011.

Smith’s NHL run peaked in 2011-12, when he played a career-high 47 games and scored a career-best 11 points for the Flames.

The Zurich-based Lions will defend their National League A championship in 2014-15.

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