Smid's season over

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:52 AM ET

Considering all he's been through this season, perhaps it's not surprising to see it come to an end this way.

It's been one headache after another for Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid - often literally.

Now, for all intents and purposes, Smid's season is over after he broke a bone in his left hand in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

"This year started with me sitting in the press box, then I was able to work my way back into the lineup and then I got a concussion," Smid said.

"I had to work through that and now this happens, so it's really disappointing for me."

Smid, 23, was injured on a harmless-looking play, jamming his hand along the end boards battling for the puck.

He dropped his glove on the play and realized the extent of the injury while attempting to pick it up.

"I dropped my glove and I tried to pick it up and I couldn't," Smid said.

"My fingers went numb and I knew there were some broken bones there.

"I just fell into the boards, it wasn't a big hit or anything like that. I just fell into the boards and one of the bones in my hand broke."

Smid will undergo surgery tomorrow and is expected to be out of the lineup for more than four weeks.

He won't be available to the Oilers unless they go on an extended playoff run, which seems unlikely, considering they have an uphill battle just getting into the post-season.

"It's too bad because my family had just come here on Saturday to watch me play, I guess they bought me good luck," joked the native of Frydlant, Czech Republic.

"They've flown all the way here and now they get to see me in the press box."

Luck is something Smid has not had a lot of this season.

Having been acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the Chris Pronger trade nearly three years ago, he had off-season knee surgery, which set him back at the start of the year.

Smid then struggled to find a place in the lineup due to the acquisition of Lubomir Visnovsky and the solid play of Jason Strudwick.

Smid was actually used as a forward in a couple of instances before eventually getting a regular spot on the blue-line.

He missed seven games early in the year after taking a shot in the head from Raffi Torres, then was forced to sit out again with a neck problem.

He has 11 assists in 60 games this season.

"His game had come a long way," said head coach Craig MacTavish.

"He definitely has lots more game left and it's too bad that he's out. He's established himself at a level where he's turned himself into a good NHL player."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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