Welcome back, Ben Smith. It's about time you got here.
The Chicago Blackhawks made a roster move Thursday, recalling Smith, Chicago's sixth-round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. The 23-year-old former Boston College standout will likely be making his season debut with the 'Hawks in Calgary Friday night.
Fans of Smith's playoff performance last spring versus Vancouver are hoping the fireplug forward can add a similar spark to Chicago. The Blackhawks, who are currently riding a four-game win streak, sent little-used Rostislav Olesz to Rockford after he cleared waivers a day ago.
Is this an upgrade for the 'Hawks? You bet. Even for a team on top of the league right now, Smith is a welcome addition to the Blackhawks as they hope to keep rolling on the road.
Smith's call-up is a big positive, both for Chicago and Smith. Here are five reasons for optimism on all fronts as Smith prepares to hit the ice.