Blackhawks forward Ben Smith will replace Jimmy Hayes vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Smith will skate on the Hawks third line with Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw. He had a goal in his only game with Chicago last season and also netted 27 with 20 assists (47 points) in 54 games with the Rockford IceHogs (AHL).
“Ben Smith has suffered a right hip labral tear and a hernia. He will undergo endoscopic surgery next Thursday (March 15) to repair both issues. We anticipate a full recovery in approximately 16 weeks.”
Smith is now lost for the regular season and the playoffs. He scored two goals in 13 games with the Blackhawks this season.