Veteran blueliner Derek Smith assigned to Heat

With the Calgary Flames getting healthier on defence, the Abbotsford Heat are benefitting from the trickle-down effect.

On Monday, the Flames sent blueliner Derek Smith to the Heat after he cleared waivers. The 29-year-old has appeared in 11 games with the Flames this season, notching one assist, along with one AHL contest with Abbotsford. Smith's reassignment came after Flames captain Mark Giordano returned to the lineup after missing 18 games with a broken ankle.

Smith was terrific in his lone appearance with the Heat, an Oct. 25 home game vs. the Lake Erie Monsters. His five shots on goal were tied for team-high, and he picked up second star honours in a 4-2 victory.

The Belleville, Ont. native has a track record of success at the AHL level – he eclipsed the 50-point plateau back-to-back seasons with the Binghamton Senators (2009-10 and 2010-11), and helped Binghamton win the Calder Cup in 2011.

The Heat host the Iowa Wild in a rare Wednesday-Thursday set this week (7 p.m. both nights, Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre).

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