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Former Blackhawks forward Ben Smith signs with German team

Ben Smith hoists the Calder Cup. | Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

Former Blackhawks forward Ben Smith has agreed to a three-year deal with Adler Mannheim of the DEL, Germany’s top professional hockey league, reports Sportsnet. His departure from North America comes after a big AHL season that ended this week with a Calder Cup.

Smith, who turns 30 in July, played with the Blackhawks on and off from 2010 until he was traded in 2015. As a member of the team, he won a Stanley Cup in 2013 and twice finished in the top 25 in Lady Byng Trophy voting.

Fans will best remember Smith for his play during the 2014 postseason. He recorded four goals and two assists in 19 games on the team’s fourth line, including this sweet one to beat the Kings’ Jonathan Quick in the conference finals.

Smith also played for the Sharks, Avalanche and Maple Leafs after leaving Chicago. This past season he served as captains for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and led the team to a championship with 16 points in 20 playoff games. During the regular season, he was similarly productive with 59 points in 73 games.

One fun aspect of this move: It’s possible Smith becomes a teammate of the player the Blackhawks trade him for, Andrew Desjardins, who played for Adler Mannheim in 2017-18. The Hawks sent Smith and a seventh-round pick to the Sharks for Desjardins on March 2, 2015.