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Blue Jackets announce trio of roster moves

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today that forward Jack Skille has been recalled from the American Hockey League’s Springfield Falcons, goaltender Jeremy Smith has been assigned to the Falcons and defenseman Ilari Melart has been reassigned from Springfield to Ugra of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Skille, 26, has tallied 2-0-2, two penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in seven appearances with Columbus. He has also recorded 2-1-3 and a +1 rating in six games with Springfield.

Skille was Chicago’s first pick, seventh overall, at the 2005 NHL Draft. The 6-1, 215-pound winger has recorded 22-29-51 and 73 PIM in 185 NHL career games with the Blue Jackets, Blackhawks and Florida Panthers. In 40 games with Florida in 2012-13, Skille tallied 3-9-12, 11 penalty minutes and 96 hits, which was the second-highest total on the team.

Smith, 24, is 11-3-1 with a 2.58 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage in 15 games with the Falcons this season and currently ranks second in the AHL in wins. Nashville’s second pick, 54th overall, at the 2007 NHL Draft, Smith was signed by Columbus this past summer after spending three seasons with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He has a career AHL record of 77-49-8 with a 2.39 GAA, .916 SV% and eight shutouts in 143 games with Milwaukee and Springfield.

“With regards to Ilari, we agreed last spring that he had the option to be loaned to a KHL club during the season,” said Kekalainen. “He exercised that option and we can recall him once the KHL season is complete.”

Melart, 24, was signed by the Blue Jackets as a free agent on May 24, 2013. He has collected 1-2-3 with 28 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating in 24 games with the Falcons. Prior to this season, he tallied 12-16-28 and 415 penalty minutes in 146 career games with HIFK in the Finnish Elite League. In 2012-13, he notched 7-11-18 and 80 penalty minutes in 50 games.

The Blue Jackets return to action on Thursday when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers. Game time from Wells Fargo Center is 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan, and online at

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