Buffalo Bandits defenseman Billy Dee Smith took matters into his own hands when he was a holdout as the team’s training camp started this month. Smith took part directly in the negotiations with his agent and the Bandits that led to him signing a contract.
“I’m an emotional guy. Each time I find myself getting involved. I did this time,” he said. “It seemed to go a lot quicker as soon as I get involved. It’s easier when they hear from me and find out where I’m coming from.”
The Bandits announced that Smith had agreed to a two-year deal, which means he won’t have to go through the bargaining process next year.
“I kind of wanted to be locked in,” he said. “It’s one of those things you hate to do. You want to do it the proper way, so that when you do sign there are no bad feelings with each party. I’m happy with the two-year deal.”
Smith sat out Saturday’s scrimmage against the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday afternoon. He watched as teammate Shawn Williams scored the game-winning goal with 1:28 left to give Buffalo a 16-15 win.
The Bandits will play the Wings again this morning in a scrimmage that is closed to the public. The team may start cutting players from its roster as soon as today.