Reilly Smith roasts Panthers' attendance woes amid coronavirus crowd bans
Vegas Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith roasted his former team Wednesday when discussing the possibility of playing games without fans present due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"I played in an empty building for a couple years in Florida so I'm used to it," Smith said, according to The Athletic's Jesse Granger.
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Wednesday they'll play Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins without fans in attendance. The San Jose Sharks will play home games in an empty rink for the rest of the month.
Smith spent two seasons with the Panthers from 2015-2017 before the team traded him to Vegas at the expansion draft for a fourth-round pick. The Panthers exposed Jonathan Marchessault in the expansion selection as a favor to the Golden Knights for taking on Smith's contract, which was deemed problematic with Smith coming off a 37-point season.
In three years with Vegas, Smith has tallied 167 points in 212 games - a 65-point pace over 82 contests. The 28-year-old is in the third season of a five-year, $25-million deal he signed with the Panthers in 2016.
Florida ranks 29th in attendance this season, averaging 14,104 spectators per game, according to ESPN.