With the trade deadline quickly approaching, we will be profiling several players in the weeks ahead that are likely to be dealt by March 1st.
As the Detroit Red Wings slip deeper into the Eastern Conference basement, their hopes of a 26th consecutive playoff appearance slip away as well. Brendan Smith is one of many names rumored to be shipped out of Hockeytown.
Final season of a two-year, $5.5MM deal. $2.75MM AAV.
Smith has been somewhat of an enigma in Detroit. On one hand, it’s never seemed like he got a fair shake in the Motor City. On another, when given chances this season, Smith has not been at his best. Fighting injury and other defensemen for ice time, Smith is in the final year of his contract and is destined to be wearing a different jersey next season.
GP 29; 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points; -1; 18:19 TOI; 50% CF
Depth on the blue line is one of the greatest assets come playoff time. A promising playoff run can be derailed by injury, especially due to the grueling nature of the NHL playoffs. Smith’s affordable contract and offensive upside could be an asset looking for a top six defenseman. Though Smith would fill in best as a fifth or sixth defenseman, he could still bring value to a team.
The Chicago Blackhawks could squeeze him in, should they not acquire anyone else, especially since there are rumors tied to them about having interest in Thomas Vanek as well. Should the Red Wings be willing to eat salary, the Blackhawks could offer a mid round or lower end pick. Or, they could get creative in terms of trading players that can match up monetarily. The Los Angeles Kings are another option, always looking for defenseman to strengthen their blue line. In the east, Montreal would be an option, while the Columbus Blue Jackets could bring him into the fold to help its depth. While Smith won’t garner much in the way of prospects, getting a draft pick instead of losing him as a free agent is certainly a better option.
Likelihood Of A Trade
General manager Ken Holland has indicated that selling is becoming the more realistic option as Detroit’s playoff hopes fade. Smith offers a chance to snag a draft pick or a prospect, depending on the trade partner. With Smith being in the final year of his contract, it’s a high probability that he’s shipped out.