Brendan Smith’s first full season with the Rangers has not gone as expected. After being a top-four option down the stretch and in the playoffs, he has been a healthy scratch for four straight games and six times already this season. That’s not good for someone that the team committed four years and $17.4MM to back in June. Neither side has to be thrilled with how things have gone so far making it fair to wonder if there could already be buyer’s or seller’s remorse from New York or Smith.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post spoke with Smith’s agent, Anton Thun, who made it clear that the Rangers’ defender has no regret about signing despite the lack of playing time: “I’m not sure who’s the buyer and who’s the seller in this case, but there are no regrets at all from Smitty. And while I don’t want to speak for the Rangers, I talk to Jeff (Gorton) pretty regularly and I’ve never gotten that impression from him. This is where he wanted to be and this is where he wants to be.”
Other news and notes from the East:
- The Devils are expected to activate winger Kyle Palmieri off injured reserve in advance of Thursday’s game against Edmonton, North Jersey’s Andrew Gross reports. He could possibly take the place of center Pavel Zacha in the lineup as the 20-year-old skated as the 13th forward in practice. While New Jersey will need to make a move to bring Palmieri back, they have yet to place Marcus Johansson (concussion) on IR so that should open up a roster spot without affecting any of their currently-healthy players.
- The Sabres could get defenseman Josh Gorges back this weekend, notes Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald. The veteran has missed the last eight games due to a lower-body injury and Buffalo could certainly use some healthy bodies on their injury-riddled back end. Fellow rearguard Nathan Beaulieu is also making progress on his lower-body issue although there’s no timetable for his return. Meanwhile, blueliner Matt Tennyson is listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury.