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NHL Free Agency 2013: Elliotte Freedman Reports Brendan Smith signs Two-Year Deal

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Hot off the Twitter presses.

Even better news!

For you history majors out there, this is a $1.2625M cap hit for the next two years of Brendan Smith developing off the Red Wings' third pairing and into a top-four role. What's better is that this contract will expire with Smith still as a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason. The 24-year old Mimico-born former Badger will still be eligible to elect arbitration when that comes around, but this year's arbitration hearing will be canceled as a result of this contract signing.

Smith played 44 total games for the Red Wings between the regular season and playoffs. He had 8 assists during the first 48 games of the year, but added two goals and three more assists during the team's playoff run.

Smith's signing leaves the Wings with just about $1.04M in cap space with 23 roster spots filled up. They still have RFA work to do with both Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist (neither of whom either filed for arbitration or had arbitration filed on them). The two spots Andersson and Nyquist are expected to take with their re-signings will open a requirement for the Wings to eliminate two players from their active roster by the time the season starts. this will also come with an elimination of whatever cap hit goes.

The bare minimum of cap hit clearance two players currently on the roster could create would be $1,258,333 (which would happen if the Wings parted ways with Cory Emmerton and Brian Lashoff... the first of which is a real possibility and the second is highly unlikely at this point unless Detroit brings in another defenseman).