Bob McKenzie tweeted out on Tuesday morning about what is brewing between the Red Wings and defenseman Brendan Smith:
Decision Day for DET. Sign Brendan Smith (3 x $3.5M+ or thereabouts) or trade him. Multiple teams interested, incl NYR, amongst others.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 28, 2017
Smith’s name has been in the trade rumor mix for a couple of weeks now, but the Red Wings have expressed interest in re-signing the 28-year-old defenseman to an extension. Smith has clearly expressed that he wants to stay in Detroit, but understands the business side of things. Smith has notched five points in 33 games this season.
That being said, I think an extension to the tune of three years for $3.5 million is an extremely poor decision, and I don’t anticipate that I am alone in that feeling. Smith has done nothing to deserve a significant raise, and if the market is there, Ken Holland absolutely needs to cash in. Looking forward — the Wings have a pipeline of young defensemen who need NHL time. Players like Ryan Sproul, Robbie Russo, and possibly some others are waiting for their chance to show what they can do. Sproul has had some playing time this season, but has spent a lot of time as a healthy scratch. Sproul has two more points than Smith, and has played nine less games.
It would make sense for Red Wings to decide on Smith now that Shattenkirk domino has fallen. Teams can make best offers for Plan B.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) February 28, 2017
Shattenkirk was traded on Monday to the Washington Capitals for Zach Sanford, and draft picks. What the Red Wings could get for Smith is comparable to what was had for Ron Hainsey — a 2nd round pick. I just don’t see how the team can afford to commit more time and money to a player while the organization is in deep need for a rebuild. Smith is a fine defenseman, but for many fans, that ship has sailed here in Detroit.
Bottom line: Detroit is at the bottom of their division. They must embrace a selling mentality in hopes to start building the organization back up. Ken Holland re-signing veterans at this point is senseless.