DETROIT, Mich — The Red Wings have traded defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers for a pair of draft picks:
Pending a trade call (not official until then), DET will get 2nd rder and 3rd rder, both in 2017, from NYR for Brendan Smith.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 28, 2017
NOTE: NYR currently does not have a 2017 2nd round pick. They have two 2nd round picks in 2018. McKenzie admitted his mistake like a true pro.
There was a lot of speculation surrounding a possible trade, or extension for the 28-year-old defenseman. The Red Wings have embraced the sell, and have done the right thing with the impending UFA rearguard.
Smith has 67 points in 291 career NHL games, but never lived up to the potential he had. Whether or not this is talent-related, or the way the team chose to use him is neither here nor there. Smith is reliable in sheltered situations to act as a puck-possession-driving defender. He won’t light up the scoresheet, but he will bring some much-needed depth to the Rangers defensive core, especially now that Dan Girardi will be sidelined for up to two weeks.
According to a report, Smith rejected the Red Wings offer on an extension, leading the team to make him 100% available. The team had interest in retaining him, but the team was already strapped in terms of cap room. Making another big commitment to a player on the wrong side of his 20s wasn’t on the cards.
UPDATE: The Red Wings have made the trade official. They acquire a 2017 3rd round pick and 2018 2nd round pick (previously acquired from Ottawa) for Brendan Smith:
Update: #RedWings acquire 2nd Rd draft pick in 2018 and a 3rd Rd draft pick in 2017 from the Rangers in exchange for D Brendan Smith. pic.twitter.com/QTe9fRvJAQ— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 28, 2017
We spoke with el capitan of the New York Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and got this from Joe Fortunato:
So here's the deal: Smith is a very good target and makes the Rangers a lot better. However, he's not good enough on his own to fix the Rangers' horrific defense enough to get over Pitt and Washington -- especially now that Washington added future Ranger Kevin Shattenkirk. I also think the 2nd (it's 2018, by the way, NYR don't have a 2017 2nd) and the 3rd are expensive, but if NYR are looking to keep him next year and beyond then I'm a little better with the price.
I'd HOPE he'd be a 2nd pairing guy. Maybe even a first pairing guy (moving Girardi to the 3rd or in the press box) but with Alain Vigneault you never do know.
This story is developing.