The 2013 offseason has so far been a fairly quiet one for the Detroit Red Wings when it comes to free agency, but that could soon change. The Red Wings gave star forward Pavel Datsyuk a well-deserved extension and signed forward Drew Miller to a three-year deal, and now a handful of free agents remain. Two of those free agents are defensemen, and Detroit is expected to bring both players back. One of those defensemen is 24-year-old Brendan Smith, who will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing rookie season.
The Red Wings will be bringing Smith back for two main reasons: he’s a former first-round pick that they have already invested a lot of time and money in, and he has tremendous upside moving forward. At the college and AHL levels, Smith has been a steady producer on the offensive end of the ice while playing a solid physical game at the other end of the ice. This season he struggled at times and was caught out of position a lot, but also saw the third-highest average time on ice among the team’s defense. After managing just eight assists in 34 regular season games, he scored two goals and had five points in the playoffs.
Smith should still be a relative bargain for the Red Wings, and likely gets a two or three year deal worth between $1-2 million per season. He’s still expected to be a big part of the team’s core in the next few years, and a new contract for him is a great move for the Red Wings.