The Detroit Red Wings took care of one of their final orders of business for the summer in re-signing defenseman Brendan Smith to a new two-year contract. The young d-man was set to head to arbitration with the Wings, which was obviously avoided with the new deal.
Smith experienced some pretty big growing pains in 2013, but showed plenty of promise on the blue line. He was prone to mistakes in his own end, particularly in the postseason. That won’t be entirely uncommon with Smith, but his offensive ability on the blue line could help to overshadow his inconsistencies in his own end, which will improve.
Over two seasons, Smith has played in 48 games with the Wings. He was set to play a full season with Detroit in 2013, but was limited due to injury. He appeared in 34 games this past season, totaling eight points, all coming via the assist. He has just one goal and 14 assists to his credit in his career.
Despite his limited output to this point, the Red Wings got excellent value in re-signing him to a new contract. The two-year deal carries a cap hit barely over $1.2 million. For a player with the upside of Smith from the blue line, that’s not only a fair deal, it’s a fantastic one for Detroit.
Smith is a strong puck mover from the blue line and is smarter with the puck than we’ve seen so far, given his mistakes in his own zone. But he has good vision and will put in a few goals from back there. This deal is not only good for the Wings, but it’s good for Smith as well, despite the low price.
It’ll help potentially set him up for a larger deal next time around, if he’s able to flash some of that offensive upside. There’s always a market for young, offensive d-men, which Smith certainly is. This is a good deal all around, and should pan out wonderfully for the Red Wings.