Archive for Brendan Smith

kevin shattenkirk

Last summer Jeff Gorton made the Rangers into one of the most dynamic scoring machines in the league. The forwards were vastly improved and they could seemingly score at will. But that dried up against the good teams in the playofs because the defense simply couldn’t keep up. That made Gorton’s for this summer goal clear: Fix the defense.

By buying out Dan Girardi, essentially replacing him with Kevin Shattenkirk, and re-signing Brendan Smith, the Rangers have what could potentially be the best top-four in the Metro Division. A potential pairing of Shattenkirk with Ryan McDonagh also gives the Rangers what could be a top pairing that is top-five in the league. No hyperbole.

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brendan smith

The Rangers have re-signed defenseman Brendan Smith to a four-year extension. The deal is worth $17.4 million, which is $4.35 million per year. When I went through our process of gauging his contract last month, I came to five years and $4.1 million. So one less year and an extra $250k per year. I’m going to call that a correct guess by me. I’m 1-for-1. Woohoo.

Smith was by far the best RD for the Rangers during the postseason, and retaining him was critical for the success of the blue line going forward. As of today, Smith will likely land as Ryan McDonagh’s defense partner on the top pair. Suffice it to say, that’s a significant upgrade over Dan Girardi.

Signing Smith was an important step in the offseason process for the Rangers. They now have a legitimate top-four RD on their roster, and for a pretty fair price.

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Brendan smith

Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

One of the under publicized storylines of the offseason is what the Rangers plan on doing with Brendan Smith. Smith, acquired at the trade deadline last season, was a solid if unspectacular player for the Rangers down the stretch. He was certainly one of the top three defensemen on the team, and was a rock in the playoffs.

Smith is an interesting player. As a UFA defenseman capable of playing the right side, he’s in high demand. But without a solid scoring line or a reputation as a “shut down defender,” his contributions are tough to measure using traditional methods. What we do know is that Smith is a solid skater who is good in his own end. He has good positioning and doesn’t leave people open in front to deliver a hit. He also doesn’t snow angel often.

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May
24

Gauging Brendan Smith’s next contract

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Brendan smith

Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

As Jeff Gorton, Glen Sather, and Alain Vigneault meet to discuss the offseason plans, one of their major talking points will surely be the blue line. The futures of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal will certainly be the focal point, but there is still a need retool the defense to something that resembles a Stanley Cup blue line.

A good portion of that discussion will be centered around retaining Brendan Smith. As Pat pointed out earlier this month, retaining him is critical. While the cost was steep (2018 2nd and a 2017 3rd), that is sunk cost at this point. The main reason, at least to me, why he needs to be retained is because he is a solid top-four option on the right side, something the Rangers sorely need.

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Categories : Offseason, Playoffs
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May
14

Retaining Brendan Smith is Key

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Brendan smith

Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

As we reflect on the 2016-17 Rangers season, and unfortunately short postseason, one thing that ought to be clear is that this team’s defense simply isn’t good enough as currently constructed. The Rangers are obviously going to have to do something about Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, may make a serious push for Kevin Shattenkirk, and will most certainly have to give Brady Skjei the bigger role he deserves on this blueline. One other thing became abundantly clear this postseason, and it goes hand in hand with my last point: the Rangers must re-sign Brendan Smith.

This past playoff run, Smith showed that he is absolutely indispensable on the back end alongside Skjei, with his savvy play allowing the youngster to take more liberties and let his offensive potential shine. Their chemistry was plainly evident, and they would make a solid second pairing together.

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Mar
03

Some quick Friday afternoon thoughts

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I know, I know, Dave just gave his thoughts on the deadline yesterday, but Dave and I are not the same person.  Deal with it.  It’s been a couple days since the deadline has passed, and I have had the ability to process the Rangers moves (and non-moves) and as you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. Considering Alain Vigneault’s track record with defensive deployment, it’s understandable for fans to be skeptical about the actual impact of the Brendan Smith trade. With someone like Shattenkirk, it would be a no-brainer to put him on the first pair. With Smith, depending on your view of his skill level, he could play anywhere from 1RD to 3RD. It seems like the Wisconsin connection with Ryan McDonagh has him ticketed for the first pair, which is a good thing. I don’t believe that Smith is an actual 1RD by any stretch, but since the Rangers gave up some relatively significant assets to acquire him, I’d much rather he push guys down the line up, than lengthen it from the bottom.

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Categories : Musings
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Mar
02

Thoughts following the trade deadline

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brendan smith

The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Rangers made their big move on Tuesday, not yesterday. That big move was acquiring Brendan Smith for a pair of draft picks. They made three other minor league moves, but nothing that moves the needle or even impacts the Rangers that much. The focus is on Smith, his impact, and how the Rangers fare for the rest of the season. So let’s get into it.

1. The Smith trade is an upgrade on the current defense. Smith, despite being a lefty, is a RD and has history with Ryan McDonagh, as they were paired together at Wisconsin. That leads me to believe that Smith will get the top bidding even when Girardi returns. That is dependent on how well McDonagh and Smith play together, but at this rate anything is better than Girardi on the top pair. So in that regard, the Rangers have a major net positive.

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Categories : Musings
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brendan smith

Per Bob McKenzie, the Rangers are working to finalize a deal for Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith. The deal, which is not finalized, is said to include at least a pair of picks, including a 2nd rounder is for a 2018 2nd and a 2017 3rd.

Smith is a notable upgrade on Kevin Klein on the right side, even as a lefty. He got off to a very rough start to the year, but has been steadily improving his play. He’s much better than any non-McDonagh/Skjei defenseman –yes, even Holden– so he certainly moves the needle on the blue line.

For me, I’m ok with the trade (assuming it’s just one second rounder) in a vacuum, however it doesn’t address the major problem, which is a 1RD. Perhaps something bigger is coming, perhaps not, but this doesn’t get them over the Washington/Pittsburgh hump.

Categories : Transactions
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