Rangers finalizing deal for defenseman Brendan Smith

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.

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    • Agreed. If a 2nd & 3rd are going to Detroit, I’d have preferred just giving away the 1st & 2nd round picks for Shattenkirk.

        • I don’t know. There’s a huge difference between a late first round pick and a late second round pick. Aside from that, signing Shattenkirk this off-season is still probable. While it stings that Washington of all teams got our guy, I would not have traded a 1st for someone we have a significant chance at getting July 1 without having to relinquish valuable assets.

          • Is there a huge difference? The Rangers held on to the likely 26th-28th pick overall to get a vastly inferior player (Smith vs. Shattenkirk). Again, my point is if you are going to give up assets, make sure you get the best player.

            Smith feels like a half measure and a move the Rangers shouldn’t have bothered to make. Again, maybe Smith surprises us and is actually a worthwhile acquisition and difference maker, but I wouldn’t bet on that.

          • Trading a 1st for Shattenkirk would be an egregious misstep, due simply to the fact that everyone around the league knows he will most likely sign with the Rangers on July 1, 2017. I don’t think relinquishing yet another 1st round pick to chase the cup in the in one year’s playoffs is worth it unless the odds of acquire said player a otherwise nil.

            The last player taken in the 2nd round since 2009 to actually play for the Rangers is Christian Thomas. We saw how that worked. Players taken in the first round since 2009 that play for the Rangers include Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, and Brady Skjei. Not to mention that McDonagh was a first rounder as well.

            Yes Stepan was a 2nd, but I’m not arguing that 2nd round draft picks don’t pan out, nor am I arguing that all 1st do (Dylan McIlrath), but the odds of a first panning out are significantly better than a 2nd or 3rd.

            That said, I glad we still have our 1st (for now) and we still have a shot to land Shattenkirk.

          • But a late round 1st isn’t much more of a sure thing than a late round 2nd pick. That’s all I’m saying. I’d rather give up a 26th-28th pick and next year’s 2nd rounder for two or three months of Shatty than next year’s second and this summer’s 3rd for two to three months of Smith.

            And to your point, Skjei was a 28th overall pick, right about where the Rangers’ first round pick this summer would be.

      • both would be bad deals.
        Might say more about Klein’s back and Girardi’s ankle
        Way too much to give up for a bottom 4 rental

        • Shattenkirk would have slotted next to Girardi on the Rangers’ top pair. St. Louis played Shatty on the 2nd pair because they essentially roll two D pairs and use the third pair relatively sparingly.

          • well, if Gorton wants to load up with more Cap on the backline, they can sign him in 5 months.
            I wouldn’t – like his game, don’t like money or term of deal.

          • Ah, gotcha.

            For what it’s worth, I wrote out the other day how Gorton could sign Shattenkirk and extend Mika this summer with the Rangers’ existing cap room and not move any significant players off the roster.

  • From Winging it in Motown, “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.”

    • Detroit drafted him to be an offensive defensman, and his scoring abilities haven’t translated to the NHL. Apparently he is guilty of egregious turnovers, too. But, if you look at his recent stats, he has played 20+ minutes against Pittsburgh and Washington, so it appears that he is a trusted defensive player.

      • What I didn’t like from the write up was “reliable in sheltered situations “. We have enough guys who need to be sheltered as is. If they play him with McDonagh, and he is effective in that role, I’d be happy to change my tune. Time will tell.

  • not sure it was really worth doing anything since he wants to stay with the Wings and they will sign him as a UFA July 1 and this move will not get us over the hump. So unless we are sending Nash to Winnipeg for Trouba or to Anaheim for Vatanen(neither is happening) we just gave away 2 draft picks so we could maybe get to the 2nd round.

    • I imagine Gorton envisions moving one of the forwards in a year or two to restock the lost draft picks, like when Hagelin and Talbot were dealt two summers ago.

      In reality, the Rangers are very young and don’t really need draft picks at the moment. Future draft picks are more useful to the Rangers as trade assets right now.

      Look at the top 9. Barring serious injury, that group is set for the next 2-4 years. The assumption being that Vesey and Buch replace the departed Nash and the aging Zucc. The only place young players can step in and impact the Rangers is on the blue line. The odds of drafting a D this summer or next summer and seeing that player contributing in NY before 2020 are extremely low. 19 and 20 year old NHL Ds that aren’t drafted near the top of their respective draft class are exceedingly rare.

      Not sure where I am trying to go with this, I’m just frustrated that the Rangers bothered to acquire Smith when they could have just traded for Shattenkirk if they decided to part with a 1st rounder instead. Maybe Smith will surprise us and play up on a far more talented team than the one he was on in Detroit the past few years? I have a feeling Smith is another Holden, a mediocre D, but not one that is a serious difference maker.

      • your points are duly noted. But was it worth it to get rid of the picks for a guy who is decent enough but not enough to win you a cup? especially after the Caps picked up Shattenkrik? Also no one was moved out so what stops AV from playing Klein or Girardi over Smith? He likes lefties on the left on righties on the right,, although he has played Holden on the left.
        Might as well gone after Shattenkirk instead. A little more give up for a lot more upside.
        Maybe we can bring back Del Zotto? 🙁 …

        • Maybe AV shocks us all and Klein and G are the 7th and 8th D by time the playoffs roll around?

          I think it’s a given that McD and Stepan gave their input on trading for their old Wisconsin teammate Smith. If that’s the case, it takes pressure off of AV to keep playing Klein as 2 of his 5 captains have personally vouched for the new player.

          Seeing how Clendening is making less mistakes lately, he may have forced his way into the top 6 as well, possibly forcing out the rapidly decomposing Girardi.

          • well Girardi is out 10 to 14 days and Klein has a lingering issue. So he may not have a choice. our D is better with Smith and Clendening but does it matter? We may make another move but I tend to doubt it.

          • Look, with all that offensive talent and Hank in goal, the Rangers always have a puncher’s chance in the playoffs. Let’s not forget the Rangers have more points than all but 5 other NHL teams at the moment.

            If they get the crossover into the Atlantic for the playoffs, I think the Rangers are a lock for the ECF.

          • Not a lock, they’d still have to beat a potent Montreal team (this time actually facing their world-class goalie). But your insight isn’t off. I feel like that’s exactly why Washington spent what they spent for Shattenkirk, knowing they will have to participate in the dogfight against either Pitt or Columbus, they got to bring all the ammo they can, or they may not (probably still will not) get past the 2nd round.

          • Montreal is not potent. That’s a very mediocre team. I don’t care that they squeaked out a SO win last week. Montreal is nowhere near the Rangers when it comes to overall talent.

            As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Montreal gets passed by most of their division and take the WC2 slot or miss the playoffs altogether.

            You’re right about Washington. They are running out of years and not far away from having to tear it all down and rebuild around an aging Ovi. They need to go for it every year at the moment.

          • Any team with a world class goal scorer, a world class defenseman, a world class goalie, and decent depth is potent. Has Montreal struggled this year, yeah. Have they also been really good, too, yes.

          • I don’t think Montreal has that much depth. After their top line you are looking at an assortment of bottom 6 forwards and Gallagher.

            The Rangers also have a world class goalie and world class defenseman. Where I think the Rangers have a significant advantage is they can roll three scoring lines at Montreal and wear them down over 4-7 games.

          • You’re not wrong. We had better scoring, but with Price in net, that matchup is basically even, not tilted in our favor.

  • I won’t get too bent out of shape about losing the likely 70th overall pick this year and the 50th next year.

    • Combine those with the 2 2nds for E Staal. And the bevy of 1sts and 2nds for Yandle, MSL, Clowe….. it’s just a heck of a lot. I liked the moves in past years, not last year and I fear that this year may look like last year. It all lies on AV’s combos and how they perform.

      • Right. It’s the accumulation of picks given up over the years for second-tier players that were effectively band-aids.

        It’s not just this trade in a vacuum.

      • Yep, just giving away too many 1st, 2nds &3 rds over the last several years. It’s trading deadline psychosis & it drags your franchise to the bottom over the long term.

  • This trade sucks, 2 draft picks for Smith??? Unless something else happens, I’m not a happy camper.

    I was shocked when Washington got Shattenkirk but was happy we didn’t sell off the few assets we have left … now we just gave them away for him. I agree Chris A, we should of given a 1st and 2nd for Shattenkirk then if we gave two picks for this guy.

      • One prospect, Sanford, and a B level prospect at that.

        The other warm body Washington gave up, Brad Malone, is a 27 year old journeyman forward. Calling him a prospect is a very generous use of the term.

        • Since the Rangers traded the 2018 2nd-round pick they got from the Ottawa Senators, they essentially got Zibby and Brendan Smith for Brassard, a 3rd Round Pick and a 7th Rd Pick…

          Or since the traded ottawas pick, simply look at it as Smith for our 3rd rd Pick.

          • Don’t forget the $2M bonus the Rangers paid Brassard in exchange for that 2018 2nd.

    • No, Clark’s talent is turning 3rd round picks into NHL’ers. That is hard to do with regular success and the Rangers have managed that. It’s why they are still able to add talented young players to the team every year without the benefit of first round picks.

      Also, the Rangers have proven they know how to scout and (more importantly) sign top college FAs.

        • Exactly. People have a slavish devotion to draft picks, but the reality is that there are always one or two amateur FAs every year that are the equivalent to a traditional first round pick. Zucc, Hayes, Vesey, are three prime examples of that.

          • Hayes was drafted 24th overall by Chicago in 2010, though. Jimmy Vesey was drafted 66th overall, in the third round, by Nashville. These aren’t Dan Girardi cases here.

          • True, but there are always going to be one or two star NCAA players that go this route each year.

      • Just imagine what they could do with a first round pick Chris, they would get a HOFer!!!!! Sorry my friend, this idiocy has got to stop, but when, that’s the question? Maybe when we finally trade away every pick for the next 10 years !!!!!!!!!!!!

        • I doubt it Walt. Remember, the Rangers have been winning lately, so they have been trading away late first round picks.

          Because I’m bored today I decided to do some research on those lost picks and share my thoughts on them. Here is what I came up with:

          2013, 1st rounder (19th overall) traded away for Rick Nash: Kerby Rychel.

          Rychel is not very good, but the Rangers could have taken a couple of interesting players after him, interesting, but no one of real note. Of course, the Rangers, along with Nash, got the 3rd round pick that landed Buchneivich in that deal, so I think Sather made out like a bandit in that exchange.

          2014, 1st rounder (29th overall) traded away for Marty St. Louis: Adrian Kempe.

          TB flipped this pick to LA. Kempe has played only 7 NHL games for the Kings, he just made his debut 10 days ago. After Kempe was a whole lot of nothing. So the Rangers, again, didn’t really miss out on anything and they got to the Finals with Marty playing a big part in the playoffs that year.

          2015, 1st rounder (28th overall) traded away for Marty St. Louis: Anthony Beauviller.

          TB flipped this pick to the Islanders. Beauviller looks like he may have some skill, but he’s tiny. The bigger issue is the Rangers could have reached for current Hurricane winger, Sebastian Aho (35 overall), or reached for current Bruins D and player that is currently part of the Landeskog trade rumors, Brandon Carlo (37 overall). Everyone said the 2nd 1st rounder for St. Louis was too much. I would say those folks were correct. So that may bite the Rangers in the butt after all.

          2016 was the Yandle deal, Arizona flipped that 20th overall pick to Detroit. Detroit selected a lightweight college D who’s currently a freshman and lighting up the NCAA at the moment.

          Do you see a trend here? The Rangers’ pick, except in the 2013, and that pick should have been flipped, was flipped every year. It goes to show you how we overvalue 1st round picks.

          • Excellent analysis, but still, among all those flipped, late 1st rounders are guys like Kevin Hayes, Brayd Skjei, and Chris Kreider.

          • Thanks, I was just bored and mined hockey reference for data.

            Obviously, some drafts are better than others. 2013 & 2014 happened to not offer all that much late in the first round. 2015 was clearly a different story.

          • Chris

            But as you stated, with Girdie we get to draft so called quality in later rounds, so how much great stuff do we have to wave goodbye to, before we get a shot at a player. If we do that well late, imagine how good we would do with early rounds. There are times you need to trade picks, I understand that, but for goodness sake, why always 1st, and 2nd rounds???? We are coming from different directions on this issue, and probably won’t ever agree on it…………All the good teams draft their players, and develop them. We can’t depend on our luck for ever in getting the likes of a Hayes, or Vesey, in the free agent market….

  • Rangers traded the 2018 2nd-round pick they got from the Ottawa Senators, so they essentially got Zibby and Brendan Smith for Brassard, a 3rd Round Pick and a 7th Rd Pick

    • Interesting, thanks for the perspective on this. When you look at it that way, it seems a bit better. Still, he is a rental so no matter what the price is kind of high.

      I would have preferred them bringing up Graves, but, I guess they wanted an experienced NHL defenseman.

    • No they traded a 2nd and a 3rd for Smith. The other trade is moot and they also paid $2M bonus to Brass. Sens are cheap, didn’t want to pay Mika who will need a new deal next year.
      Overpaid for a offensive dman with little offense and a nagging knee injury for a team that is not a top 4 Cup contender.
      Doesn’t make sense.

        • I know they do, but one has to look at the absolute value of the pick, not how many they have or where they got it.
          IMHO – Overpaid for an underperforming Dman with a bad knee for a team that is not a Cup favorite. Just doesn’t add up unless a prelude to another deal or Klein is done and they want to get at least 2 PO home games

  • this is a decent, smart second tier move, I’m all in.

    grit, good one dee, and could be underused offensively, which would change under AV.

    i like this … this is good, hope coming back out of the box a little bit

  • We really picked up another 7th defenseman. He is a lefty Clendening. Don’t try to make him too much more than that, because he isn’t much more than that.

    He won’t take us to the promise land and he did not cost us all that much (Mic drop>.

    • Clendening has been playing like a 2nd pair guy. Much better performance than most folks give him credit for. Could regress but has a skill set in short supply this season from the right side.

  • Read somewhere that Jimmy Hayes is available. I know hes been a big disappointment with Boston, But Sather did mention that he looked in to getting him when he was with Florida —to unite the brothers. You never know.

  • Well, if he does well, we can keep Smith for a few years and he will be fine on the 3rd line (maybe the 2nd). It replaces an aging D a bit. If he walks in the offseason then very bad trade. He won’t be enough to beat Pittsburg, Washington or Minnesota

  • Funny the that a lot of the conversations on here are centering on whether it’s worth it to trade draft picks or not. Some want to hoard draft picks as much as possible, others are more willing to trade the “not sure thing” that draft picks are. All of this stemmed from a trade of a 2nd and 3rd rounder for a player who himself was a first round draft pick.

  • Regardless of Girardi/Klein injuries, I would have liked them to stand pat. I dont see this as moving the needle. Need someone that forces Girardi off the first pair, dont see him being the player when Girardi returns. Weakest draft in years and its going to be the one we actually pick in lol.

  • Smith is a rugged defenseman with an edge that can skate – We don’t have any of those and that is exactly what you need in the playoffs. Shattenkirk will get exposed in the playoffs and the clamor to sign him in the off season will quiet down.

    • Perry

      Funny you said that, and I agree. Tonight on the NHL channel, EJ was saying the deal was good for the Caps because Shatty is a good right hand shot, from the point, on the PP. They ahve needed a guy like him since Mike Greene left them. He also said that the guy is high reward, but high risk, and will lose the puck on you. Basically what I was saying all along, he isn’t sound on defense, and will cost you for that reason………

  • Looks like the Kings window got smaller and “Leon is getting larger ” !

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