Detroit Red Wings Editorials: Do you trade Brendan Smith?


The 2015 off season has been an eventful one for the Detroit Red Wings. Although, signing free agents Mike Green and Brad Richards will highlight the off season as a whole, the 2 year, 2.75 million(per year) Brendan Smith re-signing is always something to note and dissect as well.

It’s safe to say the 2014-15 season was an controversial one for the 26-year-old defenseman, who found himself on the bench multiple times throughout the season from former Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. One of the more notable occurrences occurred when Detroit was on the verge of clinching it’s 24th straight playoff appearance on April 9th when Smith, seated on the bench, smacked a bouncing puck back onto the ice. Babcock decided to bench Smith for the season finale against Carolina two games later.

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So now it seems the sixth and final defensive spot in Detroit’s lineup is open. The rumors now circulate whether to trade Brendan Smith or not. There has also been speculation that the status of defensive Jakub Kindl and Smith are supplementary to where the team wants to move in the future.

Why you trade him

If you think back to the Dion Phaneuf speculation you remember Brendan Smith was rumored in being part of that discussion with Toronto.  I lean toward young defensemen and Xavier Ouellet and Alexei Marchenko provide just that. Kindl could also be thrown into that discussion because if either Smith of Kindl stay on the team through training camp and into the season, one will be scratched. So you trade Brendan Smith because of the depth situation.  If the right situation presents itself for him, you pull the trigger.

Why you keep him

This is going to depend on new coach Jeff Blashill’s personal preference and what he thinks of the young defensemen. Let’s remember that when the NHL lockout occured during the 2012-13 season, Smith went down and played with Grand Rapids putting up 20 points in 32 games under Blashill’s leadership. Smith has the upside and the makings of a solid defensemen in this league so the upside and risk could also play a role into this as well. If somebody can step up and fill that final defensive slot than Detroit will have a very solid defensive situation. Whether Smith has the most potential to fill that role is up to Blashill.

Why could you possibly get?

Straight up, nothing substantial so unless Detroit has the ability to steal a young prospect with a team in dire defensive need I don’t think that’s the card you play here. What I think is intriguing is Smith being packaged with other players, much like the trade deadline situation last season. I think if you packaged him with a veteran you may be able to pull something off for your hockey club.

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Final Thoughts
I am not one for forcing trades and dumping Smith really isn’t an option with the contract signing. I think what needs to happen is, first off, unless you are handed a situation that is extraordinary you hold on to Smith for the start of the 2015-16 season. If he does not make the cut for the sixth and final spot, you use him as a backup because injuries will occur. You then look at trading him at the trade deadline to a team in need of desperate help. If he does get the spot you evaluate his play and monitor the play of Marchenko and Ouellet on whether or not they are able to take over. You then also look at moving him at the trade deadline for somebody who can help our playoff picture. I think trading him is the right move when his stock is high, which it isn’t right now.

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