When the New York Rangers announced a four-year, $17.4 million extension for defenseman Brendan Smith eyebrows were raised across the NHL. Less than 20 games into the 2017-18 season however and it’s now clear that the signing was a colossal mistake.
Scratched in five straight games and seven of the Rangers’ first 19, Smith’s $4.35 million does not look good sitting in the press box. New York Post beat writer Larry Brooks reports that the team will have to address the situation sooner rather than later. Whether this means playing Smith, or trading Smith… who knows? But, it’s clear that things can’t continue to go the way they have been.
According to Brooks:
“…there is no time like the present for general manager Jeff Gorton to scour the market for the best return possible on Smith so both parties can cut their losses and move ahead.”
The question is… who might be interested in Smith? Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault certainly isn’t driving up Smith’s market value by continually placing him in the press box. If there’s a team out there willing to take on a 7th defenseman at $4.35 million per season, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton should make the deal and ask questions later.
As it is, Smith will continue to sit on the sidelines and either wait for an injury to get him back into the lineup, or wait for a desperate GM to come calling.