In a somewhat surprising move, New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton placed defenceman Brendan Smith on waivers.
As Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston points out, Smith signed a four-year, $17.4 million just eight months ago. Ouch.
To make matters worse, the Rangers traded a 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Smith less than a year ago. Double ouch.
So, what’s the deal here? Has Smith really been that bad this season? Or are the Rangers just that desperate to shed salaries and contracts? Follow up question: could he be a fit for the Leafs?
In 44 games with the Rangers this season, Smith has just a goal and eight points. His career high is just five goals and 19 points with the Wings back in 2013-14. The 29-year-old was an NCAA standout and was a prized prospect back in the day after putting up 15 goals and 52 points in 42 games with the University of Wisconsin. Since then though… Smith has had a difficult time producing offence at the NHL level.
He seems like he could be a fit on the Leafs’ 3rd pairing, at least in the short term, but that contract…. yikes. What’s your call? Should the Leafs take a chance on Smith?
Oh, also... Happy Birthday, Brendan! Triple ouch...