Brooks: Rangers and Brendan Smith are trying to get this done

Phil Kocher
@ me

Phil Kocher

Managing Editor & Cofounder at ClearedForContact.com
I believe in Nate Silver, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Christopher Hitchens, the Oxford comma, and the value of white space.
Phil Kocher
@ me

While the NHL’s general managers are now free and clear to begin speaking to pending Unrestricted Free Agents to ascertain their levels of interest, the Rangers haven’t yet given up on the idea of bringing back defenseman Brendan Smith, who is just five days away from reaching free agency for the first time in his career.

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Smith remains engaged with Jeff Gorton in “working toward a resolution that would allow Brendan to return to the Rangers”:

“Nothing has changed as far as Brendan is concerned in terms of his desire to sign a new contract with them. Obviously there’s a marketplace both sides are aware of that includes upcoming free agency and possible trades, but I think we’re trying to achieve the same objective.”

Smith, acquired from the Red Wings for a couple of draft picks at the trade deadline, played effective, physical hockey for the Rangers down the stretch, and really demonstrated his value to the depleted Blueshirts defensive group in the playoffs while paired with first-year breakout rookie, Brady Skjei.

The Rangers, who project to have more than $20M available to spend in free agency, have plenty of cap room to accommodate Smith’s asking price, having recently traded Derek Stepan and his $6.5M cap hit to the Arizona Coyotes. The only question is how willing are they to pay market value—a term Brooks reports is four- or five-year contract north of $4 million per year—to keep the former Wisconsin Badger in New York through to his early thirties? With just four days until the market opens, there’s not much time left for Gorton to negotiate.

Smith brings a quality as far as toughness that is lacking among the rest of the Rangers’ defense, which added a welcomed nuance to their most recent postseason run. The concern is that he may wear down and become another poor value contract to deal with in the final years of his contract.

35 comments

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  1. Not a big Smith fan. He was okay at 2.75M. Had a partner to make him look better than he is. And we paid steeply for him, considering how well we do with 3rd rounders, to lose this year's, and an additional 2nd. If that 22.5M/5 yr deal estimate is accurate, I'd much rather let him walk & not burn any $, that we had to part with career Rangers to come by.
    We have a lot of young players on defense. We can make a trade for a better player. We could sign a better player. This is more than what we wouldn't pay Stralman. 5 yrs of Smith. Ugh. Insane.
    booze and wingz
    Complete side note, but holy shit
    15. Low-key Matt Duchene possibility: Pittsburgh. The Penguins have circled around him before. Both Glen Sather and Phil Jackson (before he decided to ruin the Knicks) talked about adding new players to championship teams. You prevent a staleness, and if the newcomer is popular, the group rallies around them so they can win, too. Everyone’s frustrated: Colorado GM Joe Sakic, Duchene and agent Pat Brisson. Could Olli Maatta plus more pieces get the Penguins into this?[/quote'
    Crosby
    Malkin
    Duchene
    Fuck the fucking Penguins.

    I saw that, and if Maata is going the other way, it would probably work from a cap perspective.
    Cash or Czech?
    Friedman reporting in his thirty thoughts that the Rangers and Smith are heading towards an extension.
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-trade-value-first-round-pick/

    Complete side note, but holy shit
    15. Low-key Matt Duchene possibility: Pittsburgh. The Penguins have circled around him before. Both Glen Sather and Phil Jackson (before he decided to ruin the Knicks) talked about adding new players to championship teams. You prevent a staleness, and if the newcomer is popular, the group rallies around them so they can win, too. Everyone’s frustrated: Colorado GM Joe Sakic, Duchene and agent Pat Brisson. Could Olli Maatta plus more pieces get the Penguins into this?[/quote'
    Crosby
    Malkin
    Duchene
    Fuck the fucking Penguins.
    In three off-seasons, we may be dealing with an expansion draft to Seattle, Hamilton, or wherever it may be.
    McDonagh will be a UFA but hopefully re-signed and protected. Skjei will need to be protected. Staal will probably still be on the books. Now Smith will have to be protected. Are we going to lose Skjei, or a young player like Day/Pionk because we give out NTCs like candy? Are we going to lose a forward because we're forced to go eight skaters?
    I don't think it's the right way to do business knowing the NHL wants to continue expansion.
    Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk
    It is not like this is a very risky decision for him or us. He likes it here and fits. We know he works well on the right side on our 2nd pair with Brady. He provides a balanced game, good speed and some toughness for Hank and Skjei when he is on the ice.
    4 x 4
    1 yr NMC, 1 Yr LNTC
    Give him 75% of the cash in year one.
    Do it today! Why wait till July 1? If they don't want it we need to look at other options. We need to pressure the agent to get it done.
    Some on this board are thinking about this the right way. For players that fit and add value to the Rangers, it should not be a SIGN or NOT SIGN discussion. This needs to be about what we can live with and what is fair for us. We can live with 4 years, it is reasonable. He is worth about 4 mil, that is fair. Detroit was going to settle for 3.5 and the parties were close.
    As for the NMC, that is a longer discussion and needs to be something the organization develops a new standard/policy. The NMC is what got Step shipped to zona this off season. It causes all kinds of problems for teams, morale and it rarely works in the player's best interest anyway. Ideally, no pro sports contract should have more than the first year (maybe 2) of "no move". I mean that for all parties involved, including fans and the game itself. Proven players with understandable circumstances might be given limited no-trade clauses, but those need to be more rare, as well.
    Is there truly a good reason Smith would want any more than a 1 yr NMC and 1 yr LNTC (can block 10 teams)? Is there a good reason Shattenkirk should want more than this?
    Respecttheblue
    Not averse to the 4 yr /5, but I've become allergic to NMCs and the trouble they cause — can't think of the last time one worked in our favor even
    … don't even want to hear the letters NMC or limited NTC

    I agree with these NMC things. You know who can have a NMC? Crosby and players as good as him, because they're not being traded anyway. I'm even fine with Hank's NMC. Hank was that good and has been that consistent for his career. I'm fine with it.
    Brendan Smith, and everyone else on our roster, are nowhere even in the same realm of conversation as these guys. Prefer the short term and overpay these random people and not be married to them for many seasons than the security and cap-friendly hit offered by dangling the NMC. They've done nothing but cause teams trouble over the past many years in the NHL.
    Mistercosmic
    I really like Smith but I also think we overrate his abilities and value because last season we were so desperate for a solid, physical presence in our own zone and absolutely sick of Girardi and Staal. Overall 4,5m/4y/NMC sounds too much if I look at his stats.
    Sent from my NEM-L51 using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk

    Not averse to the 4 yr /5, but I've become allergic to NMCs and the trouble they cause — can't think of the last time one worked in our favor even
    … don't even want to hear the letters NMC or limited NTC
    Kevin
    This. I don't think they have much choice either. And i agree with the 3 yrs theory but there is no way that someone out there won't give him 4. I just pray that they don't go 5.

    That said I'd prefer to play 4 in NY and renegotiate sooner, than take 5-year sentence in some second-rate city, if it came to that. Agents, of course, think differently.
    Karan
    Unfortunately I think the Rangers need Smith more than Smith needs the Rangers at this time. So I think Gorton will have to fork up the dough and reluctantly agree to the 4 year term, although 3 would be perfect. If not, Smith's agent would be more than happy to test the market on July 1.

    True dat.
    I hope he likes the Rangers.
    Giacomin
    Keep in mind, there were 5 players who consistently came to play and exceeded expectations throughout both playoff series. Lindberg, Fast, Grabner, Skjei and Smith.
    The playoffs are not a scrimmage. These are the guys we should be bringing back. We already lost berg. Skjei and Smith proved to be a very effective and balanced pairing. Had they been on the ice during key final moments of certain games, we might have been playing Pitt.

    I like Smith a lot, but he had a number of gaffes in the playoffs.
    He was mostly good, but individual mistakes can cost you.