The Detroit Red Wings have lost Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart over the summer and their attempt to patch up that massive hole with the signing of Ryan Suter ultimately failed.
It’s still possible that the Detroit Red Wings will make a trade for a defenseman, but at this point it’s more likely that they’ll have to look within for solutions. If the Red Wings’ current dynasty is to survive, guys like Brendan Smith will need to make smooth transitions to the NHL level.
Smith is an offensive defenseman who excelled at the University of Wisconsin and has been solid over the last two seasons with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. He also got a taste of the NHL last season and got seven points and 13 penalty minutes in 14 games.
According to Cap Geek, Detroit has just four defensemen currently signed to one-way contracts, not including Kyle Quincey whose still a restricted free agent, so this is a golden opportunity for Smith to make the team out of training camp.
“The other few years I wasn’t too sure (about making the NHL), and I was fighting for a spot, but they’ve pretty much told me I’ll be there (this season),” said Smith, according to the Detroit News. “The big thing is, I want to show leadership. I can show them what needs to be done to get to the next level.”
If he can do that, maybe Detroit will be alright next season.