With Kevin Klein still dealing with back spasms and Dan Girardi expected to miss a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, the New York Rangers are reportedly in the process of acquiring defenseman Brendan Smith in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie says the return to the Wings will be a second-round draft pick in 2018 and a third-round pick in 2017.
Update: The deal is official.
Smith, 28, is a pending unrestricted free agent. A left shot who can play the right side, he has two goals and three assists in 33 games this season while averaging 18:44 of ice time.
He had hoped to re-sign with the Wings.
“Do I want to go to free agency? I would rather have a contract, to be honest,” Smith said Monday, per NHL.com. “I would like to know where I am because I think becoming a free agent is the unknown and that can kind of be scary at the same time.
“All I know is that I would like to have a good contract with the Wings and be around. We’re kind of starting to go through that process. If that works out, or whether [GM Ken Holland] is maybe looking to move myself or somebody else, we’ll just have to wait and see.”