Tuesday, February 28, 2017
NHL trade review: Rangers acquire Smith from Wings
The Rangers are looking to bolster their defensive core. New York native Kevin Shattenkirk was a target for the Rangers, but the Washington Capitals stepped in and got him. Getting a guy like Smith helps their core. Smith can be a UFA on July 1, but so is Shattenkirk, and the Rangers seem confident they can sign him. They are buyers, and buyers always give up picks at the trade deadline. A second round pick and a third rounder isn't a hefty price. I'm not surprised they agreed to this trade. Smith, 28, has 5 points (2 goals and 3 assists) in 33 games this season. He has 67 points (15 goals and 52 assists) in 291 career NHL games, all with the Wings.
The Wings have made the playoffs in the last 25 years, but that streak is coming to an end, it looks like. They have shopped center Riley Sheahan and were shopping Smith, a future UFA. It's not a surprise they traded him, because they are dead last in the Eastern conference with 58 points (a record of 24-26-10). Two picks, especially in the top 3 rounds is nice. They are starting a rebuild, and there's no doubt about it.