Brendan Smith, a pending UFA, showing well in playoffs
Brendan Smith could really cash in this summer.
A pending unrestricted free agent, the 28-year-old defenseman has shown well since being traded from the Red Wings to the Rangers at the deadline.
Smith is plus-8 in nine playoff games. Among Rangers d-men, only Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been on the ice more.
“I love his game. He’s so hard to play against,” said teammate Tanner Glass, per the Daily News. “I remember the same thing when we was playing in Detroit. He was always one of those guys that when you go to the net you’ve got to be aware of when he’s out there.”
It is not a bumper crop of free-agent defensemen this summer. Kevin Shattenkirk will be the top dog, while the second tier includes under-30s like Smith, Karl Alzner and Michael Stone.
Smith told the Daily News he could see himself signing in New York.
But the Rangers may not have the flexibility to keep him -- especially if they pursue Shattenkirk, as many expect them to do.