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Brendan Smith Hopes to Earn Spot on Wings This Season


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#1 DatsyukianDeke13

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:14 PM

http://www.mlive.com...rendan_smi.html

DETROIT -- Under ordinary circumstances, a kid coming out of college would have no chance of cracking the Detroit Red Wings' lineup without spending at least one or two seasons in the minors.

Odds are, Brendan Smith will play for the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. But the Red Wings still need someone to seize the sixth spot on defense, and the 21-year-old Smith will get a good opportunity in training camp and the preseason.
I know their whole (tendency) is they like for you to go to Grand Rapids and get a year under your belt, even more,'' Smith said Thursday, during the first day of the Red Wings development camp at Joe Louis Arena. "(General manager Ken Holland) kind of told me the skys the limit for me. I can either come in here in great shape and try to put myself on the squad, or do the opposite.''

If the Red Wings sign Mike Modano, they will be less likely to acquire a low-priced, veteran free-agent defenseman this summer. That would result in a three-way competition for the No. 6 spot between rookie Jakub Kindl, veteran Doug Janik and Smith.

Derek Meech, a restricted free agent who is expected to sign shortly, is expected to be traded before the start of the regular season if he can't crack the top six.

Smith, the club's 2007 first-round pick from Wisconsin, talked about the benefits of playing a limited role in Detroit vs. a major role in Grand Rapids.

Its always great to play 20-plus minutes a game with Grand Rapids, but if Im always practicing with (NHLers), its kind of the equivalent because youre playing the best players.

"Obviously, you want to be playing 20-plus minutes in a game. Were going to have to judge that, how I do in Traverse City and how everything goes. As of right now Im going to try to put everything towards making the team.

Smith's maturity has come into question after a few off-ice incidents in Wisconsin. He was charged last month with disorderly conduct after a fight at a house party, in which he was accused of punching a man multiple times in the face.

Red Wings management has told him he needs to straighten out his act.

I just want to show everybody in Detroit who I actually am'' Smith said. I just want to put it behind me. I dont think that (type of behavior) would go along with my name.''

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Hmm. Personally I would rather go with Kindl at the 6 spot, but thats just me. Obviously, Smith has to make the team first, which is probably unlikely
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#2 irishtemper14+25

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:37 PM

Yea, I wouldn't mind it if he made the squad. As long as Meech is traded and Kindl is the 7th defense man so they don't lose him. I would be all for having those two rookies rotating in and out.

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#3 Rick Zombos Ghost

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:39 PM

now just give tatertots a chance

#4 Din758

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:45 PM

"If its not broken, don't fix it"

In other words, the wings should stick to their normal strategy of marinating their players in the A for a year or 2 before they bring him up. Training camp is a lot different than regular season hockey. I'd hate to see talent like that forced into the fire and get burned up. Look at abdelkader...
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#5 LeftWinger

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:47 PM

This is good news. I have not seen Smith play, but I have seen Kindl play, it wasn't too impressive, but could have been jitters. I hope Smith does well, its about time one of our actual "KIDS" make this club, not spend 5 years in GR then come up when they have no options left. I hope he makes a great impression (along with Kindl.)

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#6 Rick Zombos Ghost

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:08 PM

"If its not broken, don't fix it"

In other words, the wings should stick to their normal strategy of marinating their players in the A for a year or 2 before they bring him up. Training camp is a lot different than regular season hockey. I'd hate to see talent like that forced into the fire and get burned up. Look at abdelkader...

Fritters was up here right out of college due to injuries if i remember correctly. While he is a great checker i dont see what letting him marinate really did to him besides making him a little meaner.

#7 Carman

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:18 PM

Every player is different.

Smith is physically mature enough to step right in, so if he can beat the competition on the back end I don't mind.

Although having watched a lot of him in college, he's going to have a rough time adjusting defensively, he was fantastic offensively, but other then being physical he wasn't anywhere near as defensively polished to step in at the NHL level and that has me worried a little. Although it very well could just be the system he was in, rather then his personal style.

I have high hopes for him, although I do think it's far-fetched for him to bypass GR.

Kindl is going to impress people, he plays a skilled game. I have a feel he's going to blossom when he's surrounded by skillful players.

#8 Hockey Convert

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:28 PM

I have high hopes for him, although I do think it's far-fetched for him to bypass GR.

Kindl is going to impress people, he plays a skilled game. I have a feel he's going to blossom when he's surrounded by skillful players.


Yeah, probably far-fetched; he does seem to have a good attitude going, which I like to see. If that drive survives having to spend another year in GR and he keeps working on improving, I think that could be great for us.

I haven't seen Kindl play much, but I hope he gets his shot and takes advantage of it too. :thumbup:

#9 Jesusberg

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:49 PM

I think it'd be improbable to see Smith make the team out of camp, but if there ever was a chance, this is it. The thing is, even when these prospects have played very well in the past they still get sent to GR or lower. Kindl "almost" made the team out of camp a few years ago and Tatar looked very good last year as well. I think no matter what the Wings brass wants these kids to play in a men's league and adjust to the rigors of playing against bigger opponents.

#10 redwingfan19

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:49 PM

Every player is different.

Smith is physically mature enough to step right in, so if he can beat the competition on the back end I don't mind.

Although having watched a lot of him in college, he's going to have a rough time adjusting defensively, he was fantastic offensively, but other then being physical he wasn't anywhere near as defensively polished to step in at the NHL level and that has me worried a little. Although it very well could just be the system he was in, rather then his personal style.

I have high hopes for him, although I do think it's far-fetched for him to bypass GR.

Kindl is going to impress people, he plays a skilled game. I have a feel he's going to blossom when he's surrounded by skillful players.


how physical is he?? (smith) I hope he brings that snarl to the pro game. Would not hurt to fill out that 6-2 frame either, I think he is currently listed as 190lbs
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#11 Carman

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:54 PM

how physical is he?? (smith) I hope he brings that snarl to the pro game. Would not hurt to fill out that 6-2 frame either, I think he is currently listed as 190lbs


He's not going to be a punishing defenseman, but he won't shy away from contact.

Kinda one reason why I want him to play in GR to develop and learn a little more about the physical part of the game.

Edited by Carman, 08 July 2010 - 03:54 PM.


#12 dragonballgtz

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:21 PM

"If its not broken, don't fix it"

In other words, the wings should stick to their normal strategy of marinating their players in the A for a year or 2 before they bring him up. Training camp is a lot different than regular season hockey. I'd hate to see talent like that forced into the fire and get burned up. Look at abdelkader...

I think Holland told him the "sky is the limit" line just to give him some confidence. Some prospects might need to be a little babied in that way. It could also just have to do with the Wings cap situation and looking for more depth on defense.

Edited by dragonballgtz, 08 July 2010 - 04:22 PM.


#13 titanium2

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:24 PM

I think Holland told him the "sky is the limit" line just to give him some confidence. Some prospects might need to be a little babied in that way. It could also just have to do with the Wings cap situation and looking for more depth on defense.


He's gotta know that he's most likely going to GR. And that's not like a 60-70% chance, more like 98.9% odds.

#14 F2B&G

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:36 PM

Smith will spend a year in GRR while we see how Kindl pans out and whether or not Ericsson keeps developing. He needs to learn that in the NHL, you have to surrender some rushes and scoring chances to play sound defense. Plus you have to play 82 games, and don't get to skate all over the Alaska-Anchorages and the Michigan Techs of the world 6-8 times a year.

#15 EZBAKETHAGANGSTA

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:29 PM

now just give tatertots a chance

Please no. Let him build up his confidence at the very least one more year. He doesn't have the body or poise to succeed at the NHL level yet. 2012-2013 though... yes please.
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#16 newfy

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:42 PM

I wouldn't mind him with the big club, it would be nice to see someone step right in. At the same time I think a year in the AHL to get stronger and adjust to playing against men wouldn't hurt. Next season, especially if Kindl has a bad season I would take him on the team

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#17 DatsyukianDeke13

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:57 PM

Please no. Let him build up his confidence at the very least one more year. He doesn't have the body or poise to succeed at the NHL level yet. 2012-2013 though... yes please.


Agreed 100%. Tatar may be the best prospect in our system and we absolutely do not want to rush him.
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#18 Marty Barry

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:13 PM

This is great news. Brendan may be ready. I love to hear this with Lids getting ready to retire.

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#19 titanium2

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:20 PM

Will he be a reliable NHL player? Still don't know yet.

Can he be a #1 elite elite elite defenseman? He's got a long way to go.

Just stating the obvious though.

#20 Trapt1307

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:27 PM

Meh...after the drooling over Ericsson before he got here, I'll believe the Smith hype when he actually shows us what he can do in the NHL.
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