This is only suggested because last year when they paired Smith and Kronner together, Smith's play went up. That's it. it's not about Smith being a number 1 d man. Its' just that when he is paired with Kronwall, he's a better overall D man.
No he's not better, he just looks better.
It's like back when we had Ian White paired with Lidstrom. The only thing it did was make Ian White look better than he was. But it didn't make him, or the team, perform better.
Putting Smith (or White) on the first pair doesn't make him a first pair defenseman. And no matter how much you dress it up, you're still advocating putting a third pair defenseman on the first pair.
Kronwall probably makes Ericsson look better than he is too. But that doesn't seem to be working out. Why would it work any better with a guy who's worse than E is?
Karma for all the diving he did/does when he barely gets tapped....now he knows what a real hit feels like!
...besides, he come back and play half the season and they will "give" him another trophy, the Masterson Trophy. Then they will fill the NHL airwaves full of talk about what heart and dedication he has, and how he is the only "true champion" for coming back from his injury. I can see Eddie Olczyk (and Carmen) wiping the jizz off his face already.
I have no sympathy for him as a player (as a person I do hope he is ok to live a nice life,) this is what happens when you start believing the hype and think you are bigger than the game...the game stands up at the blueline and knocks you out...Eric Lindros part II...
If he comes back, great, but if he is done, I won't lose any sleep over it.
This is a bummer. I wonder how the Pens will adapt if he misses an extended period of time again.
They'll trade us Joe Morrow for Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl.... (only in my dreams)