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Commodore traded; Smith recalled

Holland says the future is now for Red Wings' blue line

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 1:30 PM / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Commodore traded; Smith recalled
Mike Commodore engaged in three fights while appearing in 17 games with the Red Wings this season. (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROIT – The future of the Red Wings’ defensive corps is here.

By trading veteran Mike Commodore Monday afternoon, the Wings have opened the door for Brendan Smith, who has been recalled from Grand Rapids.

In his first professional season, the 22-year-old Smith has 10 goals and 22 assists in 47 games for Grand Rapids.

“Once we got Kyle Quincey we really want Brendan Smith to play,” Wings general manager Ken Holland told DetroitRedWings.com. “He’s really played good in the American Hockey League, it’s kind of hard to keep Mike Commodore around here when Brendan Smith is ahead of him, so we made a decision.”

For the second time in the last week the Wings made a traded with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last week, the Wings acquired Quincey in a three-team deal involving the Lighting and Colorado Avalanche. Quincey was the Wings’ fourth-round pick in 2003.

Commodore, 32, had grown dissatisfied with his dwindling playing time – he last played in Phoenix on Feb. 6 – and the Lightning were looking for defensive help. In return, the Wings received a conditional seventh-round draft pick.

Though he played in just 17 games, Commodore was a solid contributor for the Wings, racking up three fights while logging 11:29 of ice-time, mainly to give breathers to legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

“The job that Mike was in, to really think that you’re going to sit for two months and go into the Stanley Cup playoffs and play, it’s really going to be someone from Grand Rapids, somebody that’s playing every day,” Holland said. “Stanley Cup playoffs are too hard to think that you’re going to play four games in a half a year and then go into the Stanley Cup playoffs, so to be fair to Mike Commodore we traded him.”

An injury to Jonathan Ericsson (fractured wrist) in the Wings’ last game is a problem, but it will provide an opportunity for Smith and Jakub Kindl heading down the stretch and into the playoffs.

It’s expected that Ericsson will miss a month.
 
“I know that we have an injury to Ericsson, but Kindl is going in now,” Holland said. “And we see Brenden Smith as the next on our depth chart because he’s young, and with addition of Quincey and the development of Smith, it really effected Mike Commodore’s position on our depth chart and I don’t think it’s fair to our team and it’s not fair to him to sit him day after day after day.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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