Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Smith is ready to put AHL in the past

Rookie defenseman is ecstatic to get NHL career underway

Thursday, 01.10.2013 / 3:48 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Smith is ready to put AHL in the past
Rookie defenseman Brendan Smith fights for position with Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg during Thursday's player practice in Troy. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

TROY, Mich. – Good things come to those who wait, even Brendan Smith, who had to wait out a 113-day lockout before he could get his NHL career started in earnest.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Smith, who spent the lockout with Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate.

“Every time I get to come up here and play with these guys and just to share the ice with them I’m always happy,” he said. “I think I’m more excited so I can finally get up here. As a young kid this is your goal to being up here and now that we got the lockout done it’s great.”

The 23-year-old rookie was among 12 Red Wings at Troy Sports Center on Thursday morning, participating in a high-intensity informal skate in anticipation of next week's five-day training camp.

Smith was called-up on a few occasions to spell injured players last season. He made his NHL during a four-game road trip after Ian White suffered a fractured cheekbone and it was determined that the type of injury prevented the veteran from air travel.

In 14 NHL games, the Red Wings’ first-round draft pick in 2007, produced a goal and seven points last season.

But the next time Smith slips on that wing-wheeled jersey, he knows it will be permanent. He arrived in metro Detroit last Wednesday night with is pickup truck loaded with his belongings, and was thrilled when team officials to him that he would be staying.

“They told me to look for a place, so that’s great,” he said.

It’s expected that Smith and Kyle Quincey will be paired together on the Wings’ second defensive unit, while Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson will comprise the first unit, and former Maple Leafs teammates Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo will make up the third until. Jakub Kindl will be the seventh defenseman in the rotation.

Smith and Quincey were also paired on the Wings’ second power play late in the season. And while both defensemen are left-hand shots, Smith said he’s comfortable on the right side.

“I played my off wing a lot, even when I was in Grand Rapids. I’m very familiar with that,” Smith said. “I think (Quincey) likes his strong side. He understands the game real well and I think he compliments my game a lot. If I’m jumping up in the rush he’s right there or vice versa. I’m excited to play with him. He’s a big body too, I kind of like how he’ll finish the check and I’ll come in and pick up the puck nice and easily.”

Some thought that Smith was good enough to play a full-time role on the Red Wings’ blue line last season. But one more season in the minors, with a couple of call-ups to Detroit sprinkled in, may have done Smith some good.

Now his arrival is met with the departure of two veteran blue-liners, including perennial All-Star Nicklas Lidstrom. Brad Stuart also signed with San Jose during the off-season.

“I can’t replace these guys, especially a guy like Brad Stuart,” said Smith, who led all Griffins' defensemen with five goals and 20 points this season. “He was phenomenal for our team last year, just the things that he did. He blocked so many shots and played so hard. He was always matched up against the top lines.

“As for Nick, I don’t know if there is anyone in the league that could step in and replace him. We can do as a whole D corps and do the best we can to replace. We’re just going to have to give it our all.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map