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Smith goes back to school

Red Wings' defenseman will spend summer studying at University of Wisconsin

Thursday, 05.1.2014 / 6:14 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Smith goes back to school
Playing in his second Stanley Cup playoffs, Brendan Smith was held off the score sheet against the Boston Bruins, who won the series in five games. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – Knowing that idle hands are the devil’s workshop, Brendan Smith has decided to go back to school during what will be a long offseason.

The Red Wings’ defenseman plans to return to the University of Wisconsin to continue working on his Bachelor’s degree in sociology.

“I have to finish my classes and I know my mom is really pushing for that,” Smith said. “It’s the best decision to chip away.”

Some credits in his major can be satisfied through online courses, but Smith has to finish a few prerequisites, which require classroom attendance, so he plans to stay on campus this summer.

“I’m not going to take a full course load but I’ll be taking courses this summer and that’s the biggest thing,” said Smith, who believes he's 37 credits shy of graduating. “Then I’ll be working out there and staying there with Reilly when he’s done.”

Reilly Smith’s Boston Bruins are getting ready for their Round 2 series against the Montreal Canadiens.

A former star for the Badgers and the Red Wings’ 2007 first-round draft pick, Brendan Smith left Madison, Wis., following his junior season to sign an NHL contract.

“It was three years ago. So it’s been quite some time (since he last attended classes),” Smith said. “Mom kind of got off my back about it because I was just starting to play in the NHL but once I got that under my belt she wanted me to get back at it.”

The desire to return to the classroom is fueled by Smith’s post-playing career ambition.

“Something that I would be good at is being a college coach and you need a degree for that, so that’s a big motivator for me,” Smith said. “There’s life after hockey and that’s something that everybody has to know. It would be nice to do something after your career. … We always want to stay in the hockey world and for me I think that that would be coaching at the university level.”

A very talented defenseman, Smith saw some growth in his game this season, especially when he was paired with Niklas Kronwall after Jonathan Ericsson underwent season-ending finger surgery in March.

In his first full NHL season, Smith produced five goals and 19 points with a minus-2 rating in 71 regular-season games with the Red Wings.

Brendan Smith
Defense  - DET
Goals: 5 | Assists: 14 | Pts: 19
Shots: 90 | +/-: -2
“I thought I played well,” Smith said. “Even last year I thought I played really well. I think I got a lot of criticism last year, I’m not sure the reason for all of it but I did. I thought I played really well and this year I also played well in the playoffs. I think I somehow have figured out a way to get a little more out of myself for playoff time. I think you have to because everybody bumps their game up and I think I was able to learn that quickly last year with the playoffs.

“I got so many players that I can watch and feed off of and I think I got a lot better like that.”

Smith feels that the experience of facing Stanley Cup contending Chicago and Boston in the last two postseasons will go a long way for him and the rest of the young Red Wings.

“I think it’s going to help us a lot,” Smith said. “We just played, I think, the best team. In my mind it’s Boston and Chicago. I’m not saying that they’re way better than everyone. That’s not want I’m saying. What I’m saying is they have found ways to win. I mean, you see Boston do it, they won the Presidents’ Trophy, they found ways to win. That’s something that we got to see, that we felt first hand, and I think that will help us for the time being for next year and getting ready. I think it’s really big for a lot of the young guys, for myself included. But to get the first taste of what playoff hockey is like and to play against a team that has made it to the playoffs for the last few years, and been to the finals and have been successful, I think that’s something that will be good for all of us.”

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

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