Brendan Smith, New York Rangers Could Agree to Terms Soon (Report) 2
Apr 12, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Andrew Shaw (65) is checked by New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) during the third period of game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Smith looks to be priority number one as the New York Rangers look to bolster the defense this offseason.

There is no question the New York Rangers need to start stacking the blueline with young and talented defensemen. The warrior days of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are long behind us. With McDonagh and Skjei playing outstanding hockey this postseason, New York’s top-level d-men look bright.

Brendan Smith, who was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline, took a few weeks to settle into the new system. Once he did, the talent and grit spoke for itself.

His physicality and crease clearing lead by example toward the tail end of the regular season and through the entire playoffs. Smiths current contract with a cap hit of $2.75 million comes to a close this offseason making him an unrestricted free agent on Jul. 1, 2017.

Agent Anton Thun reported to NBC Sports that Brendan Smith is

“more than open to coming back”

Brendan Smiths agent also went on to make this statement:

“To pass up free agency,” he explained, “Brendan’s going to need a contract that reflects market value.

This is good news for the Rangers as market value for Smith is around the $4 million dollar mark for an estimated 2-4 years. This is a bargain price for a steady defenseman in the NHL.

Gorton is showing good early initiative as he looks to lock up anyone that can help with the defensive struggles. Locking up Smith before the deadline would answer some questions about our priorities and help to lure other defense to the cause. More importantly, the more roster defenseman we have to more likelihood of ridding ourselves of a Girardi or Staal anchor, one way or another.

This is just an early sign of things to come but, hopefully, this deal can get done quickly and without hesitation. To me, this screams, “I want to stay in New York but can’t say that for leverage purposes.”

Trust me, the Rangers and Jeff Gorton know this as they look to lock him up.

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