Brendan Smith wants to bounce back after a rough 2017-18 campaign with the New York Rangers so he’s spent the offseason getting in shape.
New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith is looking to get his roster spot back after being sent down to the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack last season.
Former captain and Ranger broadcaster Dave Maloney reported that Smith has lost 15 pounds this offseason. That’s a great way to show he is committed to making the team again this season.
Speaking to the NHL Network Maloney said of Smith,
“He has lost 15 pounds this offseason working out with the Ben Prentiss group in Connecticut. He is in tremendous shape and is another guy that can give you veteran presence and snarl for the Rangers.”
"I think it's a rebuild…They are going to have to be patient. This is going to take some time."@DaveMaloneyMSG discusses the state of the #NYR on #NHLTonight. pic.twitter.com/pAiaVacM12
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) July 26, 2018
Smith has had a tough time since he has been with the Rangers. He was traded from Detroit at the deadline in 2017 and paired with Brady Skjei. The two had a strong partnership until the team was knocked out of the playoffs by the Ottawa Senators.
Smith, who was entering free agency as an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with the team as the two sides agreed on a four year, $17.4 million deal in June 2017.
The 2017-18 season started out tough and didn’t get any better for the 29-year-old. He battled miscues on the ice and a lack of confidence from then head coach Alain Vigneault. Things got worse at the end of October when the Rangers hosted the Vegas Golden Knights which kicked off a six-game winning streak, all of which Smith watched from the press box.
His time in the AHL continued just as it had with New York. Plenty of mistakes and struggles which concluded with a fight against teammate Vinni Lettieri at practice resulting in a broken hand and the end to a failed season.
The Rangers will offer him a chance to get his spot back in the lineup when training camp opens in September.