The Detroit Red Wings won’t even let soon-to-be restricted free agent Brendan Smith hit the market on July 1.
The team and player have come to terms on a contract extension that will keep him with the Red Wings for, at least, the next two seasons. The deal is worth $5.5 million total, and will pay him $2.75 million per season.
The deal sees a raise of nearly $1.5 million more per year for the 26-year old Toronto native.
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Detroit’s first-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Smith played in a 76 games for the Red Wings last season, a career high. In those 76 games, Smith posted four goals and nine assists for a total of 13 points.
Though it wasn’t as successful of a statistical season as the 2013-14 season, Smith still proved enough to Ken Holland and the Red Wings brass to warrant a nice bridge extension.
With this new deal in place, Smith is going to be expected to be a key piece of Detroit’s defensive unit going forward. Whether he’ll find himself in the team’s top-four pairings next season remains to be seen, but the opportunity is there, for certain.