2/8/18 | 6:27PM: Alain Vigneault said that Smith has played better in the past, he got off to a slow start and was having a hard time finding his game. (NYR)
He added, "This might be a little bit drastic but management and coaches felt it was the way to go for the team right now." (NYR)
Jeff Gorton said of Smith, "we signed him and gave him a deal based on how he played and when we scouted him before. This year he has struggled, we tried different things. We scratched him, done some different things to get him going and he just hasn't played that well and it's a move we decided we had to make.
When asked if he had any insight into Smith's struggles, Gorton said "no insight on why he fell off a cliff, he just hasn't played well and hasn't been able to find his game."
12:03PM: Larry Brooks reports that the Rangers have placed Brendan Smith on waivers.
Smith is in the first-year of a four-year deal that has a cap hit of $4.35 million.
In 44 games this season, Smith has 1 goal, 7 assists, a plus two rating, 17:10 per game, 58 hits, 37 blocked shots, 23 takeaways and 46 giveaways.
Smith has a modified no-trade clause in each year of his contract and if the Rangers were to buy him out this summer they would have cap charges of (Hockey's Cap):
- 2018-19: $1.091 million
- 2019-20: $1.091 million
- 2020-21: $3.26 million
- 2021-22: $1.26 million
- 2022-23: $1.26 million
- 2023-24: $1.26 million
When Smith has been on the ice at 5 on 5 this season, the Rangers have only had 46.4% of the shots.
Sending Smith to Hartford still leaves the Rangers with a cap hit of $3.3 million.
For a lot more on Smith's season, click HERE.
Adam Rotter: Smith has been terrible this season and has turned into a massive blunder of a signing and an anchor on the Rangers cap. I thought, when he signed, that this was going to be a good move for the Rangers. The cap hit was maybe $500,000 more than I thought it should be, but overall I was happy the Rangers were keeping Smith and locking him up for the next little while. Now the Rangers have to navigate how they want to move forward with Smith. They have a little bit of flexibility with his trade list but would almost certainly need to eat a bunch of the money or send a draft pick or prospect to hopefully entice someone else to take him. In a season where many Rangers have underwhelmed and disappointed, Smith may be at the top of that list.