According to Larry Brooks, in the NY Post, Brendan Smith has been working out at the Rangers practice facility in the hopes of bouncing back after his struggles this past season.
Smith's agent told Brooks that Smith is "determined and confident" to not just be the player he was when the Rangers acquired him, but "a better Brendan Smith." (NY Post)
He has three-years left on his contract after this season with a cap hit of $4.35 million.
When Smith was sent to Hartford, Jeff Gorton said:
- On Brendan 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.
- On why Smith's game has fallen off a cliff, "no insight on why he fell off a cliff, he just hasn't played well and hasn't been able to find his game."
- Could this help him find his game, "I do. Based on what we have seen in the past, I think that Brendan is a good player that can play physical and be a good skater but those elements haven't been there this year. At this time it's best for him to go on waivers, see what happens and go from there."
Gorton added, "Brendan had a tough start and like a lot of our players struggled to get his game going. We felt it was best to send him down and try to find his game and get ready and start thinking about next year. We will put him in Hartford and leave him there. I hope we see him in top shape come September and he is ready to play like we saw last year. We will see with Brendan, we haven't ruled him out as being part of our future."
Adam Rotter: Smith has some positive attributes that would work on a rebuilding team, he's vocal, wants to be a leader and provides some grit and toughness, but I don't know where he fits with this Rangers team. He was perfect for where the Rangers were but for where they are going, I'm not sure. Defensemen are always in demand and the Rangers could try to move him, though they would likely have to eat salary and/or use something in addition as a sweetener.