Heading into the offseason, the New York Rangers' defense was an enormous question mark given their play down the stretch and in the postseason.
After buying out Dan Girardi's contract and with Kevin Klein's impending departure, the Rangers got some good news on Wednesday as they retained a solid piece of their blue line by re-signing Brendan Smith to a four-year, $17.4 million deal, as first reported by Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News.
The 28-year-old was acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings and appeared in 18 games for the Rangers, recording a plus-2 rating and four points. He was one of New York's best defensemen during the playoffs as his plus/minus rating swelled to plus-8 to go with four assists in 12 games.
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Developing a solid rapport with Brady Skjei, the Rangers can now take solace in knowing that they have a young tandem of defensemen that can be relied on in the future. Even better for the Rangers was that Smith's deal will still leave the team with over $15 million worth of cap space which should be plenty to go after the likes of free-agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.