News:Brendan Smith, who was a healthy scratch for the Wings' last two games, will return to the lineup in place of Ian White on Thursday, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: After struggling with turnovers recently, Brendan Smith became a victim of the Wings' crowded blue-line situation. He's scheduled to skate with Kyle Quincey in his return to action Thursday night. Smith has delivered just five points in 26 games this season, but is believed to possess a significant amount upside at the offensive end.
News:Brendan Smith expects to play Thursday in San Jose after taking a hit from Dustin Penner to the same shoulder that had sidelined him since February 2, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: Initially, it looked like Brendan Smith took a direct blow to the side of the head from Penner on what could have easily been an interference penalty. Fortunately, the indications after Wednesday's game suggest otherwise, and it appears as though Smith will be ready to go for the second half of the Wings' back-to-back California set Thursday.
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) was activated from IR on Tuesday night and is expected to play Wednesday against the Kings, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: With Brendan Smith's expected return, Jakub Kindl and Kent Huskins are likely both out of the lineup as Kyle Quincey is coming back from an ankle injury Wednesday as well.
Wings' Smith Cleared For Contact; Targeting Wednesday
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) has been cleared for contact and still hopes to return to the lineup Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: Ultimately, Brendan Smith needs to make it through a few practices without any setbacks now that he can absorb contact again, but Smith's return will likely bump the Kent Huskins-Jakub Kindl timeshare to seventh blueliner status, forcing one of those players off the roster.
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) has not been cleared for contact, MLive.com reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith is remaining careful with his shoulder injury and is getting better with every day. Smith only has one assist in eight games this season with the Redwings and has not played since spraining his shoulder on February 2nd against the Blue Jackets. The earliest he can return is Wednesday, but even then it is not certain that he will.
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) expects to return next week during the team's trip to California, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith has been out since suffering an injury to his shoulder February 2. Prior to the injury, Smith had one point in eight games, averaging 17:16 minutes of ice time per game.
News: Red Wings GM Ken Holland said that Brendan Smith (shoulder) is about a week-to-10 days from returning, MLive.com reports. "If not next weekend, then shortly after," Holland said.
Analysis:Brendan Smith has played only eight games this season, recording only one point. Just before being injured Smith saw significant ice time, so he will likely return to a substantial role once he is healthy enough to play.
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) will not return before the end of February, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith skated Wednesday, but it appears he won't be able to return before March. Even when he was healthy, the defenseman only recorded one assist in eight games for the Wings.
News:Brendan Smith will miss three-to-four weeks with his sprained shoulder, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports.
Analysis: The Wings continue to get tagged with injuries on the blue line, while Brendan Smith could miss the rest of February depending on the progress he makes in his recovery. Brian Lashoff figures to pick up extra minutes in his rotation with Jakub Kindl, although the return of Ian White should provide a boost as early as Tuesday
News:Brendan Smith (upper body) has been placed on IR by the Red Wings.
Analysis:Brendan Smith, who is looking at a mid-February return, checks in with just one assist in eight games to date, but it's not hard to imagine his production picking up down the road, given that he racked up seven points in his 14-game stint with the Red Wings last season.
News:Brendan Smith (shoulder) will be out 10-14 days, according to Chris Zadorozny of the Michigan Journal.
Analysis: The Wings have six games in that span and that could be enough for the Wings to go out and get more help on the blue line. The talented Brendan Smith has just a single assist in eight games this season.
News:Brendan Smith left midway through the first period of Saturday's game against Columbus with an apparent right shoulder injury, according to the Detroit City and Press. He will not return.
Analysis: He played four shifts and left after a hit by the Jackets' Derek MacKenzie. There's no word on the severity, but the Wings blue line has been decimated with injuries this year.
News:Brendan Smith played a career-high 21:45 -- including 4:15 on the power play -- in Sunday's overtime loss to Chicago.
Analysis: The Wings adjusted their blue-line pairings Sunday, leaving Brendan Smith with Jonathan Ericsson instead of Kyle Quincey. If he's entrusted with top-four minutes, Smith should prove capable of delivering more consistent offensive production from the back end. Through five games, he's tallied just one assist along with a plus-2 rating and eight shots on goal.
News:Brendan Smith will join his teammates in Detroit on Wednesday after picking up 20 points (5 G, 15 A) in 32 games with Grand Rapids (AHL) during the lockout, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: "Brendan has done an outstanding job in a premier position with us from his defense, power play, penalty kills and usually against a team's best player," Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill said. "He put us in position where we are today, so he's earned it." Brendan Smith is expected to compete for a regular spot on the Detroit blue line, while it's possible that he will emerge as a top-four contributor with the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart paired with the recent injury to Carlo Colaiacovo.
News:Brendan Smith has 10 points through 15 games with Grand Rapids (AHL) this season.
Analysis: According to the Detroit Free Press, Brendan Smith is impressing by taking on a heavy workload and matching up against opposing teams' best players. If the lockout ends and a 2012-13 season is saved, Smith will be a regular on the blue line in Detroit and the extra minutes and experience he's getting in Grand Rapids may help make his transition go more smoothly.
News:Brendan Smith was assigned to Grand Rapids on Friday, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: Although he's expected to have a significant role with the Red Wings this season, the move simply affords Brendan Smith the ability to play in the AHL during the NHL lockout. If the labor dispute is resolved before the start of the Griffins' season, Smith will almost certainly be recalled to participate in training camp with his teammates in Detroit.
News:Brendan Smith figures to see an expanded role for the Wings with the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, loss of Brad Stuart to the Sharks, and Ryan Suter's decision to sign with the Wild this offseason, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: "Brendan is an elite player, and we know he can play in the league," assistant general manager Jim Nill said. "There's going to be some growing pains, but that's part of the system we're in." Even if Brendan Smith is initially outside of the top-four blueliners, he could emerge as an option for one of the top pairings and quickly earn a significant power-play role after delivering seven points in 14 games (1 G, 6 A) and a plus-3 rating in his first taste of Detroit last season.
News:Brendan Smith is expected to be a part of the Wings' Opening Night roster next season, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: With the potential retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and the expected departure of Brad Stuart via free agency, Brendan Smith could see top-four minutes and ultimately be considered as a potential power-play quarterback along with Ian White. Smith racked up seven points (1 G, 6 A) in 14 contests with the Wings as a rookie this season and looks like a nice sleeper candidate with the path to a regular (and larger) role.
News:Brendan Smith has been returned to AHL Grand Rapids, the Red Wings' official site reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith, who was called up on Feb. 27, appeared in 11 of the Wings' 12 games since then, recording five points (1-4-5) and a plus-5 rating in that span. He'll be back at some point, but for now will benefit by seeing significant playing time in the AHL.
News:Brendan Smith has been recalled from AHL Grand Rapids, the Red Wings' official site reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith, who has two assists in three games for Detroit to date, recorded 32 points in 47 games with Grand Rapids. He'll now get a chance to see some work with the big club, with Mike Commodore having been dealt Monday. It's a switch that adds youth and offensive upside to the Detroit blue line.
News:Brendan Smith has been returned to Grand Rapids (AHL), MLive.com reports.
Analysis: He delivered a couple of assists in his three-game debut with the Wings, but wasn't going to remain in the top six with the return of Ian White from a fractured cheekbone on Wednesday night.
News:Brendan Smith is headed to Grand Rapids (AHL) with the return of Ian White, but could play for the Wings on Wednesday night with Brad Stuart nursing an undisclosed injury, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: His bags were packed Tuesday for the demotion because the Wings simply don't want him to see limited minutes at this stage of his development, but Brendan Smith's chance to play Wednesday night will come down to a game-time decision.
News:Brendan Smith has completed his five-game suspension and could make his NHL debut Thursday against San Jose, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: He practiced Wednesday paired at even strength with Niklas Kronwall and with Nicklas Lidstrom on the power play. Head coach Mike Babcock said he would make a final decision after Thursday's morning skate, but the early indications point to Brendan Smith taking Mike Commodore's place in the lineup.
News:Brendan Smith will be recalled by the Wings to replace Ian White (fractured cheek) for their upcoming four-game road trip, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: It's worth noting that Brendan Smith has to serve one more game of his suspension first (he'll sit Tuesday), which could ultimately leave the door open for Mike Commodore to pick up the extra minutes in White's absence.
News: The Red Wings returned Brendan Smith (suspension) to Grand Rapids of the AHL on Friday, according to a team press release.
Analysis: He didn't play in Thursday's loss, but the team called him up so he could technically serve the fourth game of his five-game suspension. Obviously, Brendan Smith has one more to go before the Wings can start using him in NHL games.
Smith Recalled By Red Wings; Begins Serving Suspension
News: The Red Wings recalled Brendan Smith from AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek reports. He will begin serving his five-game suspension for an illegal hit he laid on Chicago's Ben Smith in the preseason.
Analysis:Brendan Smith takes the roster spot of Mike Commodore (knee), who was placed on 7-day IR. However, he will not make his season debut until October 25 at the earliest.
News:Brendan Smith was sent to Grand Rapids (AHL) on Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: We're still awaiting word of the Wings' plans regarding the way he'll serve his suspension without significantly impacting their roster. In order to make his NHL debut, Brendan Smith will have to be on the 23-man roster for five games without playing. His suspension doesn't impact his availability in the AHL, however, so he'll get heavy minutes in Grand Rapids to begin the season.
News:Brendan Smith has been suspended for the last three preseason games and the first five regular season games for his hit on Ben Smith, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports.
Analysis:Brendan Smith was assessed a match penalty for his hit on Ben Smith in Wednesday's preseason game. No word on whether Smith will appeal the suspension.
News:Brendan Smith, who received a match penalty for his hit on Ben Smith in Wednesday's preseason game, is also facing a suspension from the league, MLive.com reports.
Analysis: He'll like speak with NHL disciplinarian chief Brendan Shanahan in the coming days about his punishment, but Brendan Smith's arrival with the club may get delayed with a suspension now looming upon his promotion.
News:Brendan Smith remains in a battle with Mike Commodore and Doug Janik for the Wings' final blue-line spot, but the team won't keep him around if he's not going to be a part of their lineup on a nightly basis, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: Commodore will likely win the final blue-line spot, which essentially leaves Brendan Smith at Grand Rapids (AHL) out of the gate. Once the Wings need another defenseman later this season, it could be Smith's time to get a look, however, as his offensive game is well above average and it's just a matter of getting more defensive consistency from him.
News: Smith is hoping to contribute for the Red Wings at the NHL level this season after spending all of the 2010-11 campaign at Grand Rapids (AHL), the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: He projects as an eventual top-four blueliner with power-play quarterback upside, but the Wings' addition of Ian White and Mike Commodore could give the team enough short-term depth to enable Smith to begin the year at Grand Rapids again. Smith racked up 32 points (12 G, 20 A) with the Griffins in 63 games last season and may not be far away from a prominent role with the big club.
News: Smith, a defense prospect for the Red Wings, has 22 points in 40 games in the AHL this year.
Analysis: Eight of those 22 points are goals, a category where the Red Wings could use some help on the blue line. Don't expect the soon-to-be-22-year-old Smith to taste the NHL this year unless injuries create an opening, but he's a very promising prospect as an offensive defenseman.
News: Smith has picked up two goals and two assists through his first four games at Grand Rapids (AHL) this season.
Analysis: There's no denying his offensive game, but the Wings have elected to start him at Grand Rapids to add polish at the defensive end. Owners in keeper leagues should keep an eye on the Wings' blue line as one gaping hole in their top-four with a long-term injury could lead to a situation where Smith sees NHL action sooner than expected. Even if you have to wait, there's a lot of upside here.