It was judgment day for defenseman Brendan Smith today. Following a devastating hit to the head of Chicago’s Ben Smith on Wednesday, the Red Wings prospect has been anxiously awaiting his sentence from new dean of discipline Brendan Shanahan.
After reviewing the video and meeting with Smith (who opted out of an in-person meeting, instead having a hearing over the phone on Thursday), Shanahan has handed down his punishment. Brendan Smith has been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season (three games) and five regular season games.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, Smith will have to serve his suspension at the NHL level — meaning, even if he’s sent down to the Griffins (which, as we learned, is very likely given his play in the pre-season), he won’t be eligible to play for the Red Wings until his games have been served. The AHL will likely independently review the play and decide if he faces additional discipline in the form of suspension from the Griffins.
But, the Red Wings have options. Thanks to the big cap space they have after a summer of retirements, they’re able to keep Brendan Smith up in the NHL until his punishment is served. The problem had been roster spots, but with Mike Commodore, Dan Cleary, and Brad Stuart ailing; and Jan Mursak out with a long-term injury, the Wings can likely place one on Short-Term Injury Reserve, allowing Smith to stay on the roster until he’s served his penalty.
Short-Term Injury Reserve opens up a roster spot temporarily — while both the injured player and any call-ups are both counted against the salary cap, unlike Long-Term Injury Reserve, which requires a player to miss 10 games or 30 days and removes the injured player’s cap hit.
Yesterday, Winging it in Motown put the Over/Under at six games. Our Christopher J. Hollis took the over, or — more accurately — a push. But yours truly? I took the under. Looks like I’m doing the company’s taxes next year…
UPDATE — 12:18pm
Brendan Smith will be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins, meaning he’ll be forced to serve his suspension at a later date when / if he’s called up to the Red Wings.
Photo Credit: The Canadian Press