Mike Commodore’s trade-deadline departure will make room for rookie-defenseman Brendan Smith on the Detroit Red Wing depth chart.
Commodore was sent to the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday for a 2013 7th-round draft pick. He recorded two points in his 17 appearances with the Wings.
“I played 17 games, was a healthy scratch for 30 games, that’s not going to cut it,” Commodore said. “It would have been nice to see this thing through here. It’s a good team here, they got as good a chance to win as anybody else, but this is probably better for me. I get an opportunity. I never really got an opportunity here.”
With Jonathan Ericsson benched for a month with a wrist injury and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey suffering day-to-day injuries, Smith will get a chance to prove his worth.
The rookie recorded 10 goals and 22 assists in his 47 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. Earlier in the season he appeared in three games in a Red Wings uniform, tallying three assists.
“I was in Grand Rapids a couple of times this week,” Holland said in a Freep story. “Brendan Smith was on the all-rookie team last year in the American league. He’s got 10 goals. Obviously a tremendous college career.”
Ian White, Brad Stuart, Niklas Kronwall, and Lidstrom have solidified positions on the Red Wing blue line.
Quincey has already contributed a goal in the two games since being traded from the Colorado Avalanche. In total, his 24 points make him a candidate for the fifth defensive spot.
That leaves Ericsson, Smith and Jakub Kindl to fight for the sixth defensive spot on roster with 19 regular season games remaining.
The Red Wings were in talks for a forward leading up to the deadline, but decided to stick to their current skaters, according to General Manager Ken Holland.
As the race for first place continues, Detroit (41-19-3) will take on Columbus Tuesday.