Brendan Smith’s Rocky Rangers Odyssey led to K’ndre Miller mentorship

So you’re building an all-time Rangers lineup that includes only former U. Wisconsin players, because what could be a better way than this to occupy your time in the 12 months of the pandemic?

You start with Mike Richter in goal, with Terry Clinger behind him when needed. Your starting line will have Brian Mullen on the left, Derek Stephen in the middle and Tony Granato on the right. Your top defense pair will have Ryan McDonagh and Bruce Driver.

And the other pair will be K’Andre Miller on the right with Brendan Smith. What it comes to think of is going to be the second pair of Blueshirts on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, as did Saturday’s Washington Button Down-Downs 4-1 win in Washington, exactly as It is anticipated to remain foreseeable future contraband accident.

Smith, who left Wisconsin in 2010 for eight years before Miller’s arrival on campus, said, “It’s fun to play with a guy like Key.” “I mean, obviously our alma mater and I enjoy bringing him along and teaching him things. You can just see how skilled he is.

“If I can be one of those people who help him grow to the next level and help him reach the hope that I think we all have for him, I would be happy to do so. “

At the age of 32, Smith is the second-largest politician on the roster, with Jack Johnson celebrating his 34th birthday last month. Smith is also the fourth senior Ranger in terms of service behind Chris Kreider, Micah Jibanezad and Pavel Buchaniewicz.

Rangers Brendan Smith, K'ndre Miller
Brendan Smith, K’ndre Miller
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And Smith has become a senior citizen in the final year of four years, raising $ 17.4 million, which he signed before 2017’s free agency and aged much worse than that which left him at times Wally for the Swiss Army knife role. in the drawer.

He has a lawyer in David Quinn, who was not around Smith’s ugly 2017-18 season in which he reported to be out of shape, struggling in the first half of the season before being sent to the AHL Hartford, where he scored a Broke his wrist in battle. Teammate Winnie Letieri. It seems like a lifetime ago.

“We’ve all talked about Smiley and the type of person and player he is and the two different situations that we’re here, suited to a set of different situations.” “He really handles it like a pro.”

A year ago, Smith was used as a fourth-line winger, until he returned to his natural place to partner defense with Jacob Trouba, when Brady Skegzy was hit by a storm at the deadline Was dealt. He opened this season as the seventh man on the Blue Line, and was out of the lineup, missed a handful of games with an upper body injury and then stepped in as Miller’s partner when Troba broke a broken thumb. Went down with

“I think whenever I get a chance, I always try to prove myself,” Smith said. “I don’t really think that’s why I get that opportunity, I just try to go out and play. I think I’ve done that for a long time.

“Obviously I like to play, the more minutes I take. It’s fun, I’m excited about it, and you never want to see people injured or out for a certain period of time, but if it’s more time for me I’m just going to try and prove that I can step into it and help the team win

Smith and Miller have been on the ice together for a small sample size of 40:00 at five-five. In tandem is 52.63 corsi pct. 54.76 shot shares and three Rangers goals not yet scored. Smith has kept it simple and Miller has, well, a revelation as he soaks it into his first pro, NHL, season, alone.

“I just try [show Miller] How to be pro, ”said Smith, a 2007 first-round draft choice by the Red Wings. “I have some time in this league and I have seen some great guys before me and how they get themselves on and off the ice and just a few simple little tricks from people like Pavel Datsuyuk, Nick Lidstrom, Niklas Cronwall.

“The list goes on and on, but all those people were my mentors. If i can pass on that knowledge [Miller], Even if it is making early plays, defensive plays, even offensive stuff. There are many things that he can do better than me, and if I can just give him a few words of wisdom, I think he will just go along with it. “

From one badger to another.

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