Feb 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ben Smith (28) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Ben Smith trade was all about business and nothing to do with loyalty. I was very surprised when the Smith trade alert hit my phone early this afternoon. Smith isn’t a superstar by any means but he seemed to be a very solid player, teammate, and citizen of the community and last but not least a fan favorite.
On a team with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa you still need guys like Ben Smith to do the dirty work and little things game in and game out. Smith wore it like a badge with a lunch pail type work ethic that made the Blackhawks fan base like him and his line. The Blackhawks 4th line does a lot of grinding especially below the goal line while maintaining penalty killing responsibilities.
The Stanley Cup is won by stars and grinders alike which is why the Smith trade hits home more than most of the moves Stan Bowman has made of late even during his cap purges.
Smith was a grinder only making 1.5 million a year but in the salary cap world that we watch Andrew Dejardins gives the Hawks more size, more nastiness, more in your face and about 1.12 million dollars of cap space flexibility. That flexibility will be needed next season when the much talked about Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane extensions kick in.
So what do you think of the Ben Smith trade?
Any way you slice it Ben Smith is gone and hopefully he has a successful run in San Jose!!
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