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Brendan Smith has matured a lot in two seasons in the AHL, putting up 32 and 34 points respectively over the past two years.
He also impressed many Red Wings fans when he put up seven points in just 14 NHL games last season.
Although Smith looks ready to step up and become an offensive juggernaut and a full-time NHL defenseman, his current deal ends after this season and he would become a restricted free free agent.
Smith needs to play one way or another and any lockout will allow him further time to get better in his own zone in the AHL before the NHL season kicks off.
For Red Wings fans, a full-season lockout would be a disaster, but it would mean that Smith gets a lower cap hit on his next deal, meaning the Red Wings can pursue other options during free agency next year without having to commit an excessive amount of money to their young defenseman.