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As with the Kronwall-Ericsson possible pairing, unless a splash is made for a top-four defenseman, Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser will be the second pairing for the 2014-15 Detroit Red Wings.
Why It Makes Sense
Ideally, the Red Wings would pull the trigger on a trade in this offseason to give Brendan Smith a slightly better option to play with than Danny DeKeyser.
DeKeyser found his groove offensively, with 23 points in 65 contests. But the Michigan native struggled to be physical in his own end, with just 13 takeaways in 65 games and had 36 giveaways by comparison.
Simply put, DeKeyser needs to be stronger on the puck.
Meanwhile, Smith wasn't too strong in his own zone either, with a 49-to-18 giveaway-to-takeaway ratio. Smith struggled to break the puck out of his own zone, but his speed on the rush gives him an edge moving forward into 2014-15.
Why It Might Not Happen
DeKeyser and Smith have played a combined 221 NHL regular-season and playoff games. That isn't very many for a potential second-line pairing.
Ken Holland might want to seriously think about bringing in another top-four defenseman and not throwing his defensemen into a "trial-by-fire" kind of situation.
Then again, defensemen on the trade market and through unrestricted free agency will not come cheaply or easily. It may be the case that Wings fans will see DeKeyser taking over what was Kyle Quincey's spot on the second pairing.