NHL free agency: Red Wings agree to two-year deal with Brendan Smith

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Smith is returning to Detroit for two more years.

The Detroit Red Wings and Brendan Smith avoided arbitration by agreeing to a new two-year contract. According to Darren Dreger, the deal will pay Smith $1.25 million in 2013-14 and $1.275 million the following year.

Smith was a restricted free agent, but chose to apply for arbitration last week. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Red Wings would have been obligated to sign Smith for the price determined by the arbiter so long as it did not exceed $3.5 million, but the new contract will keep the two sides from the process.

The defensemen had eight points for the Red Wings in 34 games last year and added two goals and three assists in the playoffs. It was the 24-year-old's second year in the NHL after playing 14 games in 2011-12. Smith spent the season on the Red Wing's third blueline pairing, but he is expected to move into a top-four role going forward.

Smith will be a restricted free agent again in 2015 when his new contract expires, giving the Red Wings the choice to retain the man they selected in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft even longer.

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