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01-12-2004, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Boondock Saint
Unfortuanately, teams like Toronto and New Jersey aren't likely to possess picks in the #31-#40 range. They'll be #23-#30 range, then not again until the late fifties.

Do you think it's possible that J. Smith could bring back a first? I think the fact that he's a RFA, not UFA next year could coax a late first from someone desperate at the deadline.

I don't think Toronto even has a 2nd round pick at all.

As for a first, a highly, highly doubt it. There are better defensemen out there on the rental list (Rathje, for instance) which probobly couldn't garner a 1st either. I can't remember the last defenseman who wasn't a superstar getting a 1st round pick in return for his services.

Also, remember, even though Smith is an RFA at season's end, there are some complications. The first is the possible CBA lowering of his age, which yes, presents a problem. Don't expect guys in Smith's situation to be signing their contracts until the CBA is signed.

Also, if there is a lockout, it will make Smith a UFA after the lockout ends anyways. It's in his best interests not to sign a contract until he knows what the CBA holds in store for him.

If you listen to those 'in the know' regarding the CBA negotiations, I think it's unlikely Smith is an RFA - but I guess it's possible. That kind of uncertainty does lower his value.

However, as I said, I still think a high 2nd is a possibility. A 1st round pick, even a late one, seems a fair lot too high for Smith. Then again, stranger things have happened.

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