Smith's not going anywhere unless it's for a franchise defenseman. Anything less and it's a lateral move. No dice.
You're overrating Smith, IMO his ceiling is a good #2 guy that can be a pseudo #1 guy on a weak D.
That being said I don't like throwing around the true #1 label unless we are talking about elite talent (Weber, Petro, Chara, Lidstrom...etc)
Based on the reactions of some MTL players when PK re-signed; increase morale?
Yeah that article on the TSN site was pretty weird. Not the reaction you'd expect, not even the team saying the politically correct thing, more like listening to what your momma told you. "If you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all."
The upside is they signed him to a great contract and even if there are morale problems they should get a top return for him in trade. Most likely it was some inside team joke and they were just messing with him or something but those comments came across as dead air.
Smith--->Subban is not a lateral move? Good luck getting franchise dman for him though.
Franzen as the add to Smith while probably appropriate makes this a rather lateral move for Detroit. Wings fans are divided on Franzen, but he has led the team in goals and game winning goals the last couple of seasons and has a big playoff track record although that is starting to get questioned.
It doesn't improve the team enough to do and both teams are probably against this deal.