Last season Jerred Smithson became an every-night regular at the NHL level, playing 81 games for Nashville after 64 and 66 in the previous two campaigns. His even-strength work on a line with Radek Bonk and Jed Ortmeyer was pretty awful; I've said before that this may have been the worst line in the NHL
last year. Where Smithson provides some additional value to Barry Trotz is his penalty killing work and relative success
winning faceoffs. As competition increases for 3rd- and 4th-line ice time in Nashville, those are two qualities that might benefit him.
For the upcoming season, I would expect his 5-on-5 duty to be reduced somewhat, with a heavier emphasis on the PK and more of a specialized role as a lead-preservation guy.
So, for the official Forechecker's Forecast...
Forechecker's Forecast, 2008-9 NHL Regular Season