Don’t read too much into the pairings right now. I could easily see Lovejoy and Santini sharing RD3. I could see Butcher on a second pair with Mueller if Mueller can hold up defensively. I’m not suggesting those pairs are written in stone. I think Smith can watch a regular season game or two before you throw him to the wolves. Maybe a couple of regular season practices and see how the regular defenders look to open the season then pick a good spot for Smith? If Greene Butcher and Smith formed the left side of the defense that might be the smallest top three left defense group in NHL history. If Mueller can play with Vats and Butcher can handle increased defensive responsibility on a pair with Sevs or Santini then the way is open for a third pairing with Smith. Greene can have a few games off early in the season which will benefit him later in the season. Smith can go back to juniors if there is any question of him holding up physically. Skill wise he has looked great to me in the preseason. Pity he’s not a 6 foot 195 pound guy. He’d be an opening day starter potentially.