Here are the stats:
No doubt Smith's improvement last year was a result of him being in the later pairings and getting reduced icetime against the top lines and perhaps a lighter workload from the Edmonton days suits his 35yr old body better. Nobody is expecting him to be on a top pairing. A even strength partner in Mezsaros is appealing with some PK time with Schubert.
As for the comparison with Redden... if you don't hit at all (and you don't block shots more than the average D) you'd better not give the puck away. Seeing Redden getting creamed into the boards again and again isn't something I'm going to miss. You'd like to give him credit for taking a hit to make a play but eventually it just gets depressing.