Detroit Red Wings claim Gemel Smith, Givani’s brother, off waivers

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings claimed Gemel Smith, the older brother of Givani Smith, off waivers Wednesday.

Gemel Smith, 27, suffered a lower-body injury during training camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning and has yet to play this season.

Smith, 5 feet 10 and 203 pounds, has 24 points in 88 career NHL games split among the Lightning, Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars. He has played most of his pro career in the American Hockey League, collecting 172 points and 195 penalty minutes in 286 games split among the Texas Stars, Providence Bruins and Syracuse Crunch.

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Gemel Smith is signed through 2022-23 at an annual average value of $750,000. He projects to start with the Grand Rapids Griffins when healthy.

Givani Smith, 23, has made strides toward becoming a regular in the Wings’ lineup after struggling to play a physical game without ending up in the penalty box early in the season. He’s been a good fit on the fourth line with Joe Veleno and Sam Gagner, where Smith has used his big body to help provide energy. He has two goals, two assists and 68 penalty minutes in 31 games this season.

[ Givani Smith’s big, short impact vs. Sharks may keep him on the ice ]

The Wings next play Friday at home against the Dallas Stars. Wednesday was a day off, as the Wings used a three-day break between games to freshen up for the second half.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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