Detroit Red Wings cut ties with Givani Smith, include in minor-league trade

Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — Givani Smith’s time with the Detroit Red Wings organization has come to an end.

The 2016 second-round pick, once viewed as a possible fourth-line grinder/enforcer, was part of a minor-league trade Monday evening that sent Smith to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. The Wings then traded Del Zotto to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Danny O’Regan, who will report to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

It was only a little more than a year ago that the Wings thought enough of Smith, 24, to include him on the list of protected players during the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.

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Smith appeared in 85 games with the Wings from 2019-2022, recording seven assists, seven goals, a minus-16 rating, and 138 penalty minutes. He brought energy, and was wiling to fight, but he lacked speed and sometimes discipline, and that wasn’t able to establish a foothold in Detroit. He appeared in two games with the Wings this season.

O’Regan, a Berlin-born American, has appeared in 30 NHL games, but has not played more than a handful in one season since playing 19 with the San Jose Sharks in 2017-18. He has 99 goals and 174 assists in 361 career American Hockey League games.

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Smith’s departure leaves defenseman Filip Hronek as the only player left from the players the Wings selected in the 2016 draft. First-round pick Dennis Cholowski was exposed in the 2021 expansion draft and taken by the Kraken, but they put him on waivers before the season began and he was claimed by the Washington Capitals. He’s currently in the New York Islanders’ organization.

None of the other picks — defenseman Alfons Malmstrom (No. 107), defenseman Jordan Sambrook (no. 137), G Filip Larsson (No. 167) and F Mattias Elfstrom (No. 197) — never played in a Wings uniform and are no longer in the organization.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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