It’s a family reunion in Detroit, as the Red Wings have claimed Gemel Smith off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Smith is the older brother of Red Wings forward Givani Smith.
Sean Shapiro of The Athletic tweets that because the Smith brothers are several years apart, they have never played on the same team or against each other during their hockey careers. They’ll get that chance now in Detroit, as Gemel Smith will have to be kept on the NHL roster after the waiver claim.
That’s certainly an interesting twist, given the 27-year-old forward hasn’t played a single game at any level this season. He dealt with a surgery that has kept him on injured reserve for the last several months and is only now approaching a return to play. Instead of going to the minor leagues, he’ll end up in Detroit where he could very well receive a bigger opportunity than he has in years.
A veteran of just 88 games at the NHL level, most of those came with the Dallas Stars in 2017-18 when he suited up 46 times. Smith has played just 11 NHL contests over the past three seasons but did have two 40-point minor league campaigns during that time.
His younger brother Givani Smith, 23, has found out exactly what can happen when you’re on an organization in the middle of a rebuild. He’s played in 31 games for the Red Wings this season, scoring two goals and four points while racking up 68 penalty minutes. While still only averaging a little over eight minutes a night, he’s nearly matched his previous career total of games played already.