As Injuries Mount, Red Wings Call Up F Givani Smith

"I'm excited to give him a shot up here," said Blashill.

97.1 The Ticket
October 25, 2019 - 12:36 pm

© Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

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The Red Wings are mired in a six-game losing streak, and the grind's about to get even harder. 

Jeff Blashill announced Friday morning that Luke Glendening will miss two to four weeks with an upper-body injury. And Danny DeKeyser will miss at least two weeks with a lower-body injury. And Justin Abdelkader will miss Friday night's game -- and possibly longer -- with a lower-body injury. 

Not ideal. 

The loss of DeKeyser hurts the most. He's manned the team's top D pair this season with Filip Hronek, logging 22:04 per game. Someone else will have to fill those minutes now. Mike Green was elevated to the top pair at Friday's practice, creating an opening in the lineup for Alex Biega or Madison Bowey. 

To fill the void at forward, the Red Wings called up winger Givani Smith from Grand Rapids on Friday. Smith, a second-round pick in 2016, has two goals and four points in four games this season with the Griffins. He's a hard-nosed forward who's not afraid to mix it up. 

Smith will make his NHL debut Friday night against the Sabres, skating on the fourth line with Christopher Ehn and Jacob de la Rose. 

"He's been really, really good down there (in Grand Rapids). Maybe he can come in and help us," Blashill said Friday. "He's a net presence guy who scores the hard type of goals and he brings physicality and at times he brings you into the fight a little bit.

"I'm excited to give him a shot up here and also a good reward for his play down there."