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Red Wings recall Givani Smith from Grand Rapids, Justin Abdelkader to miss three weeks

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NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

With the team getting ready to head out to California for their last far-western road trip of the season and their roster still sitting one man short of the 23-man limit, Detroit announced a call-up this morning:

For schedule overlap, being recalled means Smith will miss the Griffins’ game against Cleveland Tuesday, but will be on Detroit’s roster for the Anaheim game that same night. The Wings next take on Los Angeles on Thursday while the Griffins are idle until Friday and Saturday.

Hard to say what the roster plan is, but it does feel like we’re in a situation where the team isn’t calling kids up to sit and learn anymore. With news that Justin Abdelkader isn’t practicing today, Smith would seem a natural fill-in for that role. There’s also the very real possiblity that Taro Hirose, who is still waiver exempt and has been a healthy scratch for the last two games could find his way to Grand Rapids soon.

More from the Wings:

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today recalled right wing Givani Smith from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Smith, 21, has recorded seven points (3-4-7) and a team-high 27 penalty minutes in 10 games for the Griffins this season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward made his NHL debut with the Red Wings earlier this season on Oct. 25 vs. Buffalo and appeared in a total of three games with Detroit, registering four shots on goal and three hits in 10:32 average ice time per game. Smith posted 13 points (6-7-13), a plus-two rating and 86 penalty minutes in 64 games for Grand Rapids during the 2018-19 campaign - his rookie pro season. After making his professional debut with a three-game stint with the Griffins in 2016-17, Smith tallied his first AHL point on Nov. 4, 2018 at Cleveland before scoring his first pro goal on Dec. 7, 2018 at Rockford. Smith also posted a late-season three-game point streak from March 23-26, 2019 and chipped in two assists and nine penalty minutes in four postseason games.

The Toronto, Ontario, native was selected by Detroit in the second round (46th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning professional. In 236 games with the Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm and Kitchener Rangers from 2014-18, Smith tallied 135 points (73-62-135) and 411 penalty minutes, leading the league in penalty minutes in consecutive seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17. In his final OHL campaign split between Guelph and Kitchener in 2017-18, Smith picked up 30 points (17-13-30) in 46 regular-season games before racking up 18 points (11-7-18) in 18 playoff games with Kitchener.

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