The recall of center Gemel Smith from the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday by the Detroit Red Wings has once again set the team’s brother act clock in motion.
Smith’s younger brother Givani Smith is also a forward with the Red Wings. It’s been 53 years since two brothers suited up for the team in the same game. Pete and Frank Mahovlich were each in the Detroit lineup for a 9-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 30, 1969.
Oddly enough, Gemel Smith was recalled to Detroit less than 48 hours following an 8-5 loss to the Blackhawks on Wednesday.
UPDATE: The #RedWings today recalled center Gemel Smith from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the team’s taxi squad from the Griffins.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 28, 2022
“To be here with him, I think there’s no better feeling,” Gemel Smith said of the chance to play alongside his brother.
The Red Wings claimed Gemel Smith on NHL waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 19. He was sent to GR on a conditioning stint just two days later. Smith played three games with the Griffins, registering one assist, eight penalty minutes and a plus-one rating.
The 27-year-old spent the past three seasons with the Lightning organization. He split time between Tampa Bay and the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch during Tampa Bay’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championship runs. Smith has accumulated 24 points (12-12-24) in 88 NHL games with Boston, Dallas and Tampa Bay.
Smith Brothers Play Differing Styles
Givani strikes an imposing figure at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds. He’s a power forward type of player who isn’t afraid to mix it up. His six fights this season give him the Red Wings lead and tie him for fourth in the NHL.
Givani Smith: Throwing early 𝐇𝐚𝐲𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫𝐬 🥊 pic.twitter.com/uMIrSTKSBK
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) January 5, 2022
At 5-foot-10 and 203 pounds, speed is the key to Gemel’s game.
“My brother, he’s a fast player, very skilled,” Givani Smith said. “He’s a good playmaker, too. He likes to shoot the puck.
“You’ll see what he can do eventually.”
It would now appear that day will be coming sooner, rather than later.
The Red Wings also recalled veteran defenseman/forward Luke Witkowski from GR, adding him to the team’s taxi squad. It’s the sixth time Witkowski has been recalled this season.