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Red Wings Smith Fighting His Way To The Top

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Givani Smith, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings forward Givani Smith leads the team with six fighting majors this season.

At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Givani Smith certainly stands out in the crowd when he stands amidst the other forwards on the Detroit Red Wings roster. Smith brings many qualities to the ice that few of his teammates share, and that’s why the rookie winger can be a valuable member of the squad.

“If he has a pretty simple game I think he can be real effective and then he can bring some physicality and toughness and size that we don’t have tons of, so I think that’s a real important element,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s got a package that I think can help us.”

Among the talents that Smith brings to the Red Wings is an intimidating presence that includes fistic engagement. And when it comes to fighting, Smith is in with a fighting chance to reach a milestone no Red Wings has acheived in nearly a quarter century.

With six fights already this season, Smith stands tied for fourth in that department among NHL players according to data compiled by HockeyFights.com. He’s on pace for 11 fights this season. The last Red Wings player to fight 11 times in a single season was Darren McCarty in 1997-98.

Smith, whose older brother Gemel was recently acquired by Detroit, also led the Wings last season with three fights. He could be the first Detroit player to reach double digits in scraps since Brad May fought 10 times in 2009-10.

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He might also have a chance at equaling the 12 fights of Jamie Pushor in 1996-97. However, the 15 times that Stu Grimson dropped the gloves in 1995-96 is probably out of reach.

Detroit Red Wings Givani Smith Fight Card

Date Opponent (Team)
Oct. 21 Milan Lucic (Calgary Flames)
Dec. 7 Alexandre Carrier (Nashville Predators)
Jan. 4 Jacob Middleton (San Jose Sharks)
Jan. 9 Nicolas Deslauriers (Anaheim Ducks)
Jan. 11 Jeffrey Viel (San Jose Sharks
Jan. 22 Mark Borowiecki (Nashville Predators)

“One thing Givani brings us that we don’t have tons of is that big size,” Blashill said. “I think he can be a guy who if he can get consistent in his game and bring what he can bring to the table that’s different from other people, I think he can be a guy who can help us.”

In case you’re wondering what the single-season Red Wings record for fights is, that would be the 34 bouts contested by Joe Kocur in 1985-86.

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