On a long list of players exposed to waivers on Sunday, four belonged to the Detroit Red Wings.
Forwards Givani Smith, Kyle Criscuolo, and Taro Hirose along with goalie Juho Olkinuora were trimmed from the roster as the Red Wings work to get down to 23 players. The latter three were expected. Smith was one of many Red Wings on the bubble.
Now it remains to be seen whether he’s picked up by another team.
Smith’s Physical Play Appealed to Red Wings
In his preseason appearances, Smith was defending teammates on the ice and adding the physical presence the team seeks. But the points and production were scant, and ultimately, Detroit decided it was a risk worth taking exposing Smith on waivers.
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Essentially, Smith is forced out due to the skill level just being at a another level than in years past. Smith’s NHL career has only seen 83 games with 14 points (7-7) to his name.
Previous Red Wings rosters didn’t have the intense roster battles as this preseason. Last season, even with Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider making the final cuts, Smith snuck in with Bobby Ryan being released from a PTO and Joe Veleno heading back to Grand Rapids.
The only question that remains now is if another team will take a flier. With an extensive list of players exposed, it very well may end with Smith back in Grand Rapids.
Roster Deadline Set for 5 pm on Monday
With the roster deadline set for 5pm EST tomorrow, all eyes are on rookies Elmer Soderblom and Simon Edvinsson.
Both have made their case for the final roster. But Detroit could opt for both to have more seasoning in Grand Rapids, especially Soderblom, since he could play more minutes on the AHL roster.
But the 6’8 forward has demonstrated apt skill and high IQ, similar to what Raymond’s performance last year during training camp. Edvinsson’s a likelier pick as there’s a little more wiggle room with defensive pairings.
All will be answered by tomorrow evening.