Former Detroit Red Wings player Gemel Smith landed a new pro hockey contract. But he had to move to Russia to accept it.
The 29-year-old Gemel signed with Dynamo Minsk after spending all of last season in the American Hockey League. It was the first time since 2015-16 that the older Smith brother didn’t play at least one game in the NHL. He has played a total of 91 games over six seasons for four NHL teams (Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings.)
When the Red Wings claimed Gemel from the Lightning on Jan. 19, 2022, it gave the team its first brother act in 53 years. Before the Smiths played together, the last Red Wings’ brother combination was Frank and Pete Mahovlich who last played together on March 30, 1969.
Gemel played only three games (one assist, five penalty minutes) for Detroit before being waived. He played on a line with Givani Smith in his last two games with Detroit.
Last season, Gemel enjoyed one of his best AHL seasons, putting up 53 points in a combined 54 games for the Syracuse Crunch and Henderson Silver Knights. He also amassed 145 penalty minutes.
Other former Red Wings looking for work
+ Forward Pius Suter: It’s hard to believe he hasn’t found an NHL job. He is a versatile player who can contribute 13 or 14 goals per game.
+ Forward Tomas Tatar: He’s been a consistent goal scorer throughout his career, including last season when he netted 20 goals and registered 48 points for the New Jersey Devils.
+ Adam Erne: Hard-hitting role player who can chip in a goal here and there. He probably will land with an NHL team, but he may end up getting paid under $1 million.
+ Alex Chiasson: The Red Wings liked his contributions, especially on the power play, late last season. He can provide an experienced net-front presence. Plays with an edge. The Red Wings considered keeping him, but didn’t want to give him a one-way deal.