Detroit Red Wings: Givani Smith two-year extension breeds competition

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings have announced that forward Givani Smith has signed a two-year extension with the organization. They opted to re-up and give Smith two more years at $750,000, according to CapFriendly’s website.

While the Detroit Red Wings may not see Givani Smith in their lineup night in and night out, he is going to have to really step up in 2021-22. It seems like he can do it; he has the tools to do so and has shown flashes at times.

His time in the NHL has not been numerous, but the hope should be for him to steal some ice time in 2021-22 and earn some looks from head coach Jeff Blashill. He can be the Red Wings enforcer, which could be a truly beneficial role to build and find from within.

Even if he becomes a third-liner, who plays a role similar to that of Kirk Maltby or Wayne Simmonds for a current example. While Simmonds has had some successful seasons, while with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2020-21, he was an offensive version of an enforcer who played on the top line at times with Auston Matthews.

The Detroit Red Wings have extended Givani Smith for two years.

When it comes to Smith, he could very well be someone who plays a specific role for this team. While he seemed to have second-line scoring upside at one point, it seems like he could succeed more in this enforcer role.

As the Red Wings start to cement players into future roles with the team, Smith is someone who is still fighting for a role. These next two years are going to be crucial for Smith to carve out his role officially.

Smith is a net-front presence who has appeared to have a good handle on how to create scoring chances for the Red Wings. He’s also shown the ability to create scoring chances below the face-off dots in the offensive zone; whether it comes from a quick shot or a nice pass to the open man, Smith does have the offensive upside.

While he may be more known for his physicality and ability to body someone off the puck and serve as the team’s protector, he does have the ability to create offense. Smith could very well be an integral part of this team’s forward core; time will tell.

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As the Red Wings move through these next two seasons, the hope should be for Smith to develop into the team’s enforcer forward.