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Givani Smith signs 2 yr deal - 750K AAV, 1 way deal

September 14, 2021, 12:50 PM ET [8 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Updated - 750 AAV and actual for 2 years, same money in AHL (1 way deal)

Yesterday, Detroit posted a video calledUp Close with Jared McIsaac. The young defenseman is still trying to get a healthy season as a pro. Today, the club wrapped up its final RFA signing as RFAGivani Smith signed a 2 year deal.

The terms haven’t been made available yet. In fact, Cap Friendly still has him listed on the Griffins roster - update, 750k 1 way for 2 yrs. Smith was protected in lieu of Cholowski and Svechnikov during the expansion draft. He’s no longer waiver exempt and seems to have grabbed a 4th line spot at this point.

The big winger had 1 goal and 3 assists (and a Gordie Howe hat trick) in 16 games last year. In 37 total NHL games he has 3 goals and 4 assists. If you project out to 82 games, he may be able to contribute 6 goals and 16 assists or so.

I talk a bit about players “grabbing” a spot in terms of expectations. The top 3 forward prospects (Raymond, Veleno, Berggren) are expected (for now) to play top 6 minutes. Meaning, if they can’t grab that spot in Detroit, they’ll be in Grand Rapids. Last year, Rasmussen grabbed a 3rd line spot. He altered his game and did what was asked and was rewarded. Zadina grabbed a top 6 spot. His defensive commitment and skating helped him to gain Yzerman’s confidence. Smith is a depth player. The expectations for what he has to do to grab a spot are different, and he’s earned the opportunity to try it at the pro level.

A big plus in all this is the continued youth movement. Smith is 23, and older players in Helm, Nielsen and Glendening have been moved out to make room for the younger players. The bottom 6 has a role. In the “old days”, these were the lines that were sent out as “shut down” lines. Wear down the opposition, block pucks, etc. In the playoffs, the third line especially becomes important if the top 6 on each team are “cancelling each other out”. While there are trends of trying to load up scoring on every line, there are still coaches and GMs who see 4 lines as having 4 different jobs.

Congratulations to Smith, to be sure. It’s a tough position and he’s put in a lot of work to get there. The bottom 6 is more interesting this year with some new faces and more youth. Very soon we’ll get a feeling for how each line is going to function and what the chemistry looks like.

In just 2 days at 7PM Detroit’s prospects roster will hit the ice in Traverse City. I’m expecting a streaming link to be available. I’ll get it up as soon as I have it. The paperwork is done, time to play the game.

Check out my previous posts:

Up Close with Jared McIsaac

Griffins TV packages are available

Frolunda Drops opener, Oesterle on Wings TV

Word on Woodward with Robby Fabbri

Prospects Camp Roster and Denver Wings

Cholowski signs with Kraken

Simon Edvinsson is picking up points

10 Days Until Prospect Camp

The Atlantic Division is a bit of a gauntlet for a rebuilding team.

Filip Hronek’s 3 year extension

Who’s your newbie?

Zadina and Kotkaniemi

Montreal got offer sheeted.

Would you experiment with the top line?

Filip Zadina is my breakout candidate this season.

Hakan Andersson pounded the table for Liam Dower Nilsson

Thoughts on preseason games

Prospect to watch - Alex Cotton

recapping the 2020 draft

Fedorov jersey retirement puck seen online

Svechnikov signs AHL deal, PTO with Jets

Nielsen is being bought out

Seider vs Nedeljkovic for Wings rookie of the year?

The 2019 draft
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