Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Finding More Offense And Givani Smith Needed On The Wings

05/27/2021 at 6:18am EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“We need to score more goals and improve offensively,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. “That’s easier said than done. The biggest part of that is having players who have the ability to produce.

“I’m hopeful our younger players can generate a little more offense. With the players that have been here for a while, I expect them to score more than they did this year.”

The improvement must come mostly from within the organization. The Red Wings will look to sign a couple of free-agent forwards, preferably right-handed shooters, but that market surely will be thin when it opens on July 28.

The list of potential unrestricted free-agent forwards with offensive ability includes Alex Ovechkin (Washington), Gabriel Landeskog and Brandon Saad (Colorado), Taylor Hall and David Krejci (Boston), Mike Hoffman and Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton), Blake Coleman (Tampa Bay) and Zach Hyman (Toronto).

Several are expected to re-sign with their current club. Those that don’t might not be inclined to move from a strong team, in many cases, to a rebuilding club.

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from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

If the Wings want to be perceived as tougher, they have an internal candidate worth considering in Givani Smith.

Smith has been with the organization since 2016, when he was drafted at No. 46. He turned pro two years later, spending 2018-19 with the Grand Rapids Griffins while scoring six goals and seven assists — and 86 penalty minutes — in 64 games. He made his NHL debut Oct. 25, 2019, and appeared in 21 games (two goals, one assist) in 2019-20 with the Wings, otherwise showing improvement with the Griffins, where he recorded nine goals and 19 assists — and 75 penalty minutes — in 37 games.

Smith appeared in 16 games with the Wings this season, recording a goal and three assists. His 15 points in 25 games with the Griffins worked out to an AHL career-best .60 points-per-game average and boosted Smith’s confidence in his development.

“I think the biggest improvement from last year to this year is being able to keep plays going and to recognize the areas on the ice where I am with the puck and body positioning, so I’m not taking as many penalties and things like that,” Smith said. “There are a lot of things I improved on mentally, growing as a player. I’ve gotten tougher and stronger. My skating has improved.”

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