According to a team official, the Detroit Red Wings have returned Brendan Smith to the Grand Rapids Griffins after a nine-day call-up. In that time, Smith served the final game of his suspension, played three games on the West Coast road trip, and was a healthy scratch against the Calgary Flames.
Initially, he was to return to Grand Rapids when Ian White returned from short-term injured reserve. White was cleared to play tonight, but Brad Stuart was a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury and Smith was asked to stay in case he was needed tonight. The Wings sent Fabian Brunnstrom to Grand Rapids (and he played tonight, notching an assist in the 5-2 win for the Griffs) to be able to keep Brendan Smith in town. Mike Commodore, still on the roster for some reason.
Smith had a strong showing in his three game audition. He had two assists, three hits, four blocked shots, six shots, four penalty minutes, and a -1 rating. He improved each game, but could certainly use some more seasoning on the farm.
Coach Mike Babcock made no secret that he’s infatuated with Smith’s skills. He told anyone that would listen that Smith “is an NHL player” and there’s little doubt that Babbles would rather have Smith on the roster than Commodore (who hasn’t played since November 15th — the first game after White’s injury, and Smith’s final game of suspension). But, alas, Smith can be sent down to Grand Rapids without clearing waivers and the safe move is demoting Smith.
With Smith’s demotion, the Red Wings roster stands at 22 players (7 defensemen, 13 forwards, and a pair of goaltenders). They have recalled Fabian Brunnstrom now that there’s a slot for him. Brunnstrom and his wife are expecting their first child any minute now.
11/22 :: Ian White activated from short-term injured reserve
11/22 :: Fabian Brunnstrom assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
11/23 :: Brendan Smith assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL)
11/23 :: Fabian Brunnstrom recalled from Grand Rapids (AHL)
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