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SMITH RETURNS TO GRIFFINS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Friday assigned defenseman Brendan Smith to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Smith, 22, was recalled to Detroit on Thursday to serve the fourth game of his five-game NHL suspension during the Red Wings’ 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames last night.

The Mimico, Ontario, native has appeared in seven games with the Griffins this season, recording two assists and 20 penalty minutes. He was named to the 2010-11 AHL All-Rookie team after becoming the first rookie defenseman in franchise history to be selected for the AHL All-Star Game, totaling 32 points (12-20—32) in 63 games on the season.

Smith will be in the lineup as the Griffins continue their three-game homestand on Saturday at 7 p.m. with their first-ever meeting with the Charlotte Checkers at Van Andel Arena. Tickets are still available at griffinshockey.com.