Panthers acquire forward Givani Smith from Red Wings

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto departs the organization

The Florida Panthers have acquired forward Givani Smith from the Detroit Red Wings.

Going back the other way in the three-way trade was veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who was toiling for the Charlotte Checkers. Del Zotto ended up with the Anaheim Ducks organization while forward Danny O’Regan joins the Red Wings.

The 24-year-old has appeared in 19 games with AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins this season and put up two goals and three assists.

Smith has played in a total of 85 NHL games, producing seven goals and seven assists, since being selected by Detroit in the second round (46th overall) of the 2016 Entry Draft. While he has good size, speed and brings toughness, his ability to score remains a work in progress.

Smith, who is in the final year of his contract, is expected to join the Checkers, who are currently running short of experience forwards with Zac Dalpe, Aleksi Heponiemi, Grigori Denisenko and Chris Tierney all up with the big club.

Del Zotto signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Cats on July 17, 2022. In 25 games with the Checkers, Del Zotto scored two goals and collected eight assists.

Small moves, Ellie...