The Huron Daily Tribune’s Eric Rutter spoke with former Red Wing Darren McCarty recently, discussing both the return of Steve Yzerman to the managerial fold and McCarty’s favorite prospect:
“Steve Yzerman comes back and we’re talking about the man,” Darren McCarty told the Tribune. “He has the ability to lead men and to lead people, which what I mean by that is you want to be better because you don’t want to let the guy down. And it’s not because he’s nice, it’s because he’s honest and he will give everything he has, and it’s lead by example.”
For a team without the presence of 15-year Red Wing Kronwall, this leadership will be pivotal as Detroit continues to rebuild. However, McCarty has spent a wealth of time around the team recently, and the four-time Stanley Cup winner sees several shades of himself in current Red Wings prospect and Grand Rapids Griffins winger Givani Smith.
“There’s a lot of young talent,” McCarty said. “Some are going to take time to develop. There’s a guy in Grand Rapids right now named Givani Smith, … he is the type of guy where he has the ability to play the physical game. He has to be a presence while learning the game, how to skate, how to be that physical presence.”
As a member of the infamous “Grind Line,” McCarty understands the value of harnessing grit in one’s playing style. This area is where he believes Smith can make an impact on the Red Wings in due time.
“He’s the one I really have an eye on because he’s the one in the organization that I can relate to,” McCarty said. “He’s smart and it’s work. He works his butt off. He’s going to be good, and I told him, ‘You have this value that there’s a piece that you can add to this team.'”