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2012-13 SEASON ISSUE NO. 4

OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS

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Vol. 17, No. 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS STARTING LINEUP

21

21

GOOD HEAD START

Rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek has sparkled during his first professional season. 28

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan has come to realize that he has been given the chance to do something that very few are able to achieve. 36

ALL BUSINESS

Entrepreneurial defenseman Nathan Paetsch is determined to be successful on and off the ice. 49

THAT SPECIAL FEELING

Getting into the AHL playoffs is the first step on what every team hopes will be a journey to a Calder Cup championship.

28

ON THE BENCH 2...........Next Opponents 5...........Chalk Talk 6...........Coming Attractions 9...........Griffins Schedule 12........AHL Tradition 14........AHL Team Directory 18........It Feels Good to Connect 19........Detroit Red Wings 26........Promotional Calendar 40........Meet the Griffins

43........Griffins Youth Foundation 54........Season Ticket Holders 65........Griffins Records 68........Penalty Calls 70........Griffins History 74........Arena Map/Ticket Info 76........It All Starts Here 79........Kids Page 80........Parting Shot

36

COVER: Griffins goalie Petr Mrazek has been enjoying a solid rookie season. Photo by Mark Newman

Griffiti magazine is published four times a year by the Grand Rapids Griffins, Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI 49503. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All contents Š2013 Grand Rapids Griffins. For advertising information, contact Griffins Sales & Marketing, (616) 774-4585; fax (616) 336-5464. Unsolicited manuscripts and other materials will not be returned.

49

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 1

UPCOMING HOME OPPONENTS

CHICAGO (March 13, April 10)

MILWAUKEE (April 12)

LAKE ERIE (March 22)

PEORIA (April 13, April 19)

The Wolves are exercising patience with Alex Friesen (#26), who was selected in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. A native of St. Catherines, Ontario, Friesen was a point-per-game player for the Niagara Ice Dogs during his last three years in juniors, but he has struggled to find the scoresheet during his rookie season in the AHL. Being an undersized (5-foot10, 186-lb.) center, Friesen will have to learn to make the most of his opportunities. The Monsters are encouraged by the play of young Daniel Maggio (#44), a big, able-bodied defenseman who shows no fear when the situation calls for dropping the gloves. Maggio, 22, was an ECHL All-Star in Fort Wayne, where he had five goals, 18 points and 147 penalty minutes in 43 games earlier this season. A native of Windsor, Ontario, the 6-foot-3, 202-pound Maggio was a sixth-round pick (170th overall) of the New York Rangers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Admirals are feeling good about the development of slender defenseman Mattias Ekholm (#12), a native of Borlänge, Sweden, who is playing in his first pro season in North America. At 6-foot-4, Ekholm will need to add muscle to his 176-pound frame, but the 22-year-old already has a strong skill set, as demonstrated by the fact that he was the the Swedish Elite League’s Rookie of the Year two seasons ago. The Nashville Predators selected Ekholm in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Rivermen are sending positive reports back to the St. Louis Blues about undrafted defenseman Mark Cundari (#15), who is showing continued improvement during his third AHL season. A native of Woodbridge, Ontario, the 22-year-old Cundari is a 5-foot-9, 200-pound blueliner who plays bigger than his size, thanks to a strong work ethic and smart positioning. Cundari represented the Western Conference in the 2013 All-Star Game in Providence, R.I.

2 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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HUNTINGTON CELEBRATES

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CHALK TALK

WITH GRIFFINS HEAD COACH JEFF BLASHILL Photo: Occam Photography

In any race, it’s not how you get out of the blocks but how you finish that counts the most. Stumble at the end and you’re not likely to achieve the desired results. Coach Jeff Blashill likes where the Griffins are positioned going into the homestretch, but he also knows that his team still has to run the most important portion of the race. “We’re in an extremely tight race, and we better be on top of our game every single night to have a chance to put ourselves in the position to become a playoff team,” Blashill said. “You have to put your best foot forward every night.” As the team heads into the final 20 games of the season, Blashill will continue to look for leadership from veterans like Jeff Hoggan, Nathan Paetsch, Brennan Evans and Triston Grant. “I’ve said all along that our character is our No. 1 strength,” Blashill said. “Our guys have done a great job of bouncing back, and that’s because we have a bunch of guys who come ready to work every day. “You’re not going to win every day, but if you’re willing to work, you’re going to put yourself in the best position possible to have success. Guys like Francis Pare and Gus Nyquist have been around the league long enough to know what it takes to be successful, and they’ve been outstanding examples for our team to follow.” In general terms, Blashill would like to see his team strengthen its defensive play in the closing weeks of the season. “If you’re good defensively, you’re going to have a better chance to be in every game. We’ve gone through a few stretches where we haven’t been good enough defensively speaking, and that ultimately hurts our offense because we end up spending too much time in our own end.” Blashill and assistant coach Jim Paek are also trying to get the team to focus on its penalty killing. While the Griffins have one of the best power plays in the AHL, their penalty killing ranks among the bottom tier. “We feel like we have made improvements, although the numbers haven’t necessarily shown it,” Blashill said. “We’ve talked about doing a better job of blocking shots, not allowing backdoor goals and reducing the

number of rebounds. Essentially, we want to force the other team’s power play to make great plays. Let’s take away everything that is easy. “Let’s forget what has happened up to now. We feel like we can have one of the top penalty killing units in the league during the last part of the season. That’s a big goal of ours.” Everything has been complicated, of course, by the absence of players called up by the Red Wings, who have suffered an unusual number of injuries this season. Thankfully, the depth of the organization has allowed the Griffins to weather the changes. “With the fluctuations in the roster, depth becomes a critical factor in our success,” Blashill said. “Hopefully, that depth will help us in the long run as guys get the opportunity to play, whether it’s on the power play, penalty kill or even time on our top three lines.” More ice time will help the youngest Griffins in their maturation process as players. As youngsters like Gleason Fournier, Andrej Nestrasil and Max Nicastro get a chance to show their skills, Blashill continues to stress the finer points of the game. “When you get past the middle part of the season, your attention to detail on a daily basis needs to be outstanding,” he said. “Winning often comes down to whether you’re making the little plays.” In reality, the difference between winning and losing is very small. “We’re no different than everyone else,” he said. “This isn’t Division I basketball with the haves and the have-nots. The rest of our games are going to be hard-fought battles, and that will make us a better team in the long run.” Although encouraged by the fact that the Griffins were still in first place heading into March, Blashill knows there are plenty of games still to be p played. y “I feel good about the progress we’ve made up to now, but we need to continue to get better in all areas of the game if we want to have a chance to be a good team down the stretch.” Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 5

COMING ATTRACTIONS ‘90S NIGHT SIGNALS SEASON’S HOMESTRETCH

When Tomas Tatar opened the 2012-13 season with the Griffins it marked his fourth year in Grand Rapids, which might make one wonder if he wasn’t getting kind of old, except for the fact that he was still only 21 years old at the time. Tatar was the youngest player in the AHL when he joined the Griffins as an 18-year-old at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. His birthdate is Dec. 1, 1990, a year that saw the start of the Persian Gulf War, the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, the reunification of Germany and the formal start of the Human Genome Project. The year 1990 started a decade that the Griffins will celebrate on Friday, March 22, when the team faces the Lake Erie Monsters at Van Andel Arena. In addition to dollar beers and hot dogs, fans will enjoy ‘90s Night presented by J&H Family Stores, as all things ‘90s – think Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Seinfeld and Friends, to name a few – are celebrated. A jersey auction will follow the game, as the Griffins will wear throwback jerseys that replicate the organization’s original sweater worn from 1996-2002. April 13: Fan Vote Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Michigan Office Solutions On Saturday, April 13, the Griffins will immortalize Tomas Tatar in miniature as the winner of the Fan Vote Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Michigan Office Solutions. Tatar ranks among the Griffins’ alltime leaders in goals, assists, points and game-winning 6 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

goals. The young Slovakian star also tallied three goals and three assists in his first dozen games after being recalled by the Red Wings on Feb. 3. The April 13 game against the Peoria Rivermen will be followed by a J&H Family Stores post-game open skate and a Huntington Bank post-game autograph session. April 19: Season Finale presented by Huntington Bank Superfan Cameron Hughes will do his best to whip the Griffins faithful into a frenzy when he bring his crazy antics to Van Andel Arena during the Season Finale presented by Huntington Bank. Fans can take advantage

of dollar beers and hot dogs while enjoying the sideshow shtick of Hughes, a freelance fan who has made a profession out of cheering like crazy and coaxing crowds to follow his lead. The final J&H Family Stores post-game open skate of the regular season will follow the game, along with an auction of the Griffins’ Friday night jerseys.

April 24: 2013 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs Begin!

Wherever life takes you in the Grand Rapids metro area, The Rapid has an easy, low-cost way to get you there. For more information visit www.ridetherapid.org.

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 7

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First-Ever Outdoor Game at Comerica Park

All times Eastern. Games broadcast Dates, opponents and times subject to change. live on

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J&H Family Stores Post-Game Open Skate Huntington Bank Post-Game Autograph Session Fan 4-Pack Home Game Griff’s Reading Goals Redemption Date

ABB – Abbotsford CHA – Charlotte CHI – Chicago HAM – Hamilton HOU – Houston LE – Lake Erie MIL – Milwaukee

OKC – Oklahoma City PEO – Peoria RCH – Rochester RFD – Rockford SA – San Antonio TEX – Texas TOR – Toronto

TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR FOR MORE INFO, VISIT GRIFFINSHOCKEY.COM OR CALL 1.800.2.HOCKEY Grand Gr Gra G ra ran nd d Rapids Raap Ra Rap pids ids id ds G GR GRI GRIFFINS RIIF R FF FFI FIINS F NS 9

Dear Grand Rapids Griffins Fans, For many people, spring is the season of renewal. The days get warmer, the grass starts to grow, birds return to the sky, and leaves begin to fill the trees. But for hockey fans and teams, autumn is that cherished time of rebirth. The nights get crisp, a new ice sheet is built, the latest crop of rookies mixes with the veterans, and fans flock to the arena to support their favorite team. Yes, another Griffins season – our 17th overall and 11th as the Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate – is upon us, and we are excited about everything that the next nine months have in store. To begin with, renewal is a very appropriate word this season, as we’ve extended our Red Wings affiliation agreement through 2017 and our Van Andel Arena lease through 2037, securing two building blocks of our organization’s success and stability for many years to come. Continuity will also be evident on the ice. NHL-ready players such as Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith could return for extended action in Grand Rapids this season, while longtime Griffins like Francis Pare and Tomas Tatar should continue their storied offensive production. Renewal also denotes change, and perhaps the most notable for 2012-13 is behind our bench, as Jeff Blashill begins his first season as our head coach following Curt Fraser’s departure to the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Geographically speaking, no Griffins coach has ever had such extensive and wide-ranging ties to the state of Michigan as Blashill. Born in Detroit and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, he played goal and later served as an assistant coach for Ferris State, oversaw a resurgence of Western Michigan’s program in 2010-11, then spent last year as a Red Wings assistant coach under Mike Babcock. Another new face with local ties is forward Luke Glendening, an East Grand Rapids resident and University of Michigan graduate who looks to become the first native of Greater Grand Rapids to wear a Griffins uniform. Other rookies to watch include goalie Petr Mrazek and forwards Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan. Of course, the most significant names in our organization’s continued success are those not mentioned here. Every Griffins fan has played a role in two remarkable accomplishments for our franchise: our tradition of Opening Night sellouts, and our achievement of average attendance increases in five of the last six seasons. Regardless of what changes from year to year, your fantastic support has always been a constant, and one of the reasons we so look forward to each new hockey season. On behalf of the entire Griffins organization, thank you for your unmatched support. I hope you enjoy everything this season has to offer. Sincerely,

Dan DeVos President & CEO Grand Rapids Griffins

10 Grand Rapids GRI GRIFFI GRIFFINS FFINS FFI NS

DAVID A. ANDREWS

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

American Hockey League

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Billy Smith Honored Member, Hockey Hall of Fame 1971 Calder Cup Champion

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12 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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Former AHL forward Claude Giroux finished third in the NHL scoring race with 93 points for the Flyers in 2011-12.

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Ben Bishop 2012 AHL All-Star Game MVP

@TheAHL

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 13

2012-13 AHL DIRECTORY

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION: Manchester, Portland, Providence, St. John’s, Worcester NORTHEAST DIVISION: Adirondack, Albany, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Springfield EAST DIVISION: B inghamton, Hershey, Norfolk, Syracuse, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS NHL AFFILIATION: Philadelphia Flyers HOME ICE: Glens Falls Civic Center (4,816) GENERAL MANAGER: Paul Holmgren HEAD COACH: Terry Murray ENTERED AHL: 1996-97 (as Philadelphia Phantoms) CALDER CUPS: Two (1998, 2005) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 10 of 16 2011-12 RECORD: 37-35-2-2, 78 pts. WEBSITE: www.phantomshockey.com

ALBANY DEVILS NHL AFFILIATION: New Jersey Devils HOME ICE: Times Union Center (6,691) GENERAL MANAGER: Chris Lamoriello HEAD COACH: Rick Kowalsky ENTERED AHL: 2006-07 (as Lowell Devils) CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 1 of 6 2011-12 RECORD: 31-34-6-5, 73 pts. WEBSITE: www.thealbanydevils.com

BINGHAMTON SENATORS NHL AFFILIATION: Ottawa Senators HOME ICE: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena (4,679) PRESIDENT: Tim Smith HEAD COACH: Luke Richardson ENTERED AHL: 2002-03 CALDER CUPS: One (2011) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 4 of 10 2011-12 RECORD: 29-40-5-2, 65 pts. WEBSITE: www.binghamtonsenators.com

BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS NHL AFFILIATION: New York Islanders HOME ICE: Webster Bank Arena (8,412) GENERAL MANAGER: Garth Snow HEAD COACH: Scott Pellerin ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 7 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 41-26-3-6, 91 pts. WEBSITE: www.soundtigers.com

CONNECTICUT WHALE NHL AFFILIATION: New York Rangers HOME ICE: XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum (15,635) GENERAL MANAGER: Jim Schoenfeld HEAD COACH: Ken Gernander ENTERED AHL: 1997-98 (as Hartford Wolf Pack) CALDER CUPS: One (2000) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 14 of 15 2011-12 RECORD: 36-26-7-7, 86 pts. WEBSITE: www.ctwhale.com 14 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

HERSHEY BEARS NHL AFFILIATION: Washington Capitals HOME ICE: Giant Center (10,500) GENERAL MANAGER: Doug Yingst HEAD COACH: Mark French ENTERED AHL: 1938-39 CALDER CUPS: 11 (1947, 1958, 1959, 1969, 1974, 1980, 1988, 1997, 2006, 2009, 2010) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 63 of 74 2011-12 RECORD: 38-26-4-8, 88 pts. WEBSITE: www.hersheybears.com

MANCHESTER MONARCHS NHL AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Kings HOME ICE: Verizon Wireless Arena (9,852) GENERAL MANAGER: Ron Hextall HEAD COACH: Mark Morris ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 10 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 39-32-2-3, 83 pts. WEBSITE: www.manchestermonarchs.com

NORFOLK ADMIRALS NHL AFFILIATION: Anaheim Ducks HOME ICE: Norfolk Scope (8,700) GENERAL MANAGER: Bob Murray HEAD COACH: Trent Yawney ENTERED AHL: 2000-01 CALDER CUPS: One (2012) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 9 of 12 2011-12 RECORD: 55-18-1-2, 113 pts. WEBSITE: www.norfolkadmirals.com

PORTLAND PIRATES NHL AFFILIATION: Phoenix Coyotes HOME ICE: Cumberland County Civic Center (6,733) GENERAL MANAGER: Brad Treliving HEAD COACH: Ray Edwards ENTERED AHL: 1993-94 CALDER CUPS: One (1994) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 14 of 19 2011-12 RECORD: 36-31-4-5, 81 pts. WEBSITE: www.portlandpirates.com

PROVIDENCE BRUINS NHL AFFILIATION: Boston Bruins HOME ICE: Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence (11,075) GENERAL MANAGER: Peter Chiarelli HEAD COACH: Bruce Cassidy ENTERED AHL: 1992-93 CALDER CUPS: One (1999) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 15 of 20 2011-12 RECORD: 35-34-3-4, 77 pts. WEBSITE: www.providencebruins.com

SPRINGFIELD FALCONS NHL AFFILIATION: Columbus Blue Jackets HOME ICE: MassMutual Center (6,789) GENERAL MANAGER: Bruce Landon HEAD COACH: Brad Larsen ENTERED AHL: 1994-95 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 6 of 18 2011-12 RECORD: 36-34-3-3, 78 pts. WEBSITE: www.falconsahl.com

2012-13 AHL DIRECTORY ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS

NHL AFFILIATION: Winnipeg Jets HOME ICE: Mile One Centre (6,247) GENERAL MANAGER: Craig Heisinger HEAD COACH: Keith McCambridge ENTERED AHL: 2011-12 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 1 of 1 2011-12 RECORD: 43-25-5-3 WEBSITE: www.stjohnsicecaps.com

NHL AFFILIATION: Pittsburgh Penguins HOME ICE: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza (8,050) GENERAL MANAGER: Ray Shero HEAD COACH: John Hynes ENTERED AHL: 1999-00 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 11 of 13 2011-12 RECORD: 44-25-2-5, 95 pts. WEBSITE: www.wbspenguins.com

SYRACUSE CRUNCH NHL AFFILIATION: Tampa Bay Lightning HOME ICE: Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter (6,159) GENERAL MANAGER: Julien BriseBois HEAD COACH: Jon Cooper ENTERED AHL: 1994-95 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 10 of 18 2011-12 RECORD: 37-29-5-5, 84 pts. WEBSITE: www.syracusecrunch.com

WESTERN CONFERENCE MIDWEST DIVISION: Grand Rapids, Chicago, Milwaukee, Peoria, Rockford NORTH DIVISION: Abbotsford, Hamilton, Lake Erie, Rochester, Toronto SOUTH DIVISION: Charlotte, Houston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Texas

ABBOTSFORD HEAT NHL AFFILIATION: Calgary Flames HOME ICE: Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre (7,046) GENERAL MANAGER: Jay Feaster HEAD COACH: Troy G. Ward ENTERED AHL: 2009-10 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 2 of 3 2011-12 RECORD: 42-26-3-5, 92 pts. WEBSITE: www.abbotsfordheat.com

CHARLOTTE CHECKERS NHL AFFILIATION: Carolina Hurricanes HOME ICE: Time Warner Cable Arena (6,800) HEAD COACH/ GENERAL MANAGER: Jeff Daniels ENTERED AHL: 2010-11 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 1 of 2 2011-12 RECORD: 38-29-3-6, 85 pts. WEBSITE: www.gocheckers.com

WORCESTER SHARKS NHL AFFILIATION: San Jose Sharks HOME ICE: DCU Center (5,400) GENERAL MANAGER: Wayne Thomas HEAD COACH: Roy Sommer ENTERED AHL: 2006-07 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 6 2011-12 RECORD: 31-33-4-8, 74 pts. WEBSITE: www.sharksahl.com

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS NHL AFFILIATION: Detroit Red Wings HOME ICE: Van Andel Arena (10,834) HEAD COACH: Jeff Blashill ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 6 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 33-32-7-4, 77 pts. WEBSITE: www.griffinshockey.com

HAMILTON BULLDOGS NHL AFFILIATION: Montreal Canadiens HOME ICE: Copps Coliseum (8,819) GENERAL MANAGER: Marc Bergevin HEAD COACH: Sylvain Lefebvre ENTERED AHL: 1996-97 CALDER CUPS: One (2007) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 12 of 16 2011-12 RECORD: 34-35-2-5, 75 pts. WEBSITE: www.hamiltonbulldogs.com

HOUSTON AEROS NHL AFFILIATION: Minnesota Wild HOME ICE: Toyota Center (8,939) GENERAL MANAGER: Jim Mill HEAD COACH: John Torchetti ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: One (2003) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 9 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 35-25-5-11, 86 pts. WEBSITE: www.aeros.com

CHICAGO WOLVES NHL AFFILIATION: Vancouver Canucks HOME ICE: Allstate Arena (16,692) GENERAL MANAGER: Wendell Young HEAD COACH: Scott Arniel ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: Two (2002, 2008) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 8 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 42-27-4-3, 91 pts. WEBSITE: www.chicagowolves.com

LAKE ERIE MONSTERS NHL AFFILIATION: Colorado Avalanche HOME ICE: Quicken Loans Arena (20,093) DIRECTOR OF AHL OPERATIONS: David Oliver HEAD COACH: Dean Chynoweth ENTERED AHL: 2007-08 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 1 of 5 2011-12 RECORD: 37-29-3-7, 84 pts. WEBSITE: www.lakeeriemonsters.com Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 15

2012-13 AHL DIRECTORY MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS

TEXAS STARS

NHL AFFILIATION: Nashville Predators HOME ICE: BMO Harris Bradley Center (17,845) GENERAL MANAGER: Paul Fenton HEAD COACH: Dean Evason ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: One (2004) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 10 of 11 2011-12 RECORD: 40-29-2-5, 87 pts. WEBSITE: www.milwaukeeadmirals.com

NHL AFFILIATION: Dallas Stars HOME ICE: Cedar Park Center (6,863) GENERAL MANAGER: Scott White HEAD COACH: Willie Desjardins ENTERED AHL: 2009-10 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 2 of 3 2011-12 RECORD: 31-40-3-2, 67 pts. WEBSITE: www.texasstarshockey.com

OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS NHL AFFILIATION: Edmonton Oilers HOME ICE: Cox Convention Center (7,500) GENERAL MANAGER: Bill Scott HEAD COACH: Todd Nelson ENTERED AHL: 2010-11 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 2 of 2 2011-12 RECORD: 45-22-4-5, 99 pts. WEBSITE: www.okcbarons.com

PEORIA RIVERMEN NHL AFFILIATION: St. Louis Blues HOME ICE: Peoria Civic Center – Carver Arena (9,919) GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin McDonald HEAD COACH: Dave Allison ENTERED AHL: 2005-06 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 7 2011-12 RECORD: 39-33-2-2, 82 pts. WEBSITE: www.rivermen.net

ROCHESTER AMERICANS NHL AFFILIATION: Buffalo Sabres HOME ICE: Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial (10,662) GENERAL MANAGER: Darcy Regier HEAD COACH: Chadd Cassidy ENTERED AHL: 1956-57 CALDER CUPS: Six (1965, 1966, 1968, 1983, 1987, 1996) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 42 of 56 2011-12 RECORD: 36-26-10-4, 86 pts. WEBSITE: www.amerks.com

ROCKFORD ICEHOGS NHL AFFILIATION: Chicago Blackhawks HOME ICE: BMO Harris Bank Center (5,767) GOVERNOR: Mark Bernard HEAD COACH: Ted Dent ENTERED AHL: 2007-08 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 5 2011-12 RECORD: 35-32-2-7, 79 pts. WEBSITE: www.icehogs.com

SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE NHL AFFILIATION: Florida Panthers HOME ICE: AT&T Center (6,374) GENERAL MANAGER: Michael Santos HEAD COACH: Chuck Weber ENTERED AHL: 2002-03 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 10 2011-12 RECORD: 41-30-3-2, 87 pts. WEBSITE: www.sarampage.com 16 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

TORONTO MARLIES NHL AFFILIATION: Toronto Maple Leafs HOME ICE: Ricoh Coliseum (7,851) GENERAL MANAGER: Dave Nonis HEAD COACH: Dallas Eakins 06 ENTERED AHL: 2005 2005-06 UPS: None CALDER CUPS: SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 4 of 7 2011-12 RECORD: 44-24-5-3, 96 pts. WEBSITE: www.marlies.ca

2012-13 PLAYOFF FORMAT

Eight ht teams ms in eachh conference will qualify for the 20133 Calder Cup Playoffs: The three h di division i i winners i will ill bbe seeded dd first through third in order of points, and the next five teams in order of points will be seeded fourth through eighth. The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.

Competition. SM

It’s what makes champions. At Comerica Bank, we’re proud supporters of the Grand Rapids Griffins. Here’s to a winning 2012-13 season!

comerica.com Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender.

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 17

18 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

DETROIT

RED WINGS Joakim Andersson

Gustav Nyquist

FOUR MEMBERS OF THE GRIFFINS MADE THEIR NHL DEBUTS WITH THE RED WINGS DURING THE 2011-12 SEASON Now in their 11th season as Detroit’s affiliate – and the first of a five-year extension that runs through 2016-17 – the Griffins have sent 50 players on to play for the Red Wings. Stars such as Jimmy Howard, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm and Niklas Kronwall began their pro careers at Van Andel Arena, which has also witnessed some of the greatest names in hockey skate during conditioning stints and Red & White Games. TOP AFFILIATE

Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)

ARENA

Joe Louis Arena Seating Capacity: 20,066

INFO

Phone: (313) 394-7000 www.detroitredwings.com

STANLEY CUPS

1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008

Riley Sheahan

MANAGEMENT

Brendan Smith

Ken Holland, Executive VP/General Manager Jim Nill, VP/Assistant General Manager Ryan Martin, Asst. GM/Hockey Administration

COACHING STAFF

Mike Babcock, Head Coach Tom Renney, Associate Coach Bill Peters, Assistant Coach Keith McKittrick, Assistant Coach — Video Jim Bedard, Goaltending Coach Chris Osgood, Goaltending Development Coach Peter Renzetti, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Photos: Getty Images

GRIFFINS WHO HAVE EARNED THEIR WINGS* Justin Abdelkader, 2008-09 Joakim Andersson, 2011-12 Sean Avery, 2002-03 Ryan Barnes, 2003-04 Patrick Boileau, 2002-03 Darryl Bootland, 2003-04 Fabian Brunnstrom, 2011-12 Ty Conklin, 2011-12 Chris Conner, 2011-12 Aaron Downey, 2008-09 Matt Ellis, 2006-07 Cory Emmerton, 2010-11 Jonathan Ericsson, 2007-08 Valtteri Filppula, 2005-06 Mark Hartigan, 2007-08 Darren Helm, 2007-08 Jimmy Howard, 2005-06 Jiri Hudler, 2003-04 Matt Hussey, 2006-07 Doug Janik, 2009-10 Jakub Kindl, 2009-10 Tomas Kopecky, 2005-06 Niklas Kronwall, 2003-04 Marc Lamothe, 2003-04 Josh Langfeld, 2006-07 Brian Lashoff, 2012-13 Brett Lebda, 2005-06 Ville Leino, 2008-09 Joey MacDonald, 2006-07 Donald MacLean, 2005-06 Darren McCarty, 2007-08 Tom McCollum, 2010-11 Derek Meech, 2006-07 Kevin Miller, 2003-04 Mark Mowers, 2003-04 Petr Mrazek, 2012-13 Jan Mursak, 2010-11 Anders Myrvold, 2003-04 Kris Newbury, 2009-10 Gustav Nyquist, 2011-12 Kyle Quincey, 2005-06 Mattias Ritola, 2007-08 Jamie Rivers, 2003-04 Nathan Robinson, 2003-04 Stacy Roest, 2002-03 Riley Sheahan, 2011-12 Brendan Smith, 2011-12 Garrett Stafford, 2007-08 Tomas Tatar, 2010-11 Jason Williams, 2002-03

* not including conditioning stints for Curtis Joseph (2003-04), Chris Osgood (2005-06), Manny Legace (2005-06), Chris Chelios (2008-09), Andreas Lilja (2009-10) and Jonas Gustavsson (2012-13).

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 19

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GOOD HEAD START Story and photos by Mark Newman

Rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek has sparkled during his first professional season.

When Petr Mrazek won his debut in a Red Wings uniform, his Detroit teammates could hardly contain their enthusiasm. “He’s awesome,” said forward Cory Emmerton, who was one of five Red Wings to score in the 5-1 road victory over the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 7. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but he was great. He had no problem playing the puck. He looked very confident. He made huge stops.” “Mrazek did a great job in net, very stellar, calm back there,” said defenseman Niklas Kronwall. “He never really panicked whatsoever.

I thought he was square to the puck all night, kept control of the rebounds. I thought he looked really good.” “He played well,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. “He really handles the puck well. That makes it easy for the D. The other thing I liked about him is he didn’t generate second chances for them. The puck wasn’t coming off him. It was soft; it was under control. Good for the kid. It’s not an easy league to play in.” Mrazek, who was a week away from his 21st birthday, became the youngest goalie to start for Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 21

Mrazek became only the second goalie in history to win ECHL, AHL and NHL debuts in the same season.

the Red Wings since Chris Osgood was 20 years, 10 months, 19 days old when he made his 199394 debut. He is just the third goalie under the age of 21 to play for the Red Wings in the last 30 years and is among the 10 youngest ever to suit up for Detroit. Only Mrazek and Bill Beveridge (1929) won their NHL debuts. Mrazek, who was perfect in his first Detroit start except for a second-period goal by Alex Pietrangelo, became only the second goalie in history to win his ECHL, AHL and NHL debuts in the same season. He joined Alex Auld, who accomplished the feat in 2001-02. His path from junior hockey in the OHL to the NHL covered just nine months and 11 days. Mrazek has been well-groomed for the opportunity. Very athletic with almost cat-like reflexes, Mrazek is a tiger of technique. He is aggressive on his angles and is strong down low. His sideto-side post coverage is excellent, his ability 22 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

to absorb shots and to control rebounds most impressive. He usually handles the puck without hurting himself. But it’s not his blocker, glove hand or even his pads that set him apart. For all his potential and propensity for proper technique, it is what is between his ears that makes him special. “This kid has been the berries everywhere he’s been – he just wins,” Babcock said. “Nothing seems to faze him. Grand Rapids was (2-3-1-1) when he arrived there. And then all he did was win. All he did was come there and change the whole thing.” Cool, calm and collected, Mrazek has had ice in his veins for as long as he can remember. A native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek credits his parents, Karel and Lenka, for pointing him in the right direction and giving him a solid disposition. “I wouldn’t be here without my parents,” said Mrazek, speaking from a hockey perspective.

“They went with me to practice, whether it was 6 or 7 in the morning, or if they needed to pick me up from school. They were such a big part of my life and they helped me however they could.” His father was a professional soccer player who enjoyed playing goalie in men’s hockey leagues. “When the Czechs won (the Winter Olympics) in Nagano in 1998, everybody wanted to be like (Dominik) Hasek and I wanted to be in net, too. “We had lots of leagues around our house, so I started to play hockey.” Mrazek was blessed with natural athleticism, but his father made sure that he learned to stay humble. “He was always trying to keep me focused if I won a big game,” said Mrazek. “For example, after my first NHL game, I never saw him so happy, but he told me, ‘It’s OK to celebrate today, but tomorrow is a new day and it can happen a different way.’ “Even now, he is always telling me on the phone: ‘You’re the hero now, but tomorrow might be different.’ He is always telling me to keep my feet on the ground, and I’m happy for that.” Mrazek remembers that he started playing in net when he was six or seven years old. “I had great coaching when I was in the Czech Republic,” said Mrazek. “I started with one coach, Petr Bolek, and I stayed with him until I left to play in Canada. That was a big help for me.” Having the same coach for the better part of a decade meant that the endless practices – the countless drills, the verbal reminders – started paying off. “When you’re younger, you don’t think that much about technique,” said Mrazek. “He tried to show me some things and over time we learned whether I liked them or not.” When he was 17, Mrazek decided to come to North America to play junior hockey. “I talked about it for six months with my agent and my parents, if I should leave school and all my friends,” he said. “I had played juniors back home, but I saw my future as an NHL goaltender, and so it was an easy decision.” He played three seasons for the Ottawa 67s in the OHL, becoming a workhorse his final two years. As with Bolek back home, Mrazek developed a close working relationship with 67s goalie coach Tom Dempsey. “He had worked with Marc-Andre Fleury and helped send him to the NHL, so I was very thankful to be able to work with him,” said Mrazek. “When I first got there, I wasn’t the starting goaltender, but I worked with him every day and he helped give me a great chance to play every day.” Mrazek was 33-15-3 in 52 games with a 2.84

GAA during the 2010-11 season and 30-13-6 in 50 games with a 2.84 GAA last season. Playing nearly every game proved beneficial to his development. But his real breakout came last season during the World Junior Hockey Championship in Alberta, Canada, where his performance included a 52-save effort in a 5-2 win against the U.S. and ended with an overtime quarterfinal loss to Russia. He was named the top goaltender of the tournament. “He was the goaltender of the tournament,” said Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings director of player development. “He was the guy who took all the spotlight and at the same time wasn’t affected by the media, all the hype and 20,000 people at the games. He loved it. He thrived in that environment. He couldn’t get enough of it.” His performance was so highly regarded that the Czechs later named him their No. 3 goalie for the World Championship in Sweden. It set the stage for his arrival on the pro scene, a step that would see him start this season in Toledo while Tom McCollum and Jordan Pearce battled it out in Grand Rapids. Mrazek took the assignment in stride. In his eyes, he was just beginning his journey to play for the Red Wings, the team that had selected him in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. “There’s a little luck in terms of who will pick you in the draft, but I am happy that I was drafted by the Red Wings,” said Mrazek. “They have one of the greatest histories in the NHL, and when you see how many great players have played for the Red Wings, you see why a lot of players want to be drafted by Detroit.” Mrazek’s professional career started with a 2-1 record in Toledo, where he posted a 2.02 GAA. “I went there thinking, ‘I have to go there and do my best, play every game hard and we’ll see what happens, if I will get called up by Grand Rapids.’ I was happy when I got the chance after only two weeks into the season.” Recalled by the Griffins, Mrazek proceeded to set a franchise record by winning his first six starts. “Every goaltender wants to have a good start because it helps build your confidence,” he said. “With six straight wins, it was a great start. It showed that I could play here.” He proceeded to get even better. In his seven starts during the month of December, Mrazek never allowed more than two goals. He posted a 1.71 GAA and an equally impressive .937 save percentage. Registering the win for the Western Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 23

Conference in the AHL All-Star Game on Jan. about four minutes to rally for a 3-2 victory. 28 was the start of an incredible week that saw “That was a tough few minutes,” said Mrazek. Mrazek record his first pro shutout (1-0 vs. “We got up 2-0 and they got a lucky bounce and Abbotsford on Feb. 2), earn his first recall to the game changed.” Detroit (Feb. 3) Mrazek and be named the recovered and AHL’s Player of blanked the Wild the Week (Feb. the rest of the 4). Despite his way, but Detroit success, he didn’t was unable to get expect to earn the equalizer. a promotion to “Every game Detroit so early in is different. You his career. can win 5-0 one “My dream was night and lose to play at least one the next one 3-1. NHL game – that If I give up four would be very or five goals, I nice – but I wasn’t don’t panic. I try thinking about to stay focused. Detroit. I just My job is still to wanted to get in stop the puck.” some professional Mrazek games here in returned to Grand Rapids.” Grand Rapids, The opportunity not knowing if to make his NHL he would get debut came when another start this the Red Wings season with the decided to give a Red Wings, but night off to Jimmy certain that he Howard, who had still had plenty of started the first work to do. nine games of the He feels season. that he is Mrazek, who continuing to stopped the first improve under 14 shots he faced, the tutelage didn’t look out of of Red Wings place. goaltending “I wasn’t coach Jim Mrazek won his first six starts in a Griffins uniform. nervous,” he Bedard and admitted. “For me, it was a dream come true and goaltending development coach Chris Osgood. I wanted to enjoy every minute and have fun. I “They’re both really good goalie coaches, too, was just really excited to step onto the ice.” and I’m happy that I can practice with them,” He confessed he did get a little anxious in the said Mrazek. “You can learn something in every closing moments of the contest. practice, from skating to how to handle the puck.” “I felt comfortable the whole game, but the Asked to single out the last 5-10 minutes when we were up 4-1, I kept one area that he needs thinking, ‘Make a couple more saves and the to improve the most, game will be over and you can have your first Mrazek declines. “I’m win.’ It was the best feeling.” still working on it, so I’m Mrazek experienced a bit of a sinking feeling in not going to tell you,” he his second start 10 days later in Minnesota. After smiles. “There is always being kept off the scoreboard for nearly half of something to work on.” the game, the Wild scored three goals in a span of 24 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

2012-13 GRIFFINS PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

March 22: ‘90s Night presented by J&H Family Stores/Jersey Auction

APRIL 19

APRIL 24

APRIL 19

April 13: Tomas Tatar Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Michigan Office Solutions April 15: Griffins Booster Club Awards Banquet April 19: Season Finale presented by Huntington Bank/Appearance by Super Fan Cameron Hughes/Jersey Auction April 24: 2013 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs begin!

APRIL 13

S E A S O N - L O N G Dollar Beers and Hot Dogs: Every Friday, enjoy $1 hot dogs and $1 domestic dr afts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. Get in the D -ZONE: Every Friday night is a Gr iffins WGRD D-Zone night. Avoid the c oncession lines and have your $1 beers and $1 hot dogs served to you in your seats. Call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey. com/dzone to get your tickets today! Only three Friday nights remain on the schedule: Mar ch 22 and April 12 and 19. Seats are limited and will go quickly. Hurry now to join some of the best fans in the arena. College Night present ed by H & R Block: Every Friday, college students can show their ID to purchase an upper bowl ticket for $13 (or $11 in advance at The Zone) and stop by the McFadden’s concourse table to receive a free pass to the post-game party at McFadden’s. Free Ride Friday on The Rapid: Ride the Rapid to and from any Friday game and enjoy a complimentary fare by showing your ticket to that night’s game. Visit ridetherapid.org for schedule informa tion, routes and maps. Wednesday is Hockey Night: For the March 13 home game, show your Griffins ticket at these participating Arena District restaurants and bars – including Peppino’s 26 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

MARCH 22

P R O M O T I O N S

Sports Grille, home of the Griffins’ Wednesday postgame parties with the pla yers – to enjoy Happy Hour specials before the game and Hock ey Night specials afterward. Visit griffinshockey.com/hockeynight for a list of participating establishments. Amway Winning Wednesdays: Every time the Griffins win at home on Wednesday, each fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday game. Additionally, the first 300 fans to visit the Amway table in Section A will receive a gift. Fans can also enjoy a buyone, get-one-free deal on a 16 oz. Pepsi all night long at any concession stand that sells fountain drinks. Sunday is F un Day!: Every Sunday, enjoy $1 Pepsi drinks and $1 ice cream from 3-5 p.m. and a J&H Family Stores post-game open skate. Military Nights: Every home game this season, current members of our military can purchase up to four upper bowl tickets for $13 each (or $11 in advance at The Zone) with a valid military ID. The offer also extends to veterans who present a VA ID or discharge papers. Library Nights: For every Sunday and Wednesday game, fans can present their Grand Rapids Public Library card or Kent District Library card at the Van Andel Arena box office on the nigh t of the game or a t The Zone

anytime during the store’s regular business hours to save $7 off the price of a Lower Level Faceoff ticket (regularly $18 in advance and $20 day of game). Limit four tickets per card per person, subject to availability. Fan 4 Packs: For the April 13 home game , receive four tickets and $12 in concession cash for a great low price. Visit griffinshockey.com/f4p or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. Reading Goals: Children with Griff ’s Reading Goals bookmarks who ha ve completed the r equired three hours of reading can redeem their bookmark for t wo free upper level tickets to the game on either March 13 or April 10. J&H Family Stores Post-Game Open Skates: April 13 and 19 Huntington Bank Post-Game Autograph Session: April 13 MOS Corner O ffice: Presented by Michigan O ffice Solutions, this section, located on the terrace level above section 118, provides the best seats in the house for groups of up to 30 people, with La-Z-Boy chairs and an array of unprecedented amenities. Call (616) 774-4585. All promotions and dates subject to change. For more information, visit griffinshockey.com.

Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan has come to realize that he has been given the chance to do something Story and photos by Mark Newman

that very few are able to achieve.

28 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Life is what you make it. Growing up, Riley Sheahan and his older sister Karli were encouraged to participate in sports by their parents, Mike and Peggy, who were both physical education teachers in St. Catharines, Ontario. “We always had access to gyms when we were young,” Sheahan recalled. “At times, I was more into basketball than hockey because both my parents were basketball coaches. My mom even played basketball at a Canadian university.” As the family was living north of the 49th parallel, however, it was almost inevitable that Sheahan would eventually gravitate toward hockey. “Most of my friends were playing hockey and I eventually realized that I was better at hockey than I was at basketball.” While his sister turned her sights on rowing (she earned a scholarship to the University of Texas), Sheahan focused on hockey, eventually playing Junior B hockey in his hometown and earning the attention of the University of Notre Dame. Although he visited Boston College, Sheahan admits there wasn’t much debate about where he was headed. Coming from an Irish family, Notre Dame seemed a natural fit. In fact, he is the second cousin of defenseman Brock Sheahan, who had starred in South Bend two years before his arrival on campus. “My official visit was unbelievable,” he recalled. “I got to see the Michigan-Notre Dame football game, which the Irish won, and it was crazy with the whole place going nuts. “I liked the idea of coming to a prestigious school with a beautiful campus and buildings, and playing hockey for a good group of coaches. At Notre Dame, I felt I could be in an environment with other kids my own age and learn how to manage my time and how to live on my own. “Sometimes the school part was demanding and got a little frustrating. There weren’t many classes you could blow off, but I was lucky to share my time there with a great group of guys.” During his sophomore season, the Irish

advanced to the Frozen Four – college hockey’s version of basketball’s Final Four – and although the team lost to eventual champion MinnesotaDuluth, Sheahan said it was something he’ll never forget. “We had 12 freshmen in our lineup, so we weren’t even supposed to be that great, but we had a really close team, which made it even better. It was like we came out of nowhere.” Sheahan brought size (6-foot2, 212 pounds), speed and skill to the Irish lineup, appearing in 114 games over three seasons before he decided to forego his senior year to sign with the Red Wings. Detroit had selected Sheahan in the first round (21st overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft that was held in Los Angeles, where he had flown with his family. “It was crazy because it was something I never expected to happen,” he said. “I remember sitting there with my agent and he looked at me right before the Wings’ pick and told me to fix my tie. “I got a little nervous and as soon as they called my name, I almost blacked out. I got all dizzy and felt like I didn’t know what was going on. As I was walking up to the stage, so many things were going through my head. “It was awesome that my family was there to share it with me because they deserved it just as much as I did because they were so supportive over the years.” Sheahan played seven games in Grand Rapids last season after signing an amateur tryout contract with the Griffins. He signed with the Red Wings last April and saw his first NHL action in the Wings’ regular-season finale on April 7 against Chicago. “Everything happened so fast, I didn’t have much time to sit there and think about it,” he recalled. “But stepping onto the ice and seeing all the fans was just crazy. I was a little shell-shocked at first, but once you get into the game, you realize you’re there for a reason.” His first shift in the NHL was a bit inglorious. “I gave up the puck and I was backchecking, and when I went to lift his stick, I missed,” he recalled. “I got the guy right in the mouth and got a four-minute penalty for high-sticking. It wasn’t

“It made me realize that I have an opportunity that a lot of other people will never experience.”

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 29

the start that I had pictured, but at least I got my name on the scoresheet.” Sheahan arrived in Grand Rapids this fall with the intention of becoming more of an offensive force. He had earned his reputation in college as being a model two-way player. “Coming out of college, I wanted to focus on being a little more dynamic, a little more offensive-minded,” he said. “In college, I was viewed more as a shutdown type of player, but I think I have the skills and awareness to be a scorer.” He got off to a slow start this season, tallying one lone assist in his first six games. Nobody was talking about him; that is, until the night of Oct. 29, when he was arrested and charged with DUI. “I realize that I was lucky because the consequences could have been a lot worse,” he said, acknowledging that he could have hurt not only himself but others. “It was a really bad decision. “The toughest part was telling my parents and forcing the ones who are closest to me to go through all that,” he said. “Telling the team was tough, too.” Sheahan was grateful for the support shown by the Red Wings and Griffins organizations after he felt he had tarnished their reputations.

30 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Sheahan made his NHL debut in the Red Wings’ regular-season finale on April 7, 2012.

“(Red Wings assistant general manager) Jim Nill said, ‘We don’t want to help you as a hockey player right now; we’re just concerned for you as a person.’ That meant so much coming from an organization that has had so many talented players over the years. It just shows their class, that they cared more about getting me back on track.” His Griffins teammates rallied behind him as well. “Coming to the rink every day was easier because the guys wouldn’t ask about it. They

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knew I had screwed up and they knew I wanted to put it behind me and move forward.” Sheahan started meeting with counselors and not only resolved to be a teetotaler but also to refocus himself on the ice in an effort to distance himself from the distractions. He would never characterize his arrest as a blessing in disguise, but the incident helped make him aware of all that he could lose. “It was a wakeup call. It made me realize that I have an opportunity that a lot of other people will never experience. A lot of people only can wish that they would get this chance.” Sheahan re-dedicated himself to his play, and his efforts have been rewarded. He had 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in 22 games during the months of January and February. “I think I’ve started to show that I can be a scorer, but I think there’s still another level that I can get to,” he said. He feels fortunate that he is surrounded by a cast of character players who will help show him the way going forward. “It’s easy to come to the rink when you know you have that kind of support.” Someday, Sheahan hopes he can return the

favor, not only with his teammates on the ice but also with the general public away from the rink as well. He took the first step by approaching the Griffins’ community relations department to express his genuine desire to become a more active participant in the team’s outreach efforts. Over the last few months, in addition to numerous full-team functions, Sheahan has visited patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, while also attending a youth hockey practice and a pair of kids parties hosted by the team. Sheahan was also among the top fundraisers for January’s Great Skate, raising $465 in pledges for the Griffins Youth Foundation to rank sixth among his teammates. And while he’s taking everything day by day, he’s looking forward to the opportunity to assist others in choosing a different path. “Maybe someday I can help educate other kids so they don’t make the same mistake I did,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”

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Entrepreneurial defenseman Nathan Paetsch is determined to be successful on and off the ice.

36 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Griffins defenseman Nathan Paetsch was born in LeRoy, Saskatchewan, a small town located in the western prairies of Canada – an environment that would exert a big influence over his life. “It made me the person I am today,” said Paetsch, who has fond memories of growing up in a town of 400 people. “It was a great place to grow up. “My dad had a key to the rink down the road, so I had the opportunity to skate whenever I wanted. It was just a safe feeling. I’d get home from school and play street hockey for hours. You knew when dinner time was and you just went home.” Paetsch, who has an older sister, spent most of his formative years being coached by his electrician father, Rich, a demanding disciplinarian who had plenty of advice for his son. “He definitely pushed me,” he recalled. “Like most of his generation, he was old school. He was a strong voice in my development and he helped build my character.” Paetsch ended up playing most of his junior hockey in Moose Jaw, which was a good three-hour drive south of LeRoy. He spent four full seasons with the Warriors before pursuing a pro career with the Buffalo Sabres, who selected him in the seventh round (202nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Paetsch was strictly a defenseman until he turned pro. When he arrived in Rochester, he found that the AHL team had an abundance of seasoned defenseman. Doug Janik was the youngest, and he was already in his third season. “It didn’t look like I’d make it on defense to start, so I just lied to my coach and told him, ‘Yeah, I can play forward.’ So I ended up playing 50 games at forward my first season after having never played a lick there, except for shinny.” He laughs at the memory. He eventually told his coach the truth. “In the end, it worked out well for both of us,” said Paetsch, who still plays softball in the summer with Randy Cunneyworth, who was the head coach in Rochester from 2000-08.

Playing forward proved to be beneficial to Paetsch’s development. “It gave me more confidence in the offensive zone,” he said. “There are situations where you want to jump into the play, and having played forward it makes it a lot easier to be confident when the opportunity presents itself.” Paetsch said it wasn’t an easy transition. “I found that it was tough when I was in tight, in down low,” he said. “On defense, the play is usually in front of you when you’re carrying the puck up the ice, but down low, it isn’t easy to stick handle in tight spaces.” Paetsch got his introduction to the NHL during his third season in Rochester. He had an assist during his only appearance in the regular season, then was recalled for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Carolina in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. “Nothing ever compared volume-wise to that game,” he said. “The third period was deafening. We were leading 2-1 going into the third period, but after they scored twice to tie it and go ahead, you couldn’t hear a thing.” Paetsch spent the next four seasons in Buffalo until he was dealt at the trade deadline to Columbus. “Leaving the organization was definitely hard because I had spent my entire pro career with them,” he said. “I can’t thank the Buffalo organization enough. I still have great friends there, from players to management.” After spending the 2010-11 season in the AHL, Paetsch headed to Wolfsburg, Germany. “Going to Europe was a change of pace and it was something I wanted to experience,” he said. “But after a year, I was excited to come back.” Paetsch was happy to come to Grand Rapids this season. “Obviously I’ve been around a while, so I know a lot of people who have played in this organization, and they had nothing but great things to say about it,” he said. As a veteran, he embraced a leadership role. “I learned from a great group of veterans when I started in the Buffalo system, guys like Chris Taylor, who is now an assistant coach and

“I’ve been playing

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four years old – it’s been my business my whole life”

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 37

played until he plan is to have was almost 40,” somewhere to go Paetsch said. when this career “I learned a ton ends. I want to do from guys like whatever is best him, how they for my family.” came to the rink His family every day, how includes his wife they prepared, Jaclyn and son, how they kept Kellen, who the right attitude. turned two in Now that I’m December. a vet, I hope to “Becoming a provide the same father was the guidance and most amazing leadership. I’d like experience. Life to help by leaving has gotten so my legacy with much richer,” the young guys said Paetsch, who on this team.” celebrated the That includes birth of daughter financial advice. Mira Ann in “As a hockey early March. player, you start “Coming home earning your from the rink now money at such is so exciting. I an early age can’t wait to get that you don’t home and see really grasp the that big smile of concept of saving his. He’s got so for retirement,” much energy and Paetsch said. even though he’s “Guys get all only 2, he loves Paetsch scored his first NHL goal in Toronto during a this money his hockey.” Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. when they’re Watching 20 and then all of a sudden they’re 26 his son run around with his little hockey and the paycheck is no longer there. It’s stick has provided inspiration. something you have to think about.” “For me, it’s made playing so much better,” It’s something that Paetsch, who has a strong Paetsch said. “He comes to the games and his entrepreneurial streak, has thought a lot about. eyes light up and he smiles ear to ear. It makes Paetsch is involved in a partnership that owns what I’m doing feel so more special when five commercial properties and the Marina my son can watch. It makes me want to play Restaurant & Bar in Rochester. In addition, that much longer so he can be a part of it.” he is part-owner of a company that specializes Paetsch, who turns 30 on March 30, feels he in geographic information system (GIS) still has several good mapping for the gas and electric industries. years ahead. “I love “I’ve been playing hockey since I was coming to the rink four years old – it’s been my business my every day,” he said after whole life,” Paetsch said. “At the same time, a recent practice. “My unfortunately, I know I can’t play forever. plan is to keep playing “When the day (to retire) comes, maybe I’ll until they have to rip stay in hockey and become a coach, but the the skates off my feet.” 38 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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2012-13

ROSTER

5

18 ADAM ALMQUIST

Defenseman 5-11, 173 lbs. Born: 2/27/91 Huskvarna, Sweden

15

JOAKIM ANDERSSON

Forward 6-2, 207 lbs. Born: 2/5/89 Munkedal, Sweden

44 MITCH CALLAHAN Forward 6-0, 200 lbs. Born: 8/17/91 Whittier, Calif.

33 LUKE GLENDENING

Forward 5-11, 200 lbs. Born: 4/28/89 Grand Rapids, Mich. 40 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

14

22 LOUIS-MARC AUBRY

20

29 BRENNAN EVANS

LANDON FERRARO

Defenseman 6-4, 230 lbs. Born: 1/6/82 North Battlefield, Sask.

23

Forward 6-0, 179 lbs. Born: 8/8/91 Trail, B.C.

Forward 6-1, 218 lbs. Born: 2/2/84 Neepawa, Man.

GLEASON FOURNIER Defenseman 6-0, 191 lbs. Born: 9/8/91 Rimouski, Que.

28

10 TRISTON GRANT

CHAD BILLINS

Defenseman 5-10, 182 lbs. Born: 5/26/89 Marysville, Mich.

Forward 6-4, 208 lbs. Born: 11/11/91 Arthabaska, Que.

JEFF HOGGAN Forward 6-1, 190 lbs. Born: 2/1/78 Hope, B.C.

TOMAS JURCO

Forward 6-2, 195 lbs. Born: 12/28/92 Kosice, Slovakia

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Photo by Mark Newman

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XLIV Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

32

30 BRIAN LASHOFF

TOM McCOLLUM

Defenseman 6-3, 216 lbs. Born: 7/16/90 Albany, N.Y.

11

34 Goaltender 6-2, 215 lbs. Born: 12/7/89 Sanborn, N.Y.

17 ANDREJ NESTRASIL

Forward 6-2, 210 lbs. Born: 2/2/91 Prague, Czech Republic

9 Forward 5-10, 191 lbs. Born: 6/30/87 Lemoyne, Que.

3 RILEY SHEAHAN

Forward 6-2, 212 lbs. Born: 12/7/91 St. Catharines, Ont.

4 NATHAN PAETSCH

Forward 5-11, 185 lbs. Born: 9/1/89 Halmstad, Sweden

1 Forward 6-2, 202 lbs. Born: 5/13/91 Fort Erie, Ont.

Forward 5-11, 190 lbs. Born: 1/20/88 Maribor, Slovenia

GUSTAV NYQUIST

Defenseman 6-3, 225 lbs. Born: 3/2/90 Thousand Oaks, Calif.

TREVOR PARKES

JAN MURSAK

Goaltender 6-1, 187 lbs. Born: 2/14/92 Ostrava, Czech Republic

13

21

19

PETR MRAZEK

MAX NICASTRO

FRANCIS PARE

39

Defenseman 6-0, 195 lbs. Born: 3/30/83 LeRoy, Sask.

12 JORDAN PEARCE

Goaltender 6-1, 195 lbs. Born: 10/10/86 Anchorage, Alaska

BRENT RAEDEKE Forward 6-0, 195 lbs. Born: 5/29/90 Regina, Sask.

27 BRETT SKINNER

Defenseman 6-1, 195 lbs. Born: 6/28/83 Brandon, Man.

TOMAS TATAR

Forward 5-10, 186 lbs. Born: 12/1/90 Ilava, Slovakia Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 41

42 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

A DECISION WITH CLASS The move by the Griffins Youth Foundation to expand its hockey program to high schoolage students has been a blessing for players like Travus Thrun and Kylie Lindsey.

Travus Thrun and Kylie Lindsey have little Kylie, meanwhile, is a senior at Wyoming in common, except for one thing – they both High School, where she gets good grades love to play hockey. while balancing her work schedule between Both are grateful that they still get two part-time jobs. Her school has no hockey to participate in their favorite sport, an program, so the Youth Foundation gives her opportunity that would not have been available the chance to play. to them if the Travus and Griffins Youth Kylie are just Foundation two examples hadn’t expanded of students who its program to are benefitting include 10thfrom the Youth through 12thFoundation’s grade students decision to this season. expand the Travus, who program beyond was recently ninth grade. named the Youth “When we Foundation’s heard the news, Player of the Year, we jumped is a cognitively up and down, impaired junior screaming with at Northview joy in the middle High School. He of our living joined the Youth room,” said Foundation Travus’ mother, in 2004 when Karen. “The he was 10. At program, which the time, the has changed program was his life for the in its relative better, is such a Travus Thrun has been playing in the infancy, still the blessing.” Griffins Youth Foundation program since 2004. developing dream Travus’ of many, including coach and then-president introduction to the Youth Foundation came Lou Rabaut. while accompanying his father, Troy, who was As a unique learner, Travus would likely one of the first coaches in the program. “He have been unable to fully participate in a was originally going along for the ride, but traditional program. The Youth Foundation then he started playing himself and he just eliminated the barrier for him to play hockey loved it.” and gave him the chance to play alongside Affectionately nicknamed TNT (Kid others his age. Dynamite) by his coach and teammates, Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 43

Travus slowly but surely learned how to skate She was originally a goalie, but began in the right direction and how to shoot at the playing forward about three years ago. “My opposing goalie (and not his own). He became skating has improved a whole lot since I an accomplished skater by mimicking his started,” she said. “It’s also taught me how father. to work together with others and how to get “Playing hockey has not only helped his things done.” confidence, it’s also given him a meaningful Like Travus, Kylie was thrilled when she place to go,” Karen Thrun said. “He’s made a learned that high school students were going lot of friendships and it provides him a healthy to be allowed to play. “I’ve made quite a few outlet for exercise. It means everything to him.” friends who I can hang out with outside the Perhaps best of all, the program gives Travus rink.” the chance to be Next year one of the kids. Kylie plans “It’s amazing to attend to watch,” his Ferris State mother adds. University, “When he puts where she on his helmet, hopes to you would never pursue a be able to pick degree in him out.” the health The coaches field. “I’ll try do their best to to play club provide equal hockey or opportunities for maybe play all skaters. in a women’s “Although league,” she Travus is a said. strong and It won’t graceful skater, be easy for his learning style either Travus requires patience or Kylie to and creativity,” say goodbye his mother said. to a program “There has not that has been been one second such a big in the nine years part of their of playing that lives for so he has not been long. welcomed and “We’re Kylie Lindsey was introduced to the celebrated, just going to hate Griffins Youth Foundation through Girl Scouts. the way he is.” to see it come to Michelle Lindsey, mother of Kylie, is equally an end,” said Kylie’s mom, Michelle. “Overall, enthusiastic about the program. it’s such a wonderful program that it’s going to “It’s been absolutely wonderful for Kylie,” be sad for all of us.” she said. “She’s come a long ways since she “The Youth Foundation has been one started playing 10 years ago. The coaches have of the biggest blessings in our life,” echoed taught her a lot, just like they have with every Travus’ mom, Karen. “We are so grateful for student.” the opportunity. We sing the praises of the Kylie’s introduction to the Youth Foundation program to everyone we meet.” program came through Girl Scouts. 44 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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48 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

THAT SPECIAL FEELING

Story and photo by Mark Newman

Getting into the AHL playoffs is the first step on what every team hopes will be a journey to a Calder Cup championship.

Jeff Hoggan was a rookie when he helped the Houston Aeros win the 2003 Calder Cup.

Jeff Hoggan is the only Griffins player who has lifted the Calder Cup trophy, having won the AHL championship as a member of the Houston Aeros following the 2002-03 regular season. Even though a decade has passed since his rookie year, Hoggan said it doesn’t seem that long ago. “It seems like yesterday,” he said. “It was my first year and I thought there were more to come.” The Griffins’ captain learned that it wasn’t that easy. In fact, since that time, he has not been on a team that has even come close. He hopes that changes this year. “You don’t want to get too carried away. As the cliché goes, you don’t want to put the cart before the horse because we’re still fighting for a playoff spot,” he said. “But I have a feeling.” It’s the same special feeling that he had as a member of the Aeros. “We didn’t finish at the top of the league, but the whole year we kept building and improving,” he said, recalling the team that was coached by Todd McLellan, who later became a Red Wings assistant coach and is now head coach of the San Jose Sharks. “We came into our own late in the season. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 49

We had the mindset that we had the right chemistry and the ability to win it. Once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.” When the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs start April 24, there will be 16 teams with an equal chance to take the coveted prize. The first step is to secure a spot among the sweet 16, which is easier said than done. “Winning gets harder the closer you get to the end of the season because teams are all fighting to get that playoff spot,” he said. Nothing is certain, but Hoggan likes the composition of this year’s Griffins team, with its mix of veterans and young talent that has jelled during the course of the season. “Our dressing room is pretty solid,” he said. “We’ve had guys coming and going, but I like our nucleus. Some teams will lose a player to an injury or a call-up and you see them fall apart. From what I’ve seen, I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be hard to get us off track.” Ultimately, it takes a team, not one or two individuals, to be able to achieve a championship.

50 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

The Houston team that won the Calder Cup in 2003 – after beating Grand Rapids in a memorable seven-game Western Conference Final – had no real superstars, although several attained success at a higher level. Hoggan eventually saw action in 107 NHL games, Stephane Veilleux appeared in 460 NHL games, and Zbynek Michalek had played in 550 NHL contests entering this season. “It’s not an easy road,” Hoggan said of the journey to win a Calder Cup. “We had so many guys who were beat up with bumps and bruises. But we had some real character guys, and that’s what it takes.” It’s the kind of character that he saw the Griffins exhibit on Jan. 19 when the team endured a bench-clearing brawl on the way to a record-setting 11-6 victory in Rockford, Ill. “I think it’s one of those things that you look back on when all is said and done,” he said. “You hate to see those things happen, but it was the kind of incident that makes a team stronger because guys don’t forget guys who are willing to go to war for them.”

During the bus ride back from Rockford, Hoggan said it felt like the team’s character had been tested, and he and other veterans felt the team had come through the experience with flying colors. “Some teams might wilt and fold, but that’s not us. There’s not much another team can do to keep us down. We’ll respond and keep fighting back.” More recently, Hoggan liked what he saw in back-to-back home games against the San Antonio Rampage on Feb. 23-24. The Griffins avenged a 6-3 loss by bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit the following night to win the rematch 7-3. “When you put up 43 shots and generate a lot of scoring chances, only to lose 6-3, you can get frustrated, but we went back to what we know how to do and scored seven goals for the comeback win,” he said. It’s that kind of resiliency that can be the difference in the postseason. “If you lose a game in the playoffs, you have to bounce back quickly,” he said. “If we do lose a couple of games, I think we have enough guys on board that we can right

the ship in a hurry, and that’s key in the playoffs.” There’s a tangible intensity to playoff contests, with almost a nervous excitement at the beginning of a series. “You get over it pretty quickly, whether it takes a shift or a game. It doesn’t take guys very long to get into that playoff mindset,” he said. “As they say, you’re either in or you’re in the way.” Playoff experience is priceless for players who are hoping to build their resumes as they pursue a promotion to the NHL. “It’s definitely good for a player’s development,” he said. Hoggan, who recently celebrated his 35th birthday, said it would be good for the old guys, too. He wouldn’t mind if a couple of Calder Cups served as bookends to his career. “I’m coming closer to the end, so it would definitely be a nice way to go out,” he said.

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 51

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THANK YOU! The Griffins proudly salute our 2012-13 Full Season Ticket Holders. Thank you for your loyalty, passion and continued support of Griffins hockey! John Botwinski Lee Brace Deb Breen Grant Brink Dennis Brown Perry & Sandra Brown Andrew Buck James Buck Charlene Bulgarella Bulman Products Burggrabe Masonry Kari Burkhardt Connie Burton Brian Ahearne Alro Steel Corporation Alticor, Inc. Bob Alward American Medical Response American Sales Corporation Amway Larry Anderson Autocam Automotive Equipment Specialist Inc. Axios Connie Babbitt Jason Barrix Barton Chiropractic Office Batson and Associates Batteries Plus BDO USA, LLP George Becker Edward Beiter Jeffery Berlin Betz Industries Bevelwise Bruce Biggs Ron Blauwkamp David Blickle Blue Cross Blue Shield Tom & Sharon Bogerd Kevin Boring 54 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Byrne Electrical Specialists Inc. CAA Randy Califf Cambridge Partners, LLC Stephen Cannady Anna Capriglione Car City Sheila Carlson CBS Outdoor Centennial Securities Co. Arnie Chance Clear Channel Communications Comcast Comerica Bank

Competition Engineering Inc. Bill Conely Ed Cooper Court of Appeals - Level J Courtyard by Marriott Creative Dining Cummins Bridgeway, LLC David DeGraff Bob Del Raso Dematic Corporation Deverman Realty Robert DeVries Scott DeVries Diebold Inc. Rhonda Diekman Digitrace LTD. Directions In Research Gordon Doornbos Roger Drasiewski Gerard Dulemba Ronn Dunnam Dyna-Plate Inc. Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co. Ellis Parking Co., Inc. Henry Emrich Envirotronics Expert Coating Co., Inc. Farmers Insurance Co.

FASTSIGNS Fence Consultants of West Michigan Barb Ferguson Fifth Third Bank Paul Fitzpatrick Walter Fohlbrook Forest Hills Foods Foster, Swift, Collins, & Smith Fox Motor Group Joan Fox Turrentine Jack Frick Froot Enterprises Ltd. Ed Fuller Nancy Gamby Gardner, Linn, Burkhart, & Flory LLP Gilmore Restaurants Katherine Glasscock Gordon Food Service GR Spring and Stamping Inc. Grand Northern Products Grand Rapids Gravel Co. Great Lakes Caster Great Lakes Fasteners & Supply Co. Evelyn Grigg Jeff Grove Gypsum Supply Andy Hanka Hansen-Balk Steel

John Hasenjaeger Lori Hess Hillshire Brands Patricia Holiday Dean Holzhausen Jason Holzhausen Joseph Horlings Steve Howard Howardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heroes Robert Hubka Huntington Bank Idea Sphere Inc. Innotec

Integrated Packaging Machinery Integrity Business Solutions J.O. Galloup J. Patrick Scripps Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Industrial Mfg., Inc. Paul Jernberg Jim Johnson Johnson Controls Chuck Juell Craig Juell KAM Plastics Marc Kamminga Jason Kasiorek

Jonathan Katje Paul Kendall Loree Kennedy Mike Kennedy Kent Companies, Inc. Kentland Corporation Eric Kerkstra Kool Chevrolet Randy Kraker Mark Kraus Labatt USA Lacks Enterprises, Inc. Lake Michigan Credit Union Lakeland Electrical Services John LaMothe Richard Lane Law, Weathers & Richardson, PC Aaron Lewis Lighthouse Insurance Group Lisa Lewis Life EMS, Inc. Roseann Littell Donald Luce John Ludwig Tina Lyzenga Kevin Macy Magna Sealing & Glass Systems Arthur Male

Richard Malon Joe Marion Barb Marlink Carmen Medina Michael Medjuck Member Advantage Title Company Jim Messina Michaels & Associates, Inc. Michigan Office Solutions Rita Miller Mills Benefit Group Miner Supply Company Eric Mis Susan Monsma Monsma Marketing Kathy Mooney Arthur Moyer Brenda Moy-Harrington Mo Murphy MVP Sportsplex Joe Neiser Shawn Newport Ken Nordin Northern Jet John Oliver Warren Olson Oral Surgery Associates Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 55

Gregory Osborne Packaging Corporation of America Painters Supply Paper Transport Ltd. Kathy Parks Parrotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lounge Peggy Pearson Ronald Pell Dominic Pellegrini Pepsi-Cola Company Harold Pierce Plunkett & Cooney Kari & James Poppema Powell Relocation PRB & Associates, LLC Priority Health - MC 1330 ProCare Restoration Services Proos Manufacturing Company R.L. Adams Plastics, Inc. Lou Rabaut Railside Golf Club Jeff Randall Robert Rasmussen Paulette Ratliff-Miller RDV Sports Inc. Ronald Redder Cliff Reed Rehau Inc. Reliable Energy Inc. Mark Rett Robert Reynolds RHD Tire Don Richter John & Sue Rickson Ridgeview Industries Karen Roberts Roskam Baking Co. Gail Ross Kurt Rotman Sara Russell Richard Salzwedel Lyn Sawyer

56 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Scott Christopher Homes Jessi Sedlacek Robert Seeber Bruce Sexton Dick Shaw Siegel Jewelers Janet Silverberg Andy Skiver Trevor Slade Dean Smith Don Smith Heather Smith Alexander Solow Angel Solow Dustin Sommer Star Tickets Harvey Stark Ken Stauffer Stay Clean Inc. Ryder Step Robert Stevens Russell Stonehouse Sue Stout Brenda Stroud Superior Asphalt, Inc. Superior Sales Ron Sweers Bob Swintal

T&W Electronics TCBY Amy TerMors Mary Theeuwes Ben Thomas David & Tammy Thompson Shawn Tilstra Asher Tourison Jodi Tracey Trans-Matic Manufacturing Keith Truskoski Universal Forest Products, Inc. Urban Associates, Inc. Louis Utcai Van Dam Iron Works Kevin Van Dyke James Van Ess Bob Vander Weide Rick VanSweden VEC Inc. Bob Vezino Viper Industrial Richard Vredevoogd Pete Wagenmaker Shelly Walters Warner Norcross & Judd Jack & Barbara Weigle Arnold Werkema West Side Beer Distributing Western Tel-Com, Inc. Lonnie Whitaker Bill Wildey William J. Simon, CPA Dorothy Wilson Robert Woudstra Tom Wurst Wynalda Packaging Kim Ypma Robert Zaagman John Zombor Brent Zomerlei

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64 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

GRIFFINS RECORDS (Through February 28, 2013)

GRIFFINS ALL-TIME LEADERS

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

GAMES PLAYED Travis Richards ............. 655 Michel Picard ................ 364 Francis Pare ................... 340 Jamie Tardif ................... 316 Derek Meech.................. 304 Ryan Oulahen ................ 302 Darryl Bootland ............ 293 Logan Pyett .................... 288 Matt Ellis ........................ 282 Dave Van Drunen ......... 280

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

GOALS Michel Picard ................ 158 Francis Pare ......................97 Tomas Tatar......................83 Jamie Tardif ......................78 Kip Miller ..........................75 Derek King ........................73 Darryl Bootland ...............72 Matt Ellis ...........................69 Jiri Hudler .........................65 Tomas Kopecky................63

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

ASSISTS Michel Picard ................ 222 Travis Richards ............. 182 Kip Miller ....................... 133 Derek King ..................... 130 Francis Pare ................... 126 Jiri Hudler ...................... 114 Tomas Tatar................... 103 Glen Metropolit ...............88 Jeff Nelson .........................87 Matt Ellis ...........................84

SINGLE SEASON TOP TEN POINTS Michel Picard................101 .....................1996-97 Jiri Hudler .......................96 .....................2005-06 Jeff Nelson .......................89 .....................1996-97 Donald MacLean ............88 .....................2005-06 Michel Picard..................84 .....................2002-03 Derek King ....................*83 .....................2000-01 Mark Mowers .................81 .....................2002-03 Glen Metropolit..............81 .....................1998-99 Darren Haydar ...............80 .....................2008-09 Eric Manlow ...................73 .....................2005-06

ASSISTS 1. Jiri Hudler .......................60 .....................2005-06 2. Jeff Nelson .......................55 .....................1996-97 Michel Picard..................55 .....................1996-97 4. Glen Metropolit..............53 .....................1998-99 5. Michel Picard..................52 .....................2002-03 6. Derek King ......................51 .....................2000-01 7. Valtteri Filppula .............50 .....................2005-06 8. Darren Haydar ...............49 .....................2008-09 9. Eric Manlow ...................48 .....................2005-06 Stacy Roest ......................48 .....................2002-03

GOALS Donald MacLean ..........*56 .....................2005-06 Michel Picard..................46 .....................1996-97 Jiri Hudler .......................36 .....................2005-06 Mark Mowers .................34 .....................2002-03 Jeff Nelson .......................34 .....................1996-97 6. Slava Butsayev ................33 .....................2000-01 Michel Picard..................33 .....................1999-00 8. Jeremy Williams .............32 .....................2009-10 Tomas Kopecky ..............32 .....................2005-06 Michel Picard..................32 .....................2002-03 Derek King ......................32 .....................2000-01 *Led League

PENALTY MINUTES Darryl Bootland ...........390 .....................2005-06 Matt Ruchty ..................364 .....................1996-97 Chris Neil ......................354 .....................2000-01 Wade Brookbank .........337 .....................2001-02 Darryl Bootland ...........336 .....................2004-05 Darcy Simon .................327 .....................1996-97 Peter Vandermeer ........310 .....................2004-05 Bruce Ramsay ...............310 .....................1997-98 9. Bruce Ramsay ...............306 .....................1996-97 10. Chris Neil ......................301 .....................1999-00

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 10.

1. 2. 3. 4.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

GRIFFINSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ALL-TIME LEADERS IN GOALTENDING WINS

JOEY MacDONALD (109)

JIMMY HOWARD (90)

MIKE FOUNTAIN (55)

MARC LAMOTHE (54)

DANIEL LARSSON (45)

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 65

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68 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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S S

NHL AFFILIATIONS

Ottawa Senators 1999-2002, Detroit Red Wings 2002-Present

SEASON RECORDS (IHL 1996-2001, AHL 2001- Present) YEAR 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12

GP 82 82 82 82 82 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 76

W 40 38 34 51 53 42 48 44 41 55 37 31 43 34 36 33

L 30 31 40 22 22 27 22 28 35 20 32 41 25 39 34 32

T 11 8 8 -

OTL 4 0 2 0 2 1 6 2 6 3 2 7

SOL 12 13 8 9 3 2 4 5 6 6 4 8 4

PTS 92 89 76 111 113 95 106 96 86 115 85 70 98 75 82 77

GF 244 225 256 254 279 217 240 195 200 323 226 210 255 244 227 245

GA 246 242 281 200 196 178 177 166 200 247 244 245 226 265 254 249

FINISH 10 of 19 11 of 18 15 of 16 2 of 13 1 of 11 4 of 27 2 of 27 5 of 28 17 of 28 1 of 27 17 of 27 25 of 29 8 of 29 26 of 29 23 of 30 24 of 30

GRIFFINS ALL-STARS 1996-97

Jeff Nelson, Michel Picard, Pokey Reddick 1997-98 Ian Gordon, Kerry Huffman, Michel Picard 1998-99 Robert Petrovicky, Maxim Spiridonov 1999-00 John Gruden, Jani Hurme, Kevin Miller, Petr Schastlivy 2000-01 Mike Fountain, Joel Kwiatkowski, Travis Richards, Todd White 2001-02 Chris Bala, John Gruden, Kip Miller, Martin Prusek, Petr Schastlivy 2002-03 Mark Mowers, Marc Lamothe 2003-04 Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Travis Richards, Nathan Robinson 2004-05 Niklas Kronwall, Joey MacDonald 2005-06 Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Donald MacLean 2006-07 Kip Miller, Derek Meech 2007-08 Jonathan Ericsson, Jimmy Howard 2008-09 Jakub Kindl, Daniel Larsson 2009-10 Patrick Rissmiller 2010-11 Ilari Filppula, Brendan Smith 2011-12 Gustav Nyquist 70 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

2012 AHL All-Star Gustav Nyquist

y/AHL

Photo by PhotoGraphics Photograph

2011 AHL All-Star Ilari Filppula

Photo by JustSports Photograph

y/AHL

1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

G 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 P 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 G 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

SEASON LEADERS SCORING

H

(* = Led League)

1996-97 . . . .Michel Picard ......................................... 101 points 1997-98 . . . .Michel Picard ........................................... 69 points 1998-99 . . . .Glen Metropolit ....................................... 81 points 1999-00 . . . .Michel Picard ........................................... 68 points 2000-01 . . . .Derek King .............................................83 points* 2001-02 . . . .Kip Miller ................................................ 56 points 2002-03 . . . .Michel Picard ........................................... 84 points 2003-04 . . . .Michel Picard ........................................... 54 points 2004-05 . . . .Niklas Kronwall........................................ 53 points 2005-06 . . . .Jiri Hudler ............................................... 96 points 2006-07 . . . .Kip Miller ................................................ 72 points 2007-08 . . . .Carl Corazzini ........................................... 60 points 2008-09 . . . .Darren Haydar ......................................... 80 points 2009-10 . . . .Jeremy Williams....................................... 63 points 2010-11 . . . .Ilari Filppula ........................................... 64 points 2011-12 . . . . Jamie Johnson /Gustav Nyquist/Tomas Tatar...58 points GOALS 1996-97 . . . . Michel Picard .................................................... 46 1997-98 . . . . Michel Picard .................................................... 28 1998-99 . . . . Glen Metropolit ................................................. 28 1999-00 . . . . Michel Picard .................................................... 33 2000-01 . . . . Slava Butsayev .................................................. 33 2001-02 . . . . Petr Schastlivy .................................................. 22 2002-03 . . . . Mark Mowers .................................................... 34 2003-04 . . . . Kevin Miller ...................................................... 27 2004-05 . . . . Eric Manlow ...................................................... 21 2005-06 . . . . Donald MacLean ...............................................56* 2006-07 . . . . Matt Ellis .......................................................... 26 2007-08 . . . . Carl Corazzini .................................................... 24 2008-09 . . . . Darren Haydar................................................... 31 2009-10 . . . . Jeremy Williams ................................................ 32 2010-11 . . . . Jamie Tardif ...................................................... 27 2011-12 . . . . Tomas Tatar ...................................................... 24 PENALTY MINUTES 1996-97 . . . . Matt Ruchty .................................................... 364 1997-98 . . . . Bruce Ramsay ................................................. 310 1998-99 . . . . Jared Bednar .................................................. 220 1999-00 . . . . Chris Neil ........................................................ 301 2000-01 . . . . Chris Neil ........................................................ 354 2001-02 . . . . Wade Brookbank ............................................. 337 2002-03 . . . . Ryan Barnes.................................................... 151 2003-04 . . . . Ryan Barnes, Darryl Bootland ........................... 175 2004-05 . . . . Darryl Bootland............................................... 336 2005-06 . . . . Darryl Bootland............................................... 390 2006-07 . . . . Darryl Bootland............................................... 222 2007-08 . . . . Kyle Quincey ................................................... 149 2008-09 . . . . Aaron Downey................................................. 126 2009-10 . . . . Paul Crosty ..................................................... 170 2010-11 . . . . Greg Amadio ................................................... 230 2011-12 . . . . Garnet Exelby ................................................. 177 GOALTENDING WINS 1996-97 . . . . Pokey Reddick ....................................... (30-14-10) 1997-98 . . . . Ian Gordon ..............................................(23-16-4) 1998-99 . . . . Neil Little ................................................(18-21-5) 1999-00 . . . . Jani Hurme..............................................(29-15-4) 2000-01 . . . . Mike Fountain ....................................... (34-10-6)* 2001-02 . . . . Martin Prusek............................................(18-8-5) 2002-03 . . . . Marc Lamothe ....................................... (33-18-8)* 2003-04 . . . . Joey MacDonald .......................................(22-12-3) 2004-05 . . . . Joey MacDonald .......................................(34-29-2) 2005-06 . . . . Jimmy Howard...........................................(27-6-2) 2006-07 . . . . Jimmy Howard.........................................(21-21-3) 2007-08 . . . . Jimmy Howard.........................................(21-28-2) 2008-09 . . . . Daniel Larsson .........................................(22-12-2) 2009-10 . . . . Daniel Larsson ........................................(23-24-2) 2010-11 . . . . Jordan Pearce ..........................................(20-15-5) 2011-12 . . . . Joey MacDonald .......................................(11-11-3) Tom McCollum .........................................(11-16-0)

2010 AHL All-Star Patrick Rissmiller

Photo by Sports Action Photograph

y/AHL

2009 AHL All-Star Jakub Kindl

y/AHL

Photo by JustSports Photograph

2009 AHL All-Star Daniel Larsson

Photo by JustSports Photograph

y/AHL

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 71

VISIT PHPA.COM Your source for PHPA news, officially licensed collectors items, and PHPA merchandise. PROUD TO REPRESENT PLAYERS IN THE AHL, CHL, AND ECHL

72 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 73

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74 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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IT ALL START GRIFFINS IN THE NHL

1 2 3

SINCE THEIR INCEPTION IN 1996, THE GRIFFINS HAVE SENT 130 PLAYERS TO THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, 14 OF WHOM HAVE GONE ON TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP. IN FACT, A GRIFFINS ALUMNUS HAS HAD HIS NAME ENGRAVED ON LORD STANLEY’S CHALICE IN FOUR OF THE LAST FIVE YEARS AND IN SIX OF THE LAST EIGHT SEASONS.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, HERE ARE THE 20 GOALIES AND 110 SKATERS WHO HAVE WORN AN NHL SWEATER AFTER PLAYING FOR GRAND RAPIDS, ALONG WITH THE DATES OF THEIR NHL DEBUTS/RETURNS.

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

76 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Pavol Demitra 3/17/97 STL at PHX Kevyn Adams 10/1/97 TOR vs. WSH Tyler Moss 10/28/97 CGY vs. PIT Michel Picard 1/6/98 STL at SJ Jeff Nelson 10/10/98 NSH vs. FLA Patrick Traverse 10/10/98 OTT at COL Mark Greig 1/7/99 PHI vs. NYI Radim Bicanek 2/1/99 OTT at VAN Robert Petrovicky 2/15/99 TB at NYI Andrei Vasilyev 3/5/99 PHX vs. DET Todd Hlushko 4/25/99 PIT vs. NJ Patrick Lalime 10/2/99 OTT at PHI Glen Metropolit 10/2/99 WSH at FLA Kevin Miller 10/31/99 OTT at ATL Karel Rachunek 10/31/99 OTT at ATL Erich Goldmann 11/11/99 OTT vs. NSH Yves Sarault 11/20/99 OTT at NJ John Gruden 11/30/99 OTT vs. CHI Mike Fountain 12/3/99 OTT at NJ Dave Van Drunen 12/13/99 OTT at TOR Petr Schastlivy 1/3/00 OTT vs. NJ John Emmons 1/6/00 OTT vs. PHX Slava Butsayev 1/28/00 OTT at BUF Aris Brimanis 2/13/00 NYI at NYR

25 Dieter Kochan 3/28/00 TB vs. DAL 26 Jani Hurme 4/9/00 OTT vs. TB 27 Shane Hnidy 10/5/00 OTT at BOS 28 Donald MacLean 10/14/00 TOR vs. OTT 29 David Oliver 11/4/00 OTT vs. CBJ 30 Jamie Rivers 11/12/00 OTT at CAR 31 Sean Gagnon 11/26/00 OTT at NYR 32 Joel Bouchard 11/29/00 PHX at COL 33 Mike Crowley 12/8/00 ANA at MIN 34 Ivan Ciernik 1/23/01 OTT at NYI 35 Darren Rumble 2/6/01 STL at COL 36 Joel Kwiatkowski 2/19/01 OTT at BUF 37 Todd White 2/19/01 OTT at BUF 38 Chris Neil 10/3/01 OTT at TOR 39 Toni Dahlman 1/3/02 OTT vs. WSH 40 Steve Martins 1/11/02 OTT at FLA 41 Kip Miller 1/17/02 NYI at SJ 42 Jody Hull 2/4/02 OTT at TB 43 Dmitry Afanasenkov 2/6/02 TB at FLA 44 Simon Lajeunesse 3/7/02 OTT at SJ 45 Martin Prusek 3/23/02 OTT vs. ATL 46 Chris Bala 3/27/02 OTT at NYI 47 Neil Little 3/28/02 PHI at CAR 48 Josh Langfeld 3/30/02 OTT vs. TB

49 Gaetan Royer 4/1/02 TB vs. NYR 50 Jason Spezza 10/24/02 OTT at BOS 51 Sean Avery 10/29/02 DET vs. SJ 52 Jason Doig 12/3/02 WSH at PIT 53 Jason Williams 12/5/02 DET at PHX 54 Patrick Boileau 12/19/02 DET vs. DAL 55 Stacy Roest 2/20/03 DET vs. EDM 56 Wade Brookbank 10/9/03 NSH vs. ANA 57 Julien Vauclair 10/25/03 OTT at MTL 58 Jiri Hudler 10/29/03 DET vs. STL 59 Curtis Joseph 10/30/03 DET at NSH 60 Darryl Bootland 11/8/03 DET vs. NSH 61 Mark Mowers 11/19/03 DET vs. CBJ 62 Nathan Robinson 11/28/03 DET vs. NYI 63 Blake Sloan 12/4/03 DAL at LA 64 Niklas Kronwall 12/10/03 DET at BUF 65 Ryan Barnes 12/15/03 DET vs. FLA 66 Chris Kelly 2/5/04 OTT vs. TOR 67 Marc Lamothe 2/23/04 DET at EDM 68 Anders Myrvold 2/26/04 DET at CGY 69 Mathieu Chouinard 2/29/04 LA at ANA 70 Brett Lebda 10/5/05 DET vs. STL

Tomas Kopecky, 2010 Chicago

71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

RTS HERE 71 Mark Eaton 10/5/05 NSH vs. SJ 72 Chris Osgood 10/29/05 DET at CHI 73 Kyle Quincey 11/25/05 DET at ANA 74 Jimmy Howard 11/28/05 DET at LA 75 Valtteri Filppula 12/15/05 DET at FLA 76 Rob Collins 12/17/05 NYI vs. COL 77 Manny Legace 1/5/06 DET vs. STL 78 David Gove 1/31/06 CAR at MTL 79 Tomas Kopecky 2/28/06 DET at SJ 80 Alexandre Giroux 3/25/06 NYR at TB 81 Joey MacDonald 10/19/06 DET at SJ 82 Derek Meech 12/7/06 DET vs. STL 83 Matt Ellis 12/18/06 DET at CBJ 84 Matt Hussey 1/26/07 DET at STL 85 Sheldon Brookbank 2/6/07 NSH at PIT 86 Danny Syvret 2/27/07 EDM vs. PHX 87 Mark Hartigan 11/29/07 DET vs. TB 88 Drew MacIntyre 12/13/07 VAN at SJ 89 Peter Vandermeer 2/10/08 PHX vs. NSH 90 Jonathan Ericsson 2/22/08 DET at CGY 91 Garrett Stafford 2/23/08 DET at VAN 92 Darren Helm 3/13/08 DET vs. DAL

go

93 Mattias Ritola 3/15/08 DET vs. NSH 94 Clay Wilson 3/25/08 CBJ at NSH 95 Darren McCarty 3/28/08 DET vs. STL 96 Krys Kolanos 11/4/08 MIN at SJ 97 Landon Wilson 11/22/08 DAL vs. ANA 98 Bryan Helmer 11/28/08 WSH vs. MTL 99 Chris Chelios 12/13/08 DET at PHX 100 Aaron Downey 1/29/09 DET vs. DAL 101 Justin Abdelkader 1/31/09 DET at WSH 102 Ville Leino 1/31/09 DET at WSH 103 Aaron Gagnon 10/16/09 DAL vs. BOS 104 Scott Parse 10/24/09 LA at PHX 105 Doug Janik 11/3/09 DET vs. BOS 106 Ryan Keller 11/25/09 OTT at NJ 107 Jakub Kindl 12/3/09 DET vs. EDM 108 Kris Newbury 12/14/09 DET vs. PHX 109 Darren Haydar 2/10/10 COL vs. ATL 110 Andreas Lilja 3/1/10 DET at COL 111 Jeremy Williams 10/24/10 NYR vs. NJ 112 Jan Mursak 12/27/10 DET at COL 113 Chris Mueller 12/28/10 NSH vs. DAL 114 Tomas Tatar 12/31/10 DET vs. NYI

Mark Eaton, 2009 Pittsburgh

115 Cory Emmerton 1/22/11 DET vs. CHI 116 Patrick Rissmiller 2/23/11 ATL at BUF 117 Tom McCollum 3/30/11 DET vs. STL 118 Gustav Nyquist 11/1/11 DET vs. MIN 119 Fabian Brunnstrom 11/5/11 DET vs. ANA 120 Brendan Smith 11/17/11 DET at SJ 121 Mark Cullen 11/29/11 FLA at CAR 122 Chris Conner 12/2/11 DET at BUF 123 Joakim Andersson 12/27/11 DET vs. STL 124 Ty Conklin 3/21/12 DET at NYR 125 Riley Sheahan 4/7/12 DET vs. CHI 126 Brian Lashoff 1/21/13 DET at CBJ 127 Mike Knuble 1/26/13 PHI at FLA 128 Jamie Tardif 2/2/13 BOS at TOR 129 Petr Mrazek 2/7/13 DET at STL 130 Jonas Gustavsson 2/19/13 DET at NSH Bold=Played in the NHL this season (as of March 3)

Niklas Kronwall, 2008 Detroit

Chris Kelly, 2011 Boston

Italics = Had name engraved on the Stanley Cup after playing for Grand Rapids All photos by Getty Images except Niklas Kronwall (Dave Reginek).

Kevyn Adams, 2006 Carolina

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q

78 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

KIDS

PAGE

FAMILIAR FACES If you’re like many Griffins fans, you also root for the Detroit Red Wings. It’s for good reason, especially since 17 of the 30 players who’ve worn the famous Winged Wheel this season are either current or former Griffins. How many of them do you recognize? Photos courtesy Getty Images

Fill in the white box on each photo with the correct letter from the list of players below. GOOD LUCK!

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17

A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q.

Justin Abdelkader Joakim Andersson Cory Emmerton Jonathan Ericsson Valtteri Filppula Jonas Gustavsson Darren Helm Jimmy Howard Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl Niklas Kronwall Petr Mrazek Jan Mursak Gustav Nyquist Kyle Quincey Brendan Smith Tomas Tatar ANSWERS: 1. P 2. E 3. I 4. Q 5. C 6. L 7. G 8. K 9. N 10. O 11. J 12. A 13. M 14. D 15. H 16 F 17. B

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 79

PARTING SHOT

Much to his chagrin, Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazek does his impression of a snowman during the Feb. 24, 2013 game against the San Antonio Rampage. Photo by Mark Newman 80 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

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2012-13 Griffiti - Issue #4