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2010-11 SEASON ISSUE #4

Edition Limited of Posters atar & Tomas T inard Chris M Inside!

official magazine of the grand rapids griffins


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Vol. 15, No. 4

TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

STARTING LINEUP

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22 THE BRIGHT SIDE

Defenseman Derek Meech remains optimistic about his future. 30 SCORE!!!

Griffins players and coaches remember the excitement of scoring their first NHL goal – with one exception. 41 FATHER KNOWS BEST

Brent Raedeke is doing his best to follow his father’s advice as he adjusts to life in the pros.

30

51 PLAYOFF PUSH

Ex-Griffins will help a number of teams in the drive for the Calder Cup. ON THE BENCH 2............Next Opponents 5............Chalk Talk 6............Coming Attractions 9............Griffins Schedule 12 .........AHL Team Directory 18 .........AHL Tradition 21 .........Detroit Red Wings 28 .........Promotional Calendar 36 .........Meet the Griffins

46 .........Get Connected! 48 .........Griffins Records 54 .........Community Crease 57 .........Penalty Calls 58 .........Griffins History 64 .........Arena Map/Ticket Info 68 .........It All Starts Here 71 .........Kids Page 72 .........Parting Shot

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COVER: Defenseman Derek Meech, who spent the past three seasons in Detroit with the Red Wings, is back in Grand Rapids, auditioning for a role in the NHL next 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 ©2011 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.

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PLAYERS ROCHESTER (MARCH 4, 5 and 19) The Americans are overseeing the development of leading scorer Michal Repik (#26), a 22-yearold right winger from the Czech Republic. A second-round selection (40th overall) of the Florida Panthers in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the 5-foot-10, 180-lb. Repik tallied five goals in 24 NHL games during the past two seasons. A clutch scorer in junior hockey, Repik appeared in back-to-back Memorial Cups with the Vancouver Giants, capturing the championship in 2007 when he earned the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as the tournament’s leading scorer.

OKLAHOMA CITY (MARCH 16) The Barons like the hockey bloodlines of defenseman Taylor Chorney (#4), who played for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux before turning pro in 2008. The 6-foot, 196-lb. blueliner, who appeared in 42 games with the Edmonton Oilers last season, is the son of Marc Chorney, who played 210 games in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings. A second-round pick (36th overall) of Edmonton in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Chorney has been the captain of the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 national teams. LAKE ERIE (MARCH 18) The Monsters are working closely with center Ryan Stoa (#29), who has long had scouts crowing about his potential as an NHL power forward. A product of the U.S. National Team Development program who attended the University of Minnesota, the 6-foot-3, 200-lb. Stoa netted 23 goals in 54 AHL games last season. A second-round choice (34th overall) of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Stoa was recalled six times a year ago, scoring two goals in 12 games. Stoa, who turns 23 on April 13, scored two goals in his first four games with Colorado this season. 2 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


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ROCKFORD (MARCH 20) The Ice Hogs get energy from left wing Jeremy Morin (#19), whose ability to create offense made him the secondround pick (45th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Morin, age 19, came to the Chicago Blackhawks organization as part of a sevenplayer deal that sent Dustin Byfuglien to Atlanta. A gritty goal scorer who plays with an edge, Morin tallied eight goals in his first 22 AHL games this season before injuring his shoulder. TORONTO (MARCH 23) The Marlies strengthened their defense this season with the addition of Matt Lashoff (#21), the older brother of Griffins rookie Brian Lashoff. A former first-round pick (22nd overall) of the Boston Bruins in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Lashoff was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning, then to the Toronto Maple Leafs last August. A confident, two-way defenseman with high-end skills, the 6-foot-2, 205-lb. Lashoff was a member of the 2006-07 AHL All-Rookie Team. Still only 24 years old, he has seen action in a total of 63 NHL games with the Bruins and Lightning over the past five seasons.

ABBOTSFORD (APRIL 8) The Heat are seeing good progress from right winger Jon Rheault (#26), who has already more than doubled his point production from a year ago when he played for the Manchester Monarchs and Providence Bruins before coming to Abbotsford. Rheault, 24, began his pro career with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign after starring at Providence College, where he earned the Lou Lamoriello MVP team award for two straight seasons. Now the property of the Calgary Flames, the 5-foot-11, 200-lb. Rheault was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 3


WITH GRIFFINS HEAD COACH CURT FRASER

SO CLOSE AND YET SO FAR. The distance between the AHL and the NHL is considerable in some ways, and yet in other ways the two leagues are very close, with another AHL player stepping into an NHL lineup almost every day. Jan Mursak, Tomas Tatar and Cory Emmerton of the Griffins have all made their NHL debuts this season, with both Tatar and Emmerton scoring goals in their first NHL games. In the past three seasons, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard and Jakub Kindl have left the Griffins to earn roster spots with the Red Wings, while Kyle Quincey (Avalanche), Ville Leino (Flyers) and Mattias Ritola (Lightning) have latched on with other NHL teams. Overall, 84 percent of the players on opening night rosters in the NHL this season were graduates of the AHL. “The NHL represents the top players in the world,” said Griffins head coach Curt Fraser. “The play is more structured, the skill level is much higher, the speed is much faster and the size of the players is bigger.” “Another difference is that the AHL is much younger – it’s really a training ground for the NHL, which features a lot more players who are in their 30s and sometimes 40s, so the experience is much greater.” Being one step away from the best league in the world means that AHL players are already performing at a very high level. Taking that next step is the challenge. “Our job as coaches is to get these young guys pointed in the right direction,” Fraser said. “It means teaching them systems of play and working every day on their skills. Whether it’s skating, shooting, stickhandling, or passing and receiving the puck, all these things are done at a much faster pace in the NHL.” Players also have to work on their conditioning in order to be able to handle the rigors and routines of the NHL. “Just going up for a handful of games is a lot different than being there for an 82-game schedule,” Fraser said. As big a jump as the AHL is from college or junior hockey, the NHL is an even bigger jump. Young players often must excel at the AHL level before they get a chance to play in the NHL. “Over the years, the AHL has done a very nice job of supplying a lot of players to the NHL, and the NHL in turn has maintained a good relationship with the teams and the league,” Fraser said.

It should be noted that success at the AHL level is no guarantee of success in the NHL. History shows that there has been a number of players who have done well in the AHL, only to struggle to find a regular spot in the NHL. “Sometimes players need to find their niche and make adjustments to their style of play,” Fraser said. “A high-end scorer, for example, may have to improve defensively to become a better two-way player. “There are many different ways to the NHL – it’s finding the right path so that somebody wants you and needs you. It may take a little bit of luck to get that first opportunity, but when it happens, you better be prepared to take advantage of that moment.” The process can require considerable perseverance, according to Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek. “The biggest thing is that you have to have patience,” Paek said. “If you’ve spent three years in the minors, you can’t give up. You have to continually work hard to do the right things and hopefully you’ll spark something in the eyes of the big team. The whole key is preparing yourself for when your time comes.” As Red Wings prospects, Griffins players have to be more patient and more prepared than most. “The Red Wings have the best team in the world and there’s a reason for that,” said Fraser. “They have a lot of very good players, so it’s going to take a while for our young kids to grow and develop enough as players to be in a position to go up and contribute consistently to the success of the Red Wings.” So every opportunity to play in Detroit is an audition, but there are no guarantees of return tickets. “It gives these young players an opportunity to see what they have to achieve to be able to stay and play at the NHL level,” Fraser said. “It’s very hard to get to the NHL. It’s even tougher to stay.”

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 5


A MAGICAL FASHION STATEMENT – SUN., MARCH 20 Harry Houdini could escape from a straitjacket in less than three minutes. Clark Kent could don his Superman attire within seconds of entering a phone booth. But David Michael Mass and Dania Kaseeva have them both beat.

Under the guise of Quick Change, the duo performs costume changes in the blink of an eye. Adapted from a popular illusion that traces its roots to the days of vaudeville, David and Dania have earned worldwide acclaim for their act that combines a series of elegant ballroom sequences into a progression of dramatically colorful and instantaneous costume changes. Quick Change has appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and has served as the official halftime act of the NBA. The pair has played to crowds at dozens of major college sporting events, baseball stadiums and hockey rinks. The couple will return to Van Andel Arena on Sunday, March 20 when the Griffins host the Rockford Ice Hogs and celebrate Fan Appreciation Day, presented by Michigan Office Solutions. Fans will be able to enjoy $1 Cole’s Breadsticks and $1 Pepsi drinks until one hour after the start of the game, while also taking advantage of the Griffins #1 Fan Sign and Griffins Crest Logo CrazyBand giveaways. CrazyBands, which are also known as Silly Bandz and Zanybanz among other names, are basically shaped silicone rubber bands that are worn as bracelets. They have been a huge hit with elementary school-age children. The bands were originally created in 2002 by a Japanese design team that wanted to introduce a more environmentally sustainable rubber band as an office product. 6 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Robert Croak, owner of Toledo, Ohio-based BCP Imports (known for distributing the Livestrong wristbands popularized by Lance Armstrong), encountered the bands on a business trip and decided to re-purpose them as a toy by making them larger and thicker, and marketing them as a kids' fashion accessory. The Griffins have given away several different designs of CrazyBands this season. STAR WARS NIGHT – SAT., MARCH 5 Many of the favorite characters from George Lucas’ Star Wars series will be roaming the concourse as the Griffins host the second of three March meetings with the Rochester Americans. The annual event is a benefit for the Griffins Youth Foundation. Fans will want to arrive early for the Bottle Opener giveaway sponsored by MetroPCS – hear Bob Kaser’s goal call every time you open your favorite beverage! – and stay late for the J & H Family Stores post-game open skate and Huntington post-game autograph session. MASCOT MANIA PRESENTED BY CENTENNIAL SECURITIES – SAT., MARCH 19 Local team and company mascots will be roaming the concourse before the game against Rochester and will stay to cheer on the Griffins from the stands. Also scheduled are a team poster giveaway, a postgame jersey auction and a post-game open skate. SEASON FINALE PRESENTED BY CHRYSLER – FRI., APRIL 8 A post-game auction of the Griffins’ white and red jerseys highlights the last home game of the 2010-11 regular season, when the Griffins host the Abbotsford Heat. It’s also the final Dollar Beers, Dollar Dogs promotion, when fans can enjoy $1 domestic drafts and $1 hot dogs from 6-8 p.m. while supplies last.


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2010-11 SEASON SCHEDULE S

M

T

OCTOBER W

T

F

S

1

2

S

M

NOVEMBER T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

4

MTB

CHI

Noon

MIL

11

12

HAM

LE

18

HOU 7:00

7:00

TOR

25

RFD

CHI

3

4

5

6

7

ABB 7:00

9

5:00

LE

8

9

RFD 5:05

11

12

13

14

MTB

MTB

HAM 4:00

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

MIL

RCH 7:35

21

22

23

TOR

25

26

27

28

OKC

MTB

PEO 4:00

29

30

S

M

T

5:00

8:30

7:00

7:00

8:30

7:00

7:00 11 A.M.

7:00

7:00

7:00

4:00

LE

8:00

31

S

M

DECEMBER T

W

T

F

1

2

MIL

S

JANUARY W

T

F

SA

8:00

7:00

S

PEO 7:00

SA

6

7

MIL

9

TEX

PEO

2

3

4

HAM

MIL

7

RFD

TEX 4:00

13

14

HOU

16

PEO

PEO 8:05

9

10

11

12

SA

8:00

14

HOU

19

20

21

TOR 7:00

23

24

25

HOU 5:05

17

TEX

19

20

CHI

CHI

LE

CHI

28

29

30

TOR

23

24

25

RCH

27

RFD

PEO

30

31

S

M

T

W

4:00

4:00

S

8:00

M

7:00 7:00

7:00 7:00

8:05

6:00

FEBRUARY T

W

T

F

S

1

2

3

HAM

MIL LE

7:00

7:00

W

21

22

TOR 7:00

24

27

28

29

30

31

F

S

ABB

ABB

ABB

RFD

10:00

3

4

5

MIL 8:00

7

7:00

MIL 6:00

TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR FOR MORE INFO, VISIT GRIFFINSHOCKEY.COM OR CALL 1.800.2.HOCKEY

TEX

4:00

APRIL T

TEX

RFD

7:30

28

T

RCH

LE

24

M

LE

3:00

7:00

23

S

OKC

17

22

4:00

OKC

10

21

HAM

3

9

PEO

LE

2 OKC

TOR

7:00

1 15

7:30

TEX 7:00

S

RCH

7

11

17

4:00

F

14

10

HAM

10:00

8:05

Home

Away A w way

8:35

RCH

6

8 15

7:00

8:35

8:00

T

SA

7 14

7:00

8:05

MARCH

5:30

6 RCH 3:05

7:05

8:00

PEO

CHI 8:00

8:30

7:00

8:05

7:00

7:00

7:05

7:00 8:30

7:00

8:05

7:00 8:00

*All times Eastern. Dates, opponents, and times subject to change.

Post-Game Open Skate Huntington Bank Post-Game Autograph Session Fan 4-Pack Home Game Games broadcast live on

ABB – Abbotsford CHI - Chicago HAM - Hamilton HOU - Houston LE – Lake Erie MTB - Manitoba MIL - Milwaukee

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


Dear Grand Rapids Griffins Fans, Welcome to a milestone season for the Griffins franchise. At times, it’s hard to believe that we are already entering our 15th season of providing the highest level of sports entertainment in West Michigan, not to mention our 10th year of membership in the American Hockey League. Since that first game on Oct. 5, 1996, the Griffins have created a legacy of success, winning five division titles, making 10 playoff appearances and sending 110 players to the NHL, 13 of whom have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. As proud as we are of the winning tradition we’ve established, we’re just as pleased at our continuing accomplishments off the ice. The Griffins’ front office has received three AHL awards for excellence in the last two years, winning the Western Conference’s award for fan experience in 2009-10, after being honored in the areas of community service and overall ticket sales growth in 2008-09. Bob Kaser, whom everyone knows as the “voice of the Griffins,” received the AHL’s 2009-10 Ellery Award for excellence in radio broadcasting, joining several other Griffins staffers who have won league awards through the years. While fans pay attention to player movement between Grand Rapids and Detroit, one of the strengths of our organization has long been the retention of key staff, often a rarity in professional sports. Three of our current employees have been with us since before the first puck dropped, while five others have at least 10 years of service to the organization. The most important people in our equation of success, however, are you and the thousands of other Griffins fans. Thanks to you, we finished fourth in the AHL in attendance last season, behind three markets – Hershey, Winnipeg and Chicago – whose pro hockey histories date back much further than Grand Rapids’. That’s a testament to your passion and your loyalty, two things that we try to earn on a nightly basis. We’ll continue to offer one of the most innovative promotional lineups in hockey. Check out page 28 for all the details. We also hope that this year’s two major upgrades to Van Andel Arena – the expansion of the northwest concourse and the installation of a state-of-the-art LED ribbon on the façade of the upper deck – enhance your game-night experience and keep you coming back for more. Thank you for your continued support of the Griffins. On behalf of our players, coaches and staff, I hope you enjoy the 2010-11 season. Sincerely,

Dan DeVos President & CEO Grand Rapids Griffins

10 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


DA AVID VID A A.. AN NDREWS DREWS PRESIDEN RESIDENT NT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE FFICER, ER, AMERICA MERICAN AN HOCKEY LEAGUE

American Am merican Hockey Hockey League Leag gue One Monarch M Place – Springfield, MA 01144 0 Phone e: (413) 781-2030 Fax: (413) 733-4767 73 33-4767 Phone: Dear D ear FFans, aanss, welcome historic anniversary American IItt is my great great pleasure pleasure to to w elcome yyou ou ttoo the hist oric 75th anniv ersary season of the A merican Hockey Hockey League. League. This This milestone milestone provides opportunity history professional hockey. pr ovides a unique opp ortunitty for for o a season-long celebration celebration of our remarkable remarkable hist ory in pr offessional e ho ckey. Our opening Our opening weekend weekend festivities festivities e and annd historic historic rivalry rivalry mat matchups chups ffeature eeature SSpringfield, pr p ingfieldd, PProvidence, rovidence, RRochester, ochesterr, H Hershey, ersheey, SSyracuse yr y acuse and throughout season Hall LLake ake EErie, riee, and thr oughout the seas son all of our clubs will bbee hosting events events to to rrecognize ecognizze fformer oormer stars and AHL H all of FFamers, amers a s, and iconic Calder Cup symbol the ic onic C alder a C up -- the symb ol of AHL supremacy supremaccy for for o 75 years years -- will visit many of our cities as well. well. W e’re thr illed ttoo ent er this sp ecial season s with an all-time high of 30 tteams eams ccompeting ompetingg ffor or o the 75th C alder C up championship. championship. We’re thrilled enter special Calder Cup A National Hockey Hockey League League clubs clubbs now now have have their own own primary primary affiliates affiliates in the AHL,, further further solidifying our position position as the home Allll 30 National draft superstars. draft of the NHL’s NHL’s top top dr afft picks and future futture sup erstars. Last Last season alone, alone, more more than 200 fformer or ormer first- and second-round second-round NHL dr afft picks played American players saw action plaayed in the A merican Hockey Hockey League, Leaaguee, and more more than 300 pla ayers sa w ac tion in bboth othh the AHL and the NHL. As we we rrecognize ecognize our past in 2010-1 11, w ok ttoo a br ight futur wo outstandingg ne w cities as the C harlotte CCheckers heckers and As 2010-11, wee also lo look bright futuree in ttwo new Charlotte the Oklahoma Oklahoma City Citi y BBarons arons join thee league. league. We We welcome welcome those cities and their fans to to the thhe entertainment, entertainmentt, skill skill and excitement exccitement of the AHL. We proud tradition developing hockey world, We ccontinue ontinue ttoo bbee pr oud of our tr a adition of de veloping the bbest est ho ckey talent in the w orldd, with oover ver 85 ppercent ercent of today’s today’s NHL plaayerss, ccoaches oaches and officials ha vinng honed their sk ills in the A merican H ockey League, Leaguee, including reigning reigning Vezina Vezina z Trophy Trophy winner players, having skills American Hockey Ryan Ryan Miller Miller and 2010 N Norris orris TTrophy rophyy rrecipient ecipient D Duncan uncan KKeith. eeith. O Our ur lo loyal oyal fans oover ver the pas past st 75 yyears ears ha have ve enjo enjoyed oyed cheer cheering ing ffor or o mor moree than 100 future future Hockey Hockey Hall Hall of Famers, Faam merss, and have have rooted rooted for foor more more than 100 C Calder alder C Cup would go on to to ha have ve their upp champions who would aved on the Stanley Stanley C u as w up ell. names engr engraved Cup well. The The H Hershey ersheey Bears Bears enter enter this season season as the two-time two-time defending deffeending league champions after affter e ccapping apping a rrecord-setting ecord-setting season with Calder Cup Cup last June. June. This Thiis year’s year’s Bears Bears are are looking looking to to hold off 29 other teams teamss whose ultimat their 11th Calder ultimatee goal will also bbee the 2011 Calder Calder Cup Cup championship. championship. We in vite fans fr om acr oss the leag gue ttoo join us in H ersheey, PPa., a., the most historic historic and storied storied ttown own in all of pr offessional e ho ckey, as We invite from across league Hershey, professional hockey, we anniversary spectacular takee pl place Capital we celebrate celebrate our 75th anniv ersarry with all of the sp ectacular eevents vents which will tak lace at the 2011 C apital BBlue lue Cross Cross All-Star Classic Classic on January January 30 and 31. AHL All-Star On support On bbehalf ehalf of all of our teams, teamss, thankk yyou ou again ffor or o yyour our ccontinuing ontinuing supp ort and I wish you you the utmost enjoyment enjooyyment in following foollowing your club through through what pr omises ttoo bbee another fantastic season. your promises Sincerely, Sincerely,

David A. A ndrews David Andrews President & Chief Chief EExecutive xecutive O fficer President Officer American H ockey League League American Hockey

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 11


2010-2011 AHL DIRECTORY EASTERN CONFERENCE

ATLANTIC DIVISION: Bridgeport, Hartford, Manchester, Portland, Providence, Springfield, Worcester EAST DIVISION: Adirondack, Albany, Binghamton, Charlotte, 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: Greg Gilbert ENTERED AHL: 1996-97 (as Philadelphia Phantoms) CALDER CUPS: Two (1998, 2005) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 10 of 14 2009-10 RECORD: 32-41-3-4, 71 pts. WEB SITE: 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 4 2009-10 RECORD: 39-31-4-6, 88 pts. WEB SITE: www.thealbanydevils.com

BINGHAMTON SENATORS

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: 61 of 72 2009-10 RECORD: 60-17-0-3, 123 pts. WEB SITE: www.hersheybears.com

MANCHESTER MONARCHS

NHL AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Kings HOME ICE: Verizon Wireless Center (9,852) GENERAL MANAGER: Ron Hextall HEAD COACH: Mark Morris ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 8 of 9 2009-10 RECORD: 43-28-3-6, 95 pts. WEB SITE: www.manchestermonarchs.com

NHL AFFILIATION: Ottawa Senators HOME ICE: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena (4,710) PRESIDENT: Tim Smith HEAD COACH: Kurt Kleinendorst ENTERED AHL: 2002-03 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 8 2009-10 RECORD: 36-35-6-3, 81 pts. WEB SITE: www.binghamtonsenators.com

NORFOLK ADMIRALS

BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS

PORTLAND PIRATES

CHARLOTTE CHECKERS

PROVIDENCE BRUINS

NHL AFFILIATION: New York Islanders HOME ICE: Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard (8,412) GENERAL MANAGER: Garth Snow HEAD COACH: Jack Capuano ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 6 of 9 2009-10 RECORD: 38-32-4-6, 86 pts. WEB SITE: www.soundtigers.com NHL AFFILIATION: Carolina Hurricanes HOME ICE: Time Warner Cable Arena (6,800) HEAD COACH/ GENERAL MANAGER: Jeff Daniels ENTERED AHL: 2010-11 WEB SITE: www.gocheckers.com

HARTFORD WOLF PACK

NHL AFFILIATION: New York Rangers HOME ICE: XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum (9,801) GENERAL MANAGER: Jim Schoenfeld HEAD COACH: Ken Gernander ENTERED AHL: 1997-98 CALDER CUPS: One (2000) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 12 of 13 2009-10 RECORD: 36-33-6-5, 83 pts. WEB SITE: www.hartfordwolfpack.com

NHL AFFILIATION: Tampa Bay Lightning HOME ICE: Norfolk Scope (8,725) GENERAL MANAGER: Julien BriseBois HEAD COACH: Jon Cooper ENTERED AHL: 2000-01 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 7 of 10 2009-10 RECORD: 39-35-3-3, 84 pts. WEB SITE: www.norfolkadmirals.com NHL AFFILIATION: Buffalo Sabres HOME ICE: Cumberland County Civic Center (6,733) GENERAL MANAGER: Darcy Regier HEAD COACH: Kevin Dineen ENTERED AHL: 1993-94 CALDER CUPS: One (1994) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 13 of 17 2009-10 RECORD: 45-24-7-4, 101 pts. WEB SITE: www.portlandpirates.com NHL AFFILIATION: Boston Bruins HOME ICE: Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence (11,075) GENERAL MANAGER: Peter Chiarelli HEAD COACH: Rob Murray ENTERED AHL: 1992-93 CALDER CUPS: One (1999) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 15 of 18 2009-10 RECORD: 36-38-5-1, 78 pts. WEB SITE: www.providencebruins.com


2010-2011 AHL DIRECTORY SPRINGFIELD FALCONS

NHL AFFILIATION: Columbus Blue Jackets HOME ICE: MassMutual Center (6,789) GENERAL MANAGER: Bruce Landon HEAD COACH: Rob Riley ENTERED AHL: 1994-95 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 6 of 16 2009-10 RECORD: 25-39-12-4, 66 pts. WEB SITE: www.falconsahl.com

SYRACUSE CRUNCH

NHL AFFILIATION: Anaheim Ducks HOME ICE: Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter (6,159) GENERAL MANAGER: Vance Lederman HEAD COACH: Mark Holick ENTERED AHL: 1994-95 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 9 of 16 2009-10 RECORD: 34-39-4-3, 75 pts. WEB SITE: www.syracusecrunch.com

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS 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: 9 of 11 2009-10 RECORD: 41-34-2-3, 87 pts. WEB SITE: www.wbspenguins.com

WORCESTER SHARKS

NHL AFFILIATION: San Jose Sharks HOME ICE: DCU Center (6,800) GENERAL MANAGER: Wayne Thomas HEAD COACH: Roy Sommer ENTERED AHL: 2006-07 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 3 of 4 2009-10 RECORD: 49-25-3-3, 104 pts. WEB SITE: www.sharksahl.com

TM

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NORTH DIVISION: Abbotsford, Grand Rapids, Hamilton, Lake Erie, Manitoba, Rochester, Toronto WEST DIVISION: Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Peoria, Rockford, San Antonio, Texas ABBOTSFORD HEAT

NHL AFFILIATION: Calgary Flames HOME ICE: Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (7,046) PRESIDENT: Tom Mauthe HEAD COACH: Jim Playfair ENTERED AHL: 2009-10 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 1 of 1 2009-10 RECORD: 39-29-5-7, 90 pts. WEB SITE: www.abbotsfordheat.com

CHICAGO WOLVES

NHL AFFILIATION: Atlanta Thrashers HOME ICE: Allstate Arena (16,692) GENERAL MANAGER: Wendell Young HEAD COACH: Don Lever ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: Two (2002, 2008) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 7 of 9 2009-10 RECORD: 49-24-1-6, 105 pts. WEB SITE: www.chicagowolves.com

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS

NHL AFFILIATION: Detroit Red Wings HOME ICE: Van Andel Arena (10,834) GENERAL MANAGER: Bob McNamara HEAD COACH: Curt Fraser BEGAN PLAY: 1996-97 (IHL) ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 6 of 9 2009-10 RECORD: 34-39-3-4, 75 pts. WEB SITE: www.griffinshockey.com

HAMILTON BULLDOGS

NHL AFFILIATION: Montreal Canadiens HOME ICE: Copps Coliseum (8,819) GENERAL MANAGER: Pierre Gauthier HEAD COACH: Randy Cunneyworth ENTERED AHL: 1996-97 CALDER CUPS: One (2007) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 11 of 14 2009-10 RECORD: 52-17-3-8, 115 pts. WEB SITE: www.hamiltonbulldogs.com

HOUSTON AEROS

NHL AFFILIATION: Minnesota Wild HOME ICE: Toyota Center (8,939) GENERAL MANAGER: Jim Mill HEAD COACH: Mike Yeo ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CUPS: One (2003) SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 7 of 9 2009-10 RECORD: 34-34-7-5, 80 pts. WEB SITE: www.aeros.com

LAKE ERIE MONSTERS

NHL AFFILIATION: Colorado Avalanche HOME ICE: Quicken Loans Arena (10,025) GENERAL MANAGER: David Oliver HEAD COACH: David Quinn ENTERED AHL: 2007-08 CALDER CUPS: None SEASONS IN PLAYOFFS: 0 of 3 2009-10 RECORD: 34-37-1-8, 77 pts. WEB SITE: www.lakeeriemonsters.com

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 13


2010-2011 AHL DIRECTORY MANITOBA MOOSE

NHL AFFILIATION: AFFILIIATION: Vancouver Vanncouv u er C Canucks anucks H OME IICE: CE: MTS MTS C entre (8,800) (8,8800) HOME Centre SSENIOR ENIOR VP/GENERAL VP/GENERAL MANAGER: MANAGER: Craig Heisinger C raig H eisinger HEAD COACH: COACH: Claude Claaude Noel Noel ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALD ER CUPS: N one CALDER None SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 8 of of 9 2009-10 RECORD: RECORD: 40-33-5-2, 40-33-5-22, 87 pts. pts. WEB SSITE: ITE: w ww.mo . osehockkey.c . om www.moosehockey.com

MILWAUKEE MIL WAUKEE ADMIRAL ADMIRALSS

NHL AFFILIATION: AFFILIIATI T ON: Nashville Nashvillle le Predators Predatoors HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Bradley Bradley Center Center (17,845) GENERAL GENER AL MANAGER: MAN NAGER: Paul Paul Fenton Fentoon HEAD COACH: COACH: Lane Lane Lambert Lambert ENTERED AHL: 2001-02 CALDER CALD ER CUPS: One (2004) SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 8 of of 9 2009-10 RECORD: RECORD: 41-30-2-7, 41-30-2-77, 91 pts. pts. www.milwaukeeadmirals.com WEB SSITE: ITE: w ww.mil . lwaukeeadmir a alls.com

OKLAHOMA CITY BARO BARONS ONS

NHL AFFILI AFFILIATION: IATION: Edmonton Edmonton Oil Oilers leers HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Cox Cox Convention Convention C Center enter (13,399) GENER AL MANAGER: MAN NAGER: B illl SScott cottt GENERAL Bill HEAD COACH: COACH: Todd Todd Nelson Nelson ENTERED AHL: 2010 2010-11 11 WEB SITE: SITE: www.okcbarons.com www.o . kcbarons.com

PEORIA RIVERMEN

NHL AFFILIATION: AFFILIIATION: St. St. LLouis ouis u B Blues luues HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Peoria Peoria Civic Civicc Center Centeer – Carver C arver A Arena rena (9,919) GENERAL GENER AL MAN MANAGER: NAGER: K Kevin evin i M McDonald cDonaldd HEAD COACH: COACH: Jared Jared Bednar Bednaar ENTERED AHL: 2005-06 CALDER CALD ER CUPS: N None one SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 2 of of 5 2009-10 RECORD: RECORD: 38-33-2-7, 38-33-2-77, 85 pts. pts. WEB SITE: SITE: www.rivermen.net www.riv . ermen.nnet

ROCHESTER AMERICAN AMERICANS NS

NHL AFFILI AFFILIATION: IATION: Florida Floridaa Panthers Panthers HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Blue Blue Cross Cross Arena Arena n aatt the Rochester R ochesteer W War ar M Memorial emorial (7,528) (7,5528) GENERAL GENER AL MANAGER: MAN NAGER: Michael Michhael SSantos antos o HEAD C COACH: OACH: Chuck Chuck W Weber eber ENTERED AHL: 1956-57 CALD ER CUPS: SSix ix (1965, 1966, 1 CALDER 1968, 1983, 1987, 1996) SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 411 of of 54 2009-10 RECORD: RECORD: 44-33-2-1, 44-33-2-11, 91 pts. pts. WEB SITE: SITE: www.amerks.com www.a .amerks.com

ROCKFORD ICEHOGS

NHL AFFILI AFFILIATION: IATION: C Chicago hicaggo B Blackhawks laackkha hawks HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Rockford Rockkford MetroCentre MetroC o entre (5,767) GOVERNOR: GO VERNOR: Mark Mark Bernard Bernaard HEAD COACH: COACH: Bill Billl Peters Peteers ENTERED AHL: 2007-08 CALDER CALD ER CUPS: N None one SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 3 of of 3 2009-10 RECORD: RECORD: 44-30-3-3, 44-30-3-33, 94 pts. pts. WEB SSITE: ITE: w www.icehogs.com ww.i. cehogs.com

SAN ANTONIO A RAMP RAMPAGE AGE

NHL AFFILIATION: AFFILIIATION: Phoenix Phoenix Coyotes Coyotes e H OME ICE: ICE: AT&T AT&T Center Centeer (6,374) HOME GENER RAL MANAGER: MAN NAGER: Brad Brad Treliving Treliving GENERAL HEAD COACH: COACH: Ray Ray Edwards Edwaards ENTER RED AHL: 2002-03 ENTERED CALD E CUPS: N ER one CALDER None SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 2 of of 8 2009-100 RECORD: RECORD: 36-32-5-7, 84 ppts. ts. WEB SSITE: I w ITE: ww.s . arampage.com www.sarampage.com

TEXASS ST STARS ARS

NHL A AFFILIATION: FFILIIATION: D Dallas alllaas Stars Stars HOME H OME ICE: ICE: Cedar Cedar Park Parrkk Center Center (6,863) ( ) GENERAL GENER RAL MANAGER: MAN NAGER: Scott Scott White Whitte HEAD COACH: COACH: Glen Gleen Gulutzan Gulutza t an ENTERED ENTER RED AHL: 2009-10 CALDER CALD E CUPS: N ER None one SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 1 of of 1 2009-100 RECORD: RECORD: 46-27-3-4, 99 ppts. ts. WEB SITE: SITE: I www.texasstarshockey.com www.t .texasstaars r hockey..com

TORONTO TORO NTO MARLIES

NHL AFFILIATION: AFFILIIATION: Toronto Toronto Maple Maplee Leafs Leafs HOME H OME IICE: CE: R Ricoh icoh C Coliseum oliseum (7,851) GENERAL GENER RAL MAN MANAGER: NAGER: D Dave ave N Nonis onis HEAD C COACH: OACH: D Dallas allas Eakins Eakiins ENTERED ENTER RED AHL: 2005-06 CALDER CALD E CUPS: N ER None one SSEASONS EASONS IN PLAYOFFS: PLAYOFFS: 3 of of 5 2009-100 RECORD: RECORD: 33-35-6-6, 78 ppts. ts. WEB SITE: SITE: I www.torontomarlies.com www.t .torontomaarlies.com

2010-11 PLAYOFF FORMAT Thee top The top ffour our tteams eams in each division will qualify ffor or the 2011 C alder C up Pla yoffs, with one p ossiblee Calder Cup Playoffs, possible eexception xception e in each cconference. onference. IIff the fifth-place fifth-plac th place tteam eam m in the W est D ivision finishes with mor o ts oin West Division moree p points thann the fourth-place fourth-place team team in the N North orth D Division, ivisionn, it will cr oss oover ver and compete compete in the N orth D ivisioon cross North Division playoffs. pla yoffs. Likewise, Likewise, if the fifth-place fifth-place team team in the East D iviision finishes with more more points points than the fourthfourrthDivision place plac ce tteam eam in the A Atlantic tlantic D Division, ivision, it will cr cross oss oover ver and d ccompete ompete in the A tlantic D ivision pla yoffs. Atlantic Division playoffs. ivision Semifinals Semifinals – Best Best of Seven Seven e - Within Within each eacch 1. D Division first-place team team pla ys the ffourth-place oourth-p place division, the first-place plays team, while the sec ond-place tteam eam fac es the th hirdteam, second-place faces thirdplace team. team. place 2. D ivision Finals Finals – Best Best of Seven Seven 2. Division 3.. C onference FFinals inals – B est of SSeven even - TThe he winner rs Conference Best winners orth and W est e D ivisions will pla or th he of the N North West Divisions playy ffor the Western Co onffer e ence title Western Conference title,, while the championss of tlan t tic and East D ivisions will face face off for for the t the A Atlantic Divisions Eastern C onference cr own. Eastern Conference crown. alder C up u FFinals inals – B est of SSeven even 4.. C Calder Cup Best

14 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


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HISTORY

The American Hockey League is excited to be celebrating

its 75th anniversary in 2010-11, a milestone of excellence that began in 1936 when the Canadian-American Hockey League merged with the International Hockey League to form what is today known as the AHL. Eight teams hit the ice that first season, playing in Buffalo, Cleveland, New Haven, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Springfield and Syracuse. Frank Calder, the National Hockey League’s president at the time, was instrumental in the forming of the new league, and his name would be given to its championship trophy. The first Calder Cup was won by the Syracuse Stars, beginning a tradition that continued in 2010 when the Hershey Bears captured a record 11th AHL championship. LEGENDS

Over the past three-quarters of a century, the American Hockey

Johnny Bower Honored Member, Hockey Hall of Fame Honored Member, AHL Hall of Fame

League has been home to some of the greatest players in the history of our sport. In fact, more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame have been affiliated with the AHL during their careers. All-time greats like George Armstrong, Toe Blake, Gump Worsley, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, Brad Park, Ken Dryden and Brett Hull came through the AHL ranks and now find themselves enshrined in Toronto, and the coveted Calder Cup trophy is enscribed with the names of legendary AHL alumni like Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson, Gerry Cheevers, Andy Bathgate, Tim Horton, Al Arbour, Emile Francis, Doug Harvey and Billy Smith.

T

he American Hockey League has created its own legends as well, and in 2006 began honoring them with the formation of the AHL Hall of Fame. The fifth class of inductees, recognized in 2010, included Macgregor Kilpatrick, John Paddock, Marcel Paille and Bill Sweeney. They join the likes of Johnny Bower, Fred Glover, Jody Gage, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers, Eddie Shore, Bruce Boudreau, Tim Tookey and others as distinguished members of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame.

In today’s National Hockey League, more than 85 percent of the

18 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Photo: Buffalo Sabres

players are AHL alumni, including 2010 Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller and 2010 Norris Trophy recipient Duncan Keith. More than 130 AHL alumni participated in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, with 42 collecting medals including Canada’s Eric Staal and Dan Boyle, the United States’ Zach Parise and Dustin Brown, and Finland’s Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula -- all former AHL All-Stars. The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were stocked with AHL graduates as well, among them Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, Troy Brouwer, Patrick Sharp and Antti Niemi.

Ryan Miller 2010 Vezina Trophy Winner 2005 AHL Goaltender of the Year


PLAYERS

During the 2009-10 season, more than 800 AHL alumni played in the

COACHES

Photo: Chicago Blackhawks

National Hockey League, including 320 who skated in both leagues last year alone. Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Philadelphia’s Mike Richards were among the 13 AHL graduates who led their NHL teams in scoring, and former AHL All-Stars Tuukka Rask, Jaroslav Halak and Jimmy Howard were among the 26 AHL goaltending alumni who paced their NHL clubs in victories. More than 200 former first- and second-round draft picks developed their skills in the AHL last season, including breakout rookies like Logan Couture, P.K. Subban, Tyler Ennis, John Carlson and Lars Eller.

Former AHL All-Star and Calder Cup champion Patrick Sharp won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last June.

At the start of the 2010-11 season, the NHL featured 23 head coaches who were former AHL

bench bosses, including Joel Quenneville of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and 2009 Stanley Cup champion Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rookie head coaches in the NHL include Tampa Bay’s Guy Boucher and Columbus’s Scott Arniel, the last two winners of the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s coach of the year. “The American Hockey League has been essential in developing my potential both as a player and as a coach. Being able to hone my skills and improve at a high level of competition was key to reaching my goals of playing in the NHL, becoming a head coach and winning the Stanley Cup.” -- Dan Bylsma, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Penguins FANS

Photo: Kevin Colton

The 2009-10 season saw more than 6 million fans attend AHL games

An AHL-record crowd of 21,508 fans packed the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse for the Mirabito Outdoor Classic on Feb. 20, 2010.

for the ninth year in a row; since 2001, AHL games have been played before more than 58 million fans in arenas across North America. The Hershey Bears paced the league by averaging more than 9,500 fans per game last year; the Lake Erie Monsters drew a franchise-high 18,626 fans for a single game in January; and a league-record 21,508 fans were part of hockey history when the Syracuse Crunch hosted the Mirabito Outdoor Classic, the AHL’s first-ever outdoor game, on Feb. 20.

STARS

The AHL All-Star Classic showcases the league’s top talent each

Of the 528 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Miikka Kiprusoff, Chris Kunitz, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza and Tomas Vokoun.

Sports Action Photography/AHL

year in an All-Star Skills Competition and All-Star Game. The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic will be held at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., on January 30-31, featuring the Eastern Conference All-Stars battling the Western Conference All-Stars in a game to be televised live across the U.S. and Canada.

P.K. Subban’s memorable rookie season included a trip to the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic in Portland.

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 19



DETROIT RED WINGS

Photo: Getty Images

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard went 37-15-10 with a 2.26 GAA and a 0.924 save percentage as a rookie last season, finishing second in voting for the NHL’s Calder Trophy and becoming the latest in a long line of former Griffins to make an impact in Hockeytown. Since the Grand Rapids-Detroit affiliation began in 2002, Griffins fans have proudly watched 40 players move on to play for the Red Wings – including the likes of Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jiri Hudler and Niklas Kronwall – while also enjoying the opportunity to see some of Detroit’s brightest stars play at Van Andel Arena during conditioning stints. 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

MANAGEMENT Ken Holland, Executive VP/General Manager Jim Nill, VP/Assistant General Manager

COACHING STAFF Mike Babcock, Head Coach Paul MacLean, Assistant Coach Brad McCrimmon, Assistant Coach Keith McKittrick, Video Coach Jim Bedard, Goaltending Coach

GRIFFINS WHO HAVE EARNED THEIR WINGS* Justin Abdelkader, 2008-09 Sean Avery, 2002-03 Ryan Barnes, 2003-04 Patrick Boileau, 2002-03 Darryl Bootland, 2003-04 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 Brett Lebda, 2005-06 Ville Leino, 2008-09 Joey MacDonald, 2006-07 Donald MacLean, 2005-06 Darren McCarty, 2007-08 Derek Meech, 2006-07 Kevin Miller, 2003-04 Mark Mowers, 2003-04 Jan Mursak, 2010-11 Anders Myrvold, 2003-04 Kris Newbury, 2009-10 Kyle Quincey, 2005-06 Mattias Ritola, 2007-08 Jamie Rivers, 2003-04 Nathan Robinson, 2003-04 Stacy Roest, 2002-03 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) and Andreas Lilja (2009-10).

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 21


Defenseman Derek Meech remains optimistic about his future.

Story and photos by Mark Newman


Derek Meech refuses to complain, pout or sulk. He could easily play the victim of circumstances, but he would rather just play hockey. Sure, he’d prefer to still be in the NHL, but you won’t hear him bellyaching about his situation, no matter how unfortunate it may seem. A member of the Detroit Red Wings during the past three seasons, Meech found himself last fall back in Grand Rapids, where he had spent his first three seasons in the pro ranks. He had inked a new one-year deal last summer but became an insurance policy of sorts after the Red Wings signed veteran Ruslan Salei. It put Meech between a rock and a hard place when Detroit was unable to move the young defenseman before the start of the season. Meech was effectively frozen in Grand Rapids, since he would have to clear waivers and the Red Wings would see half of his contract counted against their salary cap if another team made a claim to his rights. Realistically, Meech was stuck, and yet he continues to see only the bright side. “I’m pretty fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I love to do,” he said. “Obviously, my goal is to play in the NHL, but it’s been a long time since I played every night consistently, so this gives me a chance to play a lot of minutes and be relied upon a little more, while taking on a leadership role.”

Meech looks back fondly on his time in Detroit, even if he endured his share of frustration. In Hockeytown, he was the spare winged wheel, waiting in reserve for any opportunity to play. He saw action in 32, 41 and 49 games over the past three seasons, which meant he did more than his share of sitting. “I learned a ton, but I didn’t get into the lineup as much as I’d like,” he said. “It’s the nature of the game, so you do your best to stay prepared.” At Joe Louis Arena, he could usually be found in the gym, working out during the game. “The key was to stay positive and come in every day with a good attitude and just work hard. I tried to keep up my conditioning because you’ve got to be ready all the time.” The workouts helped to keep him focused. “Keeping the body prepared helped with the mindset at the same time,” he said. “You don’t want to be sitting there, getting stale.” Meech looked at practices in Detroit as an opportunity to not only improve, but also to contribute. “You go into practices, trying to translate every drill into a game situation,” he said. “Up there, the practices were fast-paced, so it was good to take some reps, plus take some extra reps for guys like (Nicklas) Lidstrom and (Brian) Rafalski to make sure they were getting some rest.” Injuries sometimes opened up a spot for Meech, allowing him to play for longer stretches of games. “It felt good, because you can get into a rhythm and it’s easier to stay focused night in and night out.”

Meech ranks among the Griffins’ top six all time in games played. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 23


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Meech has played 126 games in a Detroit Red Wings uniform. More often than not, however, his name was not listed among the Red Wings’ regular defensemen. He grew tired of being the odd man out, so when Red Wings coach Mike Babcock decided to put him on the ice as a forward, he jumped at the chance. “I was willing to do anything to get into the lineup, contribute and help us win,” he said. “I was fortunate that they had some confidence in me to put me out on forward, which got me some decent playing time.” Although it wasn’t his natural position, Meech found he enjoyed playing on a wing. “Playing on the fourth line, I just tried to create some energy, throw some hits and, most importantly, be good defensively,” he said. “In a way, I found playing forward to be not as nerve-racking.” At the same time, playing the position gave Meech a new appreciation for the forwards’ responsibilities on the ice. “I gained some respect for forwards,” he said. “Forwards have a tough job of making plays in the neutral zone and getting the puck off the half-wall when defensemen are coming in to pinch and try to hit you. “If you don’t get it out, you wind up spending another 30 seconds in your own end, so it’s a pretty important job. It definitely was an adjustment, but I enjoyed it.” And though he would have liked to have played more in Detroit, Meech has earned something most players will only dream about: his name is on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 2007-08 Red Wings team.

“That was quite a year,” he said. “I was so fortunate to be a part of a Stanley Cup team and get some playing time during the course of the season,” he said. “I definitely have no regrets,” he said. Winning the Cup, he notes, helped put the sacrifices in perspective. But then he already had a pretty good handle on things. Losing his mother to cancer when he was only 11 forced him to grow up more quickly than others his age. Wondering whether you’re going to dress for a game doesn’t seem like such a big deal after you’ve been forced to mature at an age when other boys are more preoccupied with video games. “Hockey is an emotional game and sometimes you can get caught up in it, especially since a season has so many ups and downs,” he said. “But when you have a death in the family or have to deal with something tough, it brings you down to earth and it gives you some perspective. You realize there are more important things in life.” That point was driven home again in February when he left the Griffins for a game to go back to Winnipeg in order to be with his wife, Miranda, and her family after the death of her grandmother. “This is my job here, but by the same token, you realize that family is more important than hockey,’ he said. “It was great that the coaches let me go back and be there for my wife, who was very close to her grandmother.” At age 26, Meech has become the consummate professional, a young player who is mature beyond his years. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 25


needed to do, which was come here to get his game back and show people what he can do. There are no guarantees, but he should be on everybody’s radar now. “If I was coaching in the NHL, I’d grab him because he’s a first-class kid and a real good player.” In a sense, this season is Meech’s audition for the other 29 NHL teams. “Maybe Detroit will decide they need to keep him – that would be even better,” Fraser said. For now, Meech isn’t worried about next year. “My focus is right here, right now,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens.” Meech admits that it took a few games to get his lungs and legs back into peak condition, and he feels like he is getting stronger with every game. Fraser agrees. “He was good at the start of the year, but he’s only gotten better.” He’s also grown more comfortable with his role as a team leader and acting as a mentor for the organization’s young defensemen. “When I came here, I looked up to people like Bryan Helmer, who had NHL experience and was a great guy on and off the ice, and Travis Richards, who is a legend in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Now, the situation is flipped and I want to help out (Brendan) Smith, (Travis) Ehrhardt and the other young defensemen. I share little tidbits during the game, but most importantly, I want to lead by example.” While Meech’s future is in flux, it’s a pretty safe bet that he will not only be a better player for the experience, but he’ll have made himself even stronger as a person. “The goal is just to keep improving and get better,” he said, “because I’m working toward getting myself back to the NHL. “I’ve got to keep that positive frame of mind.”

Photo: Dave Reginek

“You couldn’t ask for a more talented young defenseman and, more importantly, a better person than Derek Meech,” said Griffins head coach Curt Fraser. “He’s like gold when it comes to talking about character.” Fraser knew he was getting a solid defenseman when Meech returned to Grand Rapids, but it’s the way the young player has handled the situation that has impressed him the most. “Derek’s been in a tough spot, but at the same time, he’s in a great position because he’s getting the chance to show that he’s more than capable of playing on an NHL team and doing a good job. “He’s done such a good job that he’s attracting attention. People are taking notice, and because he’s playing 25-30 minutes every game, it’s going to make it much easier for other teams to make a decision on where he might fit on their team. “There is no easy way to the NHL, but things should work out well for Derek because he’s done what he

Meech was a member of the 2007-08 Stanley Cup championship team. 26 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


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T R A I N S M A R T. P L AY H A R D . O U T P E R F O R M . Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 27


MARKYOUR CALENDAR! 2010-11 GRIFFINS PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE March 4: Ladies Night, with makeup, hairstyling and pampering by Panopoulos Salons March 5: Star Wars Night/Bottle Opener Giveaway presented by MetroPCS March 19: Mascot Mania presented by Centennial Securities/Team Poster Giveaway/Jersey Auction #3 to benefit PennyBen and American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge March 20: Fan Appreciation Day presented by Michigan Office Solutions/Griffins #1 Fan Sign and Griffins Crest Logo CrazyBand Giveaway/Appearance by Quick Change, performers featured on America’s Got Talent/Season Ticket Holder Party

Mar. 5

Mar. 5

April 8: Season Finale presented by Chrysler/Jersey Auction #4 Mar. 19

Mar. 20

Mar. 20

Mar. 20

S E A S O N - L O N G Dollar Beers and Hot Dogs: Every Friday, enjoy $1 hot dogs and $1 domestic drafts from 6-8 p.m., while supplies last. College Nights presented by Chemical Bank: Every Friday, college students can show their ID to purchase a lower bowl ticket for $12 (or $10 in advance at The Zone) and stop by the McFadden's concourse table to receive a free pass to the postgame party at McFadden's. Wednesday is Hockey Night: Before or after every Wednesday home game, show your ticket to that night’s game to receive drink specials and 20% off food at participating Arena District restaurants and bars, including Peppino’s Sports Lounge, home of the Griffins’ Wednesday post-game parties. Visit griffinshockey.com/hockeynight for a list of participating restaurants. Winning Wednesday: Every time the Griffins win at home on Wednesday, each fan in attendance will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday game. 28 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Apr. 8

P R O M O T I O N S

Sunday is Fun Day!: Every Sunday, enjoy $1 Cole’s Breadsticks and $1 Pepsi drinks from 3-5 p.m. Enjoy Crazy Band giveaways for the kids, live music from Jaded 8, and the J & H Family Stores Post-Game Skate. Fan 4 Packs: For the March 20 game, receive four tickets and $12 in concession cash for a great low price. Visit griffinshockey.com/f4p or call (616) 7744585 ext. 2. Library Nights: For every Sunday and Wednesday home game, fans who present their Grand Rapids Public Library card or Kent District Library card at the Van Andel Arena box office on the night of the game or at The Zone anytime during the store’s regular business hours can purchase a lower bowl ticket for just $10 - a savings of $7! Limit four tickets per card per person. J & H Family Stores Post-Game Skates: March 5, 19 and 20 Huntington Bank Post-Game Autograph Session: March 5

MOS Corner Office presented by Michigan Office Solutions: Located on the terrace level above section 118, this section 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. D-Zone Nation presented by WGRD: Come join the D-Zone Nation on Friday nights and enjoy $1 beer and $1 hot dog service in your seats between 6-8 p.m. Avoid concession lines and pay no fees or service charges, with $68 four-packs of tickets available now. Go to griffinshockey.com/dzone or call 616-774-4585 ext. 2.  Ask about deeper discounts when you buy two or more four-packs of tickets! Puck in the Stands: Catch a puck during a game? Present it to guest services to receive a $10 gift certificate to 25 Kitchen and Bar. (Don’t worry, you get to keep the puck!) All promotions and dates subject to change


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Story by Mark Newman/Photos by Getty Images

Griffins players and coaches remember the excitement of scoring their first NHL goal – with one exception. It’s a dream-come-true for every hockey player. Scoring your first NHL goal is a memorable experience that has been visualized over and over in the minds of hockey enthusiasts in a variety of circumstances.

Cory Emmerton 30 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

“Ice, street, backyard, basement with mini-sticks, even playing NHL video games,” said Cory Emmerton. “It’s a great feeling when it goes in.” Emmerton scored his first NHL goal on Jan. 22, the latest in a number of Griffins who have experienced the magical moment. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but all of them look the same on paper. His achievement came in his NHL debut when he became a last-minute replacement for Valtteri Filppula, who was out with the flu. “I was skating in the morning, not thinking about much other than playing against Chicago again,” Emmerton said. “(Griffins head coach Curt Fraser) pulled me off the ice and told me that I needed to get to Detroit fast for a 2 o’clock game.” With 10 o’clock fast approaching, he knew he had little time to waste. “I grabbed my suit and my girlfriend and went as quickly as I could. I didn’t want to speed since getting pulled over would make me late.”


He was about 15 minutes from Detroit when one of the Red Wings’ trainers called to inquire about his whereabouts. “I hadn’t had time to get anything to eat, so I asked them if they could find me some food, which they luckily did.” When he arrived at Joe Louis Arena, there was chicken cordon bleu, cheese tortellini and vegetables waiting for him. “It was better than what I would have gotten if I had stopped,” he said. “I was pretty hungry, but it was a little heavy before a game, so I tried not to eat too much.” Caught in the whirlwind of the news, it wasn’t until he got dressed for the game that the momentous nature of the occasion hit him. “When I got the equipment on and pulled the jersey on, it was a real special feeling.” Having played the previous night, Emmerton said his legs felt heavy during warmups, but he felt better once the game started. His big moment occurred midway through a scoreless first period against the Chicago Blackhawks. “We had a 3-on-2 rush, but they had a backchecker so I didn’t have time to make a decision,” he recalled. “I was just trying to shoot for a rebound – it was almost more like a pass – but the goalie misplayed it and Tomas Tatar I saw the puck go up in the air and roll in.” The Red Wings were trailing 3-2 in the third He couldn’t believe that Blackhawks goalie Corey period when Tatar got the crowd on its feet. Crawford had miscued on the puck, but he was glad “I just tried to go to the net and Darren Helm to be the recipient of the gift. “I had a nice smile and took a shot and I felt something hit my stick,” he chuckle after it because I knew I was going to get a recalled. “I had my stick on the ice, exactly as I was few comments about how lovely it was,” he said. taught all of my life, and I saw the puck in the net “But it was a shot on net and it went in, and good and I started celebrating.” things happen when you shoot the puck, so it was a Tatar raced around the net, tugging on the winged beautiful goal.” wheel crest on his jersey. “I tried to show the people Emmerton celebrated on the ice with Tomas that my heart belongs to the Red Wings and that I Tatar, who had scored his first NHL goal less than would like to play hard for them and someday help a month earlier, also in his initial NHL appearance. them win the Stanley Cup.” The pair joined eight other Red Wings since 1990 – He never imagined scoring in his debut. “I would most notably Sergei Fedorov and two former have been happy, no matter if I scored or not because Griffins, Ville Leino and Brett Lebda – who lit the it was my first game, but scoring the goal made lamp in their NHL debuts. playing the next game so much easier.” Like his Grand Rapids teammate, Tatar learned That same sense of relief was felt by Jan Mursak, he was going to Detroit while he was on the ice who had to wait longer to experience the thrill of preparing to play for the Griffins. He made his Red scoring his first NHL goal. Wings debut on New Year’s Eve against the New Mursak’s milestone came in his eighth game, York Islanders. on Jan. 10 in Denver. He scored after battling in “I was surprised because I didn’t expect to be the corner then going to the front of the net to catch called up this early, but I was pretty happy,” Tatar the rebound. His goal tied the game 1-1 against Peter said. “I was singing in the car on the way to Detroit Budaj and the Colorado Avalanche. because I was so excited about the game.” “My agent was at the game, so I wanted to have Nerves aside, Tatar admits that he was pumped a good game,” Mursak said. “I had scoring chances for the occasion. “It was my dream to come here and before, but I wasn’t getting any lucky bounces.” play hockey in Detroit,” said the Slovakian native. That changed after he was aggressive on the “The more I played, I started to get more confidence forecheck, helping to force a turnover that was and feel good on the ice.” Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 31


collected by Justin Abdelkader, who passed the puck to Drew Miller, who shot the puck toward the goal. “I turned, but I turned the right way and there was a good bounce,” he said. “I had an open net and took the shot. I got hit after it, but I don’t think I ever got up so quick because I was so excited.” Mursak is only the second NHL player from Slovenia, following in the footsteps of Los Angeles Kings forward Anže Kopitar. “People were really excited back home,” he said. “A lot of friends sent me messages after the goal. They know I have worked really hard all of these years and they were happy that I got a chance to see what I can do in the NHL.” Mursak felt the goal helped his chances to return to Detroit. Indeed, he was recalled a second time in February after his initial month-long stint. “I had a good time up there. I hope that I will get the chance to play there again soon.” Making a positive impression was on Chris Minard’s mind when he was playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins late in the 2007-08 season. On March 12, 2008, he was sitting on the bench when teammate George Laraque was ejected from the game for a hit from behind. “The coach came down and told me to get ready. ‘We might need you,’ he said. My first shift came with about eight minutes left in the second period.” Four shifts into the 10th game of his NHL career, Minard’s moment in the spotlight arrived. “Jordan Staal went to shoot, fanned on it, and the puck came right to me and I had an open net,” he recalled. The goal gave the Penguins a 6-2 lead over

Buffalo and chased Sabres goalie Ryan Miller to the bench for a replacement. “It was a dream-come-true,” Minard said. “You play the game to play in the NHL and when you get that first goal, that’s the one you’ll always remember.” Minard had grown up shooting pucks against his older brother Mike, who played one NHL game for the Edmonton Oilers. “I remember being in junior and he was in the pros, and our rivalry was pretty intense. When I scored, he’d fire it back at me.” Getting that first NHL goal is a relief for any young player. “You want to contribute and prove that you can stay there,” Minard said. “I wasn’t putting pressure on myself. I was just trying to work hard and keep a positive attitude.” Derek Meech had to wait longer than most for his first NHL goal. He was finally able to celebrate in his 50th NHL game when he beat Curtis Sanford of the Vancouver Canucks with a wrap-around backhand shot on Dec. 4, 2008. Actually, he had celebrated once before. The previous season he thought he had scored his first NHL goal when he beat Roberto Luongo with a blast that trickled past the Canucks goalie and into the net late in the period. It was later determined that Pavel Daysyuk had gotten his stick on it. “I was interviewed by Scott Oake for Hockey Night in Canada, which was pretty cool,” Meech said. “I saw a bunch of congratulatory text messages on my phone after the game, followed by a bunch that basically said, ‘Oh, sorry about that.’ It was kind of funny.” Jan Mursak

32 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


Derek Meech Meech was actually playing forward when he scored his first true NHL goal, which was appropriate since he scored on a move that was rather uncharacteristic for him. “I made a move around the defenseman and I saw the goalie on the post, so I thought I’d try to wrap the puck around and jam it in and it worked out pretty well.”

Like the others, Meech has the actual puck, along with photos of the event. “Hopefully I can show my kids someday and they’ll think it’s pretty cool,” he said. Some players wait until big games to make their mark. Doug Janik was playing for Buffalo when he scored his first NHL goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 33


Doug Janik Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes on June 1, 2006. His slapshot beat goalie Cam Ward to tie the score 1-1 late in the second period. “We won a faceoff and I took one step and let a high shot go and it never hit anything and found its way into the net,” Janik recalled. “I was definitely excited because the winner of the game was going to the Stanley Cup Finals. “I don’t think it gets any better than playing in a Game 7, never mind scoring your first goal in it.” Unfortunately, Carolina scored two unanswered third-period goals to win the game, which put a damper on any celebration. “It was more of a bitter night than anything,” Janik said. Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek scored his first career NHL goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Minnesota North Stars on May 25, 1991. Injuries to Paul Coffey, Ulf Samuelsson and Peter Taglianetti opened a spot in the lineup for the rookie, who had spent most of the season playing for the Canadian National Team. He scored the seventh goal – on an unlikely two-on-one with Mario Lemieux – in the Penguins’ Cup-clinching 8-0 victory. “Mario passed the puck to me and their goalie, Brian Hayward, came out to challenge me, and I stepped around him and I was pretty much on the goal line when I threw it in,” Paek said. “It was absolutely fantastic – you’re about to win the Stanley Cup and you score your first NHL goal, assisted by the best player in the world. How do you write a story any better?” Paek has the framed game sheet. “A buddy found it online and gave it to me as a present,” he said. “How cool is that?” 34 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Griffins head coach Curt Fraser might wish that he had the game sheet from Oct. 11, 1978. That’s when he scored his first NHL goal in Vancouver’s season opener at home against the Colorado Rockies. Asked to describe the goal, Fraser thinks for a moment, then says he doesn’t remember. Pressed to remember anything about the goal, he thinks again. “I remember I went back to pick up the puck behind the net and I came out and I went around (Joe) Sakic and (then) Forsberg,” he states matter-of-factly before cracking a mischievous grin. At the time, Sakic would have been nine years old, Forsberg only five. The NHL record book shows that Thomas Gradin and Stan Smyl assisted on Fraser’s goal, the first of 16 that he scored during his rookie year with the Canucks. “If it was with those two guys, it was probably on a play where I was going to the net,” he said. “I was usually finishing a good play by one of those two guys.” Fraser played on the same line with Gradin and Smyl until he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in December 1982. “We were together right from the start of training camp that first year and we stuck together,” Fraser said. But he really cannot remember a thing about that first goal, which may be understandable since it was more than 32 years ago. None of the current Griffins had been born yet. Watch video of the Griffins’ first NHL goals!


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2010-2011

Roster

19

18

GREG AMADIO Defenseman 6-2, 230 lbs. Born: 5/13/81 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

8

JOAKIM ANDERSSON Center 6-2, 205 lbs. Born: 2/5/89 Munkedal, Sweden

15 CORY EMMERTON Center 6-0, 190 lbs. Born: 6/1/88 St. Thomas, Ont.

11

36 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

WILLIE COETZEE Right Wing 5-10, 185 lbs. Born: 11/7/90 Maple Ridge, B.C.

33 ILARI FILPPULA Forward 5-11, 189 lbs. Born: 11/5/81 Vantaa, Finland

28 ADAM KEEFE Right Wing 5-10, 200 lbs. Born: 4/26/84 Brampton, Ont.

4

17

SERGEI KOLOSOV Defenseman 6-4, 217 lbs. Born: 5/22/86 Novopolotsk, Belarus

TRAVIS EHRHARDT Defenseman 5-11, 204 lbs. Born: 4/12/89 Calgary, Alta.

10 DOUG JANIK Defenseman 6-1, 214 lbs. Born: 3/26/80 Agawam, Mass.

32

JAMIE JOHNSON Center 5-10, 185 lbs. Born: 1/23/82 London, Ont.

31 BRIAN LASHOFF Defenseman 6-3, 208 lbs. Born: 7/16/90 Albany, N.Y.

JOEY MacDONALD Goaltender 6-0, 197 lbs. Born: 2/7/80 Pictou, N.S.


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35

26

THOMAS McCOLLUM Goaltender 6-2, 210 lbs. Born: 12/7/89 Amherst, N.Y.

22

14 DEREK MEECH Defenseman 5-11, 205 lbs. Born: 4/21/84 Winnipeg, Man.

9

1

JORDAN OWENS Left Wing 6-0, 193 lbs. Born: 5/1/86 Toronto, Ont.

3

FRANCIS PARE Right Wing 5-10, 195 lbs. Born: 6/30/87 Lemoyne, Que.

12 LOGAN PYETT Defenseman 5-10, 195 lbs. Born: 5/26/88 Regina, Sask.

25

13

CHRIS MINARD Left Wing 6-1, 205 lbs. Born: 11/18/81 Owen Sound, Ont.

16

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

7

BRENT RAEDEKE Center 6-0, 200 lbs. Born: 5/29/90 Regina, Sask.

JAN MURSAK Right Wing 5-11, 192 lbs. Born: 1/20/88 Maribor, Slovenia

SEBASTIEN PICHE Defenseman 6-0, 198 lbs. Born: 2/4/88 La Sarre, Que.

20 BRENDAN SMITH Defenseman 6-2, 195 lbs. Born: 2/8/89 Mimico, Ont.

BRANDON STRAUB Forward/Defenseman 6-4, 225 lbs. Born: 3/1/83 Colorado Springs, Colo.

27 JAMIE TARDIF Right Wing 6-0, 200 lbs. Born: 1/23/85 Welland, Ont.

TOMAS TATAR Left Wing 5-10, 186 lbs. Born: 12/1/90 Ilava, Slovakia Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 37


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FATHER KNOWS BEST

Story and photos by Mark Newman

Brent Raedeke is doing his best to follow his father’s advice as he adjusts to life in the pros. Every aspiring young hockey player needs a little something to put them in a favorable position as they grow and develop. Call it an edge, if you will – it’s an asset that gives them an advantage for advancement. For Brent Raedeke, the dream of someday playing under the bright lights of a National Hockey League arena always seemed like a possibility, thanks to the support and encouragement of his family. His parents, Mike and Mary Ann, like millions of others, gave their full blessing to the pursuit of his dream. There were, of course,

countless rides to practices, weekend tournaments and summer camps. But the Raedeke family took it to another level. His father and uncle had both had a taste of professional hockey: his father in the nowdefunct Southwest Hockey League in the mid-70s, and his uncle Mark for the AHL’s New Haven Nighthawks and the Flint Spirits of the old IHL in the mid-80s. Brent was already on skates by the age of four, but the real asset was the outdoor rink down the road in his hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 41


“My uncle lived a block away and he built a backyard ‘Do you want to come to summer camp with us?’ I was rink that was a decent size, so all the kids in the like, ‘Yeah, for sure.’” neighborhood would go over there a lot during the Raedeke was invited to participate in the Red Wings’ winter,” Raedeke recalled. summer development camp in July 2008, which in turn “It had two big spotlights, one on each end, and had earned him an offer to travel to Traverse City to take foot-high boards that my uncle painted with red trim. part in the annual prospects tournament and training The rink had painted goal lines, blue lines, center red camp. line and even face-off dots.” He made a positive impression, so much so that the Best of all, the ice was perfect for budding hockey Red Wings signed him to a three-year entry level players looking to improve their skills. contract. “It all happened pretty fast,” he said. “My dad is kind of a handy man – he’s worked for As an 18-year-old, Raedeke was able to return to the SaskTel (a communications provider) for 30 years – and WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings for another season of he built a Zamboni which worked just like a real one,” junior hockey. He finished third in team scoring, then Raedeke said. “It was perfect. I spent a lot of time there.” was assigned by the Red Wings to the Griffins on March Naturally, his father was a big influence from the very 31, 2009, after his team was bumped from the playoffs. beginning. “Because he had played himself, he knew a “I was here for about a month and got to play in a lot about the game,” couple of games, he said. “He’d give which was really me a lot of tips cool,” he said. “I got about skating and to see how they do shooting. He’d tell things in the pros, me a lot of little and I was able to tricks.” take that knowledge Although his back to juniors for father professed to my final season.” be fleet of foot, He returned to Raedeke was not the WHL for his particularly fast as a third season with youngster. “As I got Edmonton, then older and started was dealt to working out more, Brandon at my legs got stronger midseason as the and I got a little Wheat Kings were faster,” he said. loading up to host “I worked with the 2010 Memorial ropes, ladders and Cup. boxes, plyometric “They say it’s the exercises and, of hardest trophy to course, I did a lot of win,” he said, skating. When I was pointing to the fact on the ice, I was that the Cup is working on my awarded following a edges, skating round-robin backwards and tournament Raedeke scored two goals in just his ninth pro game, forward.” featuring the host on Oct. 24, 2010 at Toronto. If practice didn’t team and the make him perfect, it champions of the did put him on the radar of scouts. As a teenager, he was CHL’s three member leagues. Sixty teams are eligible to rated the 106th best North American skater by NHL compete for the Memorial Cup, representing nine Central Scouting, the agency charged with analyzing the provinces and five American states. game’s top prospects. “Brandon (Manitoba) is a small town compared to a But Raedeke’s name was not called during the 2008 lot of cities and everybody got behind us,” he said. NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa, Ontario. “I was at work “There were banners and signs in all the restaurants and and I kept refreshing the screen to see if I saw my name the crowds were amazing. Obviously, the games were because I had talked to a couple of teams before the sold out and so loud.” draft,” he said. “I gave up when I saw Detroit had made The Wheat Kings made it to the championship game the last pick.” but lost 9-1 to the Windsor Spitfires, who claimed their Five minutes later, his phone rang. “It was (Red second straight Memorial Cup. “It was still fun and a Wings assistant general manager) Jim Nill and he said, good experience,” he said. 42 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 43


A fairly consistent scorer in junior hockey, Raedeke has had to fall back on the fundamentals of his game in the professional ranks. Even so, he’s seen a fair amount of minutes for a rookie this season. “This is a very difficult league and it takes some time for a young player to find his step, but Brent is right on track,� Griffins head coach Curt Fraser said. “He’s a very good young player with lots of upside.� For his part, Raedeke is content to keep his nose to the proverbial grindstone. “That’s how I’ve always played – work hard, be solid at both ends of the ice, try to make plays when they’re there, but if they’re not, be smart,� he said. Raedeke admits that it has been an adjustment. “You always want to contribute where you can, but I’m just trying to keep the puck out of my net, so I’m thinking pass first instead of shooting,� he said. He is thankful for the ice time that he’s received. “It feels good to know that the coaches have had the confidence in me to dress me a lot,� he said. “When they put you out on the penalty kill or the last minute of periods, it gives you confidence that they trust you.� At the same time, he has endured the anxiousness associated with being a healthy scratch. “You’ve got to pay your dues and bide your time,� he continued. “The Red Wings want guys to play in the minors for two or three years before they call them up. I think it’s better that way, because you’ll be ready to make a difference.�

It’s the mental side of the game – playing smarter, not harder – where he will need to show improvement, but he knows it’s a process. “It’s about being patient, knowing when to pass, go to the net, to be in the right spots to create offense.� Away from the rink, Raedeke clears his mind by playing guitar, an interest he shares with roommate Brian Lashoff. He bought an electric Gibson guitar and amp at the start of the season. “If I hear a song I like, I’ll go on the Internet and try to find the chords to it,� said Raedeke, who likes both rock and country, from Keith Urban and Brad Paisley to Jack Johnson and the Goo Goo Dolls. “It’s relaxing, and it’s cool to learn the same songs played by bands you like.� He’d love to put together a band that could jam after practice, but he knows it’s probably a pipe dream. “We need to find a drummer,� he says with a chuckle. His father is making sure that he stays on the right path. “He sends me texts almost every day,� he said. “Most of the time they’re helpful, but some of it is repetitive. And true. I think a lot about everything he says.� Raedeke is smart enough to know one thing: father knows best.

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Staying in the Game Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, the goal is the same: to return to action as soon as possible after an injury or illness. That can take real discipline, whether you’re itching to face a visiting rival at Van Andel Arena or just looking forward to running around the block in your neighborhood. Either way, it can require some expert guidance from trained sports medicine professionals. The staff of Metro Health Sports Medicine is wellversed in the care of local athletes, from the professional ranks (Griffins and Whitecaps) to local colleges and high schools to recreational hobbyists. “Our goal is to get you back to doing what you want to do as quickly and safely as possible,” said Dr. Ed Kornoelje, D.O., who oversees an experienced group of physicians trained in the care of athletes and active individuals. Kornoelje has been working with the Griffins since the organization’s inaugural season, when he was still a resident. Along with the other physicians at Metro Health, he is responsible for caring for the needs of Griffins players and their families. That can mean everything from suturing cuts during a game to prescribing antibiotics or antihistamines for colds or the flu. Working closely with Griffins medical therapist Brad Shaw, the Metro Health team is responsible for managing the general health of each player. “A lot of what we do is the little, behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t hear about.” However, when an athlete is looking to attain peak performance, no injury is “little,” which means everything that Metro Health prescribes can have great importance. “If somebody walks into our office, we apply the same philosophy to all our patients,” Kornoelje said. “Nobody wants to sit around, waiting for something

Metro Health Sports Medicine physicians work with the Griffins and athletes of all types to help them get back in action without jeopardizing their future health. to heal. We will work with them to modify their exercise program or give them something they can still do.” Kornoelje admits that there’s a sense of urgency when a physician is working with a professional sports team, but that it is always wise to err on the side of caution. That’s true, whether it’s a member of the Griffins or a player on a Little League baseball team. It helps that years of experience has taught them the preferred course of care for concussions, ankle sprains, torn muscles and any number of other injuries that can occur over the course of a long season. But it’s not all about bumps and bruises. As primary care physicians, the Metro Health team is

concerned with the overall health of the entire Griffins organization, including family members. “When players are on the road and someone in their family has an issue, we’re here to provide the care that they need,” he said. “If the team is on an eight-day trip to Texas and a player’s wife is pregnant or one of his kids is sick, we’ll make sure that whatever needs to happen, happens.” Their private practice augments their work with the Griffins, giving them a unique insight that benefits not only their work with highly conditioned athletes but also the average exercise enthusiast. “We treat the amateur athlete the same way that we do the pros,” Kornoelje said. “Our goal is to safely help them stay active and performing at their peak abilities.” Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 45


The Griffins have more ways than ever to help you stay connected with your team, both during games and when you are away from Van Andel Arena. to Griff Text your song requests at 88188. Simply send a message reading: to “Griff (song title/artist)” best 88188 and we’ll do our to play your song during the game.

We want to see your photos from the game! Take pictures with your camera phone and send them to us at photos@griffinshockey.com. Then after s the game, check out rtag.mobi/griffin fans’ r othe from game the see to perspectives. You can also email us pictures from your digital cameras after the game. We’ll be awarding prizes for the best pictures, so snap away and send us your best.

46 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Check out our new blo g, Half Eagle, Half Lion, All Gri ffin, for a daily compilation of links to news, videos and features about the Griffins and our NHL alumni gathered from dozens of sources across the We b. Go to grgriffins.wordpress.co m.

Download the official Griffins iPhone and Android app, featuring schedule, roster, team and arena information and more. Visit: griffinshockey.com/app.

Let your friends know that you’re at the game and that they are missing out if they’re not here too – check in when you get here on Fours quare or Facebook. Check ou t our deal on Foursquare while you’re here.

Twitter, make sure For our fans who use tsGoGriffins #Le ag you use the hasht the games. Your m fro ing eet tw en wh ted onto an tweets will be projec the SE corner of exterior screen near using technology the Van Andel Arena uter Solutions. mp Co GR provided by

Most importantly, introduce yourself to your fellow fans sitting around you, have a good time, and cheer your hearts out for the Griffins!


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Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 47


(Through February 24, 2011)

GRIFFINS ALL-TIME LEADERS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

GAMES PLAYED Travis Richards...............655 Michel Picard .................364 Ryan Oulahen.................302 Jamie Tardif.....................294 Darryl Bootland .............293 Derek Meech ..................283 Matt Ellis .........................282 Dave Van Drunen ..........280 Derek King......................264 Evan McGrath ................262

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

GOALS Michel Picard .................158 Kip Miller..........................75 Derek King........................73 Jamie Tardif.......................72 Darryl Bootland ...............72 Matt Ellis ...........................69 Jiri Hudler .........................65 Tomas Kopecky ................63 Donald MacLean..............62 Slava Butsayev ..................61

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

ASSISTS Michel Picard .................222 Travis Richards...............182 Kip Miller........................133 Derek King......................130 Jiri Hudler .......................114 Glen Metropolit................88 Jeff Nelson .........................87 Matt Ellis ...........................84 Tomas Kopecky ................75 Ed Patterson......................75

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 (98)

JIMMY HOWARD (90)

48 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

MIKE FOUNTAIN (55)

MARC LAMOTHE (54)

DANIEL LARSSON (45)


000 , 1 o $ ENT t ly Up E Rons app

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Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 49


Play Safe Work Safe

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Prevent costly accidents and injuries and keep your employees in the game. Summit Training Source â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Making People Better Since 1981.

SAVOR... Savorâ&#x20AC;Ś Grand Rapids, the Food Service provider for the Van Andel Arena is teaming up with Fifth Third Bank in the operation of the Restaurant located on the lower level of the Arena. This new opportunity is for all patrons to enjoy the delicious food and atmosphere that the Fifth Third Bank Vault has to present. Please join us in celebrating this partnership by cutting out the coupon in this ad. Be sure to make your reservations in advance as space is limited. 50 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

www.safetyontheweb.com I 800.842.0466

INVITES YOU TO DINE IN AT VAN ANDEL ARENA

SAVOR... Coupon Valid for One Free Sandwich with Purchase of a Sandwich at equal or lesser value. Advance reservations required. Call 616.742.6231 or e-mail 53BankVault@smggr.com Expires 4/9/11 Must present original coupon to server at time of order Not valid for alcohol. Not valid with other coupons or offers.


PLAYOFF

PUSH

Photo: JustSports Photography

Ex-Griffins will help a number of teams in the drive for the Calder Cup. With less than 20 games to go in the 2010-2011 regular season, nearly all 30 AHL teams are jockeying for a position in the Calder Cup Playoffs. A total of 16 teams, eight from each conference, will make the playoffs, which begin in mid-April. While the Griffins are still fighting for a postseason berth, a number of AHL playoff teams are likely to feature players who have seen action in Grand Rapids. The fate of the Connecticut Whale, for example, could depend on the contributions of three former Griffins. Jeremy Williams and Kris Newbury, who both played in Grand Rapids last season, are the team’s leading scorers. Meanwhile, Todd White, who has appeared in more than 600 NHL games since his 2000-01 season with the Griffins, hopes to return soon from a concussion. Both the Chicago Wolves and Oklahoma City Barons are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West Division of the Western Conference, and both have a pair of players who spent time with the Griffins. Darren Haydar, who was the Griffins’ leading scorer during the 2008-09 season, is back in Chicago, where he helped the Wolves win the Calder Cup the year before coming to Grand Rapids. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who spent two seasons with the Griffins, is between the pipes as the Wolves’ top-ranked goalie. In Oklahoma City, Alexandre Giroux continues to be one of the AHL’s top snipers after tallying 60 and 50 goal seasons for the two-time defending Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears. Giroux played in Grand Rapids back in 2000-01 when the Griffins were still affiliated with the Ottawa Senators. The Barons boosted their playoff hopes with the midseason addition of defenseman Bryan Helmer, who played Alexandre Giroux in all 80 games for

the Griffins during both the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Helmer, who will turn 39 in July, was also a member of the Calder Cup champion Hershey teams, along with Giroux and current Griffins defenseman Greg Amadio. Oklahoma City is coached by Todd Nelson, the first player ever signed by the Griffins back in 1996. Nelson is one of several AHL coaches with Griffins experience who hope to inspire their teams to reach the Calder Cup Playoffs. Jared Bednar, who played in 74 games for the Griffins during the 1998-1999 season, is in his first year as head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. Others behind the bench include former Griffins head coach Bruce Cassidy, now an assistant coach with the Providence Bruins, and Derek King (four seasons in GR between 1999 and 2004), who is an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies. Other ex-Griffins include Adirondack defenseman Danny Syvret (2006-07), Binghamton Senators winger Ryan Keller (2005-07), Lake Erie Monsters center Patrick Rissmiller (2009-10), Portland Pirates center Matt Ellis (2003-07), Rochester Americans defenseman Clay Wilson (2005-06), Rochester center Mark Cullen (2007-08), Rockford IceHogs enforcer Wade Brookbank (200102) and San Antonio Rampage defenseman Garrett Stafford (2007-09). Mattias Ritola, who played three seasons in Grand Rapids before being picked up on waivers by Steve Yzerman’s Tampa Bay Lighting from the Red Wings last September, is hoping to help the Norfolk Admirals down the stretch. Ritola, who has appeared in 24 games with the Lightning this season, has fought a season-long battle with Meneiere's disease, which causes headaches, dizziness and ringing in his right ear. The condition, which sometimes strikes without warning, makes it difficult to get him in the lineup. Ritola cleared waivers to play for Norfolk on Feb. 9 and recorded four assists in his first three games with the Admirals.

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 51


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Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 53


C O M M U N I T Y

C R E A S E

Assisting West Michigan While the Griffins generate well over $300,000 for various charities, schools and groups each season, our players, staff and mascots also make hundreds of appearances at public and private events that benefit an array of worthwhile causes. The Griffins are committed to enhancing our community, and we thank all the fans, businesses and organizations that help make West Michigan a great place to live.

ArtPrize

Griffins Youth Founda tion Golf Classic

Grand Cycling Classic

ary

Great Skate Winterfest

Grand Rapids Jaycees Christmas Shopping

Playhouse Dedication at Ronald McDonald Hou se

54 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Harrison Park Element Holiday Party

July 4 Parades

Special Olympics Polar

Hospital Visits

Lids at the Library

Plunge

Griffins vs. Sled Wings

Game


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Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 55


JOIN THE

GRIFFINS KIDS CLUB!

Membership for kids 12 and under includes: • Official Kids Club t-shirt • Free ticket to a Griffins game • Members-only Kids Club parties • Monthly newsletters and contests • And more!

For more information, visit the Griffins Kids Club Booth located at the top of the stairs near section 101, go to griffinshockey.com, or call (616) 774-4585 ext. 3038.

GET ALL THE SPORTS, ALL THE TIME.

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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

GP 82 82 82 82 82 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80

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

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

T 11 8 8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

OTL 4 0 2 0 2 1 6 2 6 3

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

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

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

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

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

G R I F F I N S A L L - S TA R S 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

2005 All-Star Joey MacDonald Photo by: Jim McIsaac

2008 All-Star Jimmy Howard Photo by: JustSports Photograph y

58 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


SEASON LEADERS

(* = Led League)

SCORING 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 GOALS 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

. . . . . Michel Picard.......................................46 . . . . . Michel Picard.......................................28 . . . . . Glen Metropolit ...................................28 . . . . . Michel Picard.......................................33 . . . . . Slava Butsayev ....................................33 . . . . . Petr Schastlivy ....................................22 . . . . . Mark Mowers.......................................34 . . . . . Kevin Miller.........................................27 . . . . . Eric Manlow.........................................21 . . . . . Donald MacLean.................................56* . . . . . Matt Ellis ............................................26 . . . . . Carl Corazzini.......................................24 . . . . . Darren Haydar .....................................31 . . . . . Jeremy Williams ..................................32

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 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)

2008 All-Star Jonathan Ericsson Photo by: JustSports Photograph y

2004 All-Star Jiri Hudler Photo by: BBS Dave Kaye

2005 All-Star Niklas Kronwall Photo by: Jim McIsaac

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 59


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s u o i c i l . e . . s n o i 3D t p O WA AT T E R M A R K P R O P E RT I E S P R E S E N T S

Watermark Properties provides three delicious dining options in the Grand Rapids area. Relax in a casual bistro-style restaurant, bar or dine outside on one of our patios ™Š‹Ž‡‡Œ‘›‹‰ƒơ‘”†ƒ„Ž‡ǡˆ”‡•Šǡƒ™ƒ”†Ǧ™‹‹‰…—‹•‹‡Ǥ‹‡™‹–Šˆƒ‹Ž›‘”ˆ”‹‡†•  and take in the beautiful golf course views.

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5500 C ascade Rd., Grand Graan d Rapids, MI M I 49546 Cascade

616.656.9898 61 6.656.9898 | www.ston www.stonewatercc.com ewaterccc.co m

616.457.1100 61 6.457.1100 | www.sun www.sunnybrookcc.com n yb brookcc.com

616.949.0570 61 6.949.0570 | www www.watermarkcc.com w.watermarkcc.com

OPEN T TO O THE PUBLIC! P UBLIC!


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TICKETS VIP Glass

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Located at West Michigan Meijer stores, www.startickets.com or 616.222.4000 THE ZONE Located on the West side of Van Andel Arena ONLINE grifďŹ nshockey.com Seats may not be available in all price categories. For season, game-plan and group ticket information, call 616.774.4585 or 1.800.2.HOCKEY.

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Wilkes-Barre W Wilkesilke ke ess-B -B Barre Rockford Roc Ro ock ck kffo ford rd Cleveland Cle C le leve evela eland and Hershey Her He ershey er hey Peoria P eoria e or i a

Chicago Chi cago W o olves Wolves Ch harlotte Charlotte

Oklahoma Ok klaho oma City Cit ity ty

Peoria Rivermen Lake Erie Monsters Ceda dar Park P Pa ark a rk Cedar

San S an a n Antonio Ant nto to onio io

Charlott harlott arlottte Charlotte Checker k rs Checkers Bridgeport Sound TTigers igers Oklahoma City Barons

64 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

San Antonio Rampage

TTexas exas Stars

Houston Aeros


Keep your team healthy. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we believe that being physically active and eating right are vital to a long, healthy life — especially for your family. It’s why we fund programs that encourage families and educate kids to eat right, stay fit and make smart decisions about health. It’s also why we created an online community devoted to a healthier future for Michigan. Because good health isn’t just about your personal health, it’s about the health of your community, your business and even Michigan’s health care system. To join the conversation, just go to aHealthierMichigan.org.

Leading Michigan to a healthier future.

SM


IT ALL STARTS HERE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Matt Ellis

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Kevyn Adams

18 19 20

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

21 Petr Schastlivy 1/3/00 OTT vs. NJ 22 John Emmons 1/6/00 OTT vs. PHX 23 Slava Butsayev 1/28/00 OTT at BUF 24 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

68 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS

Kyle Quincey

Mark Eaton

Jimmy


Since their inception in 1996, the Griffins have sent 116 players on to the National Hockey League, 13 of whom have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. In fact, a Griffins alumnus has had his name engraved on the Cup each of the last three years and in five of the last six seasons. Last June, Chicago's Tomas Kopecky became the first former Griffin to win his second Stanley Cup. In chronological order, here are the 16 goalies and 100 skaters who have donned an NHL sweater after playing for Grand Rapids, along with the dates of their NHL debuts/returns. 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 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 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 115 Cory Emmerton 1/22/11 DET vs. CHI 116 Patrick Rissmiller 2/23/11 ATL at BUF Bold = Has played in the NHL this season (as of Feb. 23)

Ville Leino

all Niklas Kronw

Italics = Had name engraved on the Stanley Cup after playing for Grand Rapids

All photos by Getty Images except Niklas Kronwall (Dave Reginek).

Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 69

Howard

Tomas Kopeck

y

Chris Neil


Whether the Griffins are at Van Andel Arena or on the road, The New ESPN 96.1 FM will bring it home, live with Bob Kaser Brought to you by the new home for Griffins Hockey:

*XHVW6XLWHV


KIDS PAGE In one of Griffins team photographer Mark Newmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best photos from the 2010-11 season, Grand Rapids defensemen Doug Janik (L) and Greg Amadio celebrate a goal by Francis Pare on Nov. 26 against Rockford. Grab your markers, crayons or paints and add some color to this vibrant moment!

Join the Griffins Kids Club!

Turn to page 56 for membership information. Grand Rapids GRIFFINS 71


Joey MacDonald makes an impressive save on Jan. 22, 2011, his last start in Grand Rapids before an extended recall to the Red Wings to replace the injured Chris Osgood. MacDonald, who had regained the No. 1 spot on the Griffinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; all-time goaltending victories list over Jimmy Howard one month earlier, will look to pad his lead during the closing weeks of the 2010-11 season. Photo by Mark Newman 72 Grand Rapids GRIFFINS


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2010-11 Griffiti - Issue #4