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V.23 : I.20 | JULY 22, 2013






THIS BELONGS TO THE CITY FOREVER Griffins capture first pro hockey title for Grand Rapids






JULY 22, 2013 VOLUME 23: ISSUE 20 6 THE LOCKER ROOM Talking hockey on social media

8 SLIDESHOW The second annual CCM Skills Camp at Compuware

10 GET BETTER A transition-skating drill for your next practice


Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul


Select teams announced for international tournaments


Shanahan, Chelios selected for Hall

21 RED WINGS DEVELOPMENT CAMP Checking in with Jared Coreau


Luke Glendening talks about his wild 2012-13 season


Another group of Michigan products drafted by NHL clubs




Vanbiesbrouck named new GM, Nill added to coaching staff

Another group of Michigan products hear their names called in New Jersey

28 PLYMOUTH WHALERS Ryan Hartman drafted by hometown Blackhawks

30 GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS The Calder Cup champs bring a title to Grand Rapids

32 RED WINGS INSIDER Wings load up during offseason, and they’re not done yet

34 LAST LINE Darren Eliot says the Red Wings made the right call in signing Jimmy Howard



Ryan Hartman becomes Plymouth’s latest first-round pick





Griffins claim first pro hockey title for Grand Rapids

Darren Eliot says the Red Wings made the right call in signing Jimmy Howard long-term


July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20



Michael Peck

DESIGN Emily Huston Chuck Stevens CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Darren Eliot Pat Evans Stefan Kubus Kyle Kujawa Matt Mackinder Dave Waddell ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTORS Amy Jones Anne Ellis



MICHIGAN HOCKEY is published by SUBURBAN SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 483352829.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MICHIGAN HOCKEY®, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. ©2011 by Suburban Sports Communications. All Rights Reserved. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of MICHIGAN HOCKEY or its advertisers. All editorial copy, photographs and advertising materials remain the property of MICHIGAN HOCKEY.

MICHIGAN HOCKEY 23995 Freeway Park Drive•Suite 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829 (248) 478-2500 • FAX: (248) 478-1601 E-MAIL: WEBSITE:

PHOTOS AT LEFT: Tyler Motte (Mark Burns/ MiHockey), Ryan Hartman (photo courtesy of OHL Images), Grand Rapids Griffins (photo by Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins)

CHANGE IS COMING Summer doesn’t really mean that hockey is over; it just means it’s time to prepare for the next season. For players, that means training and skill development. For us, it means finding new ways to cover the hockey you care about. Starting in August, we will be introducing a brandnew digital platform for MiHockeyMag. Don’t worry, it will still be available in your local rink, just with a fresh new look. What we’re really excited about, however, is what we can do with the magazine digitally. The new MiHockeyMag digital edition will feature photo galleries, videos, slideshows, clickable content and more. Plus, the new mag will be visible across all your tech devices – desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets and anything else that’s been released since we sent this issue to the printers. Between the new digital edition, our ever-growing website ( and our increased focus on social media, we’re ready for the 201314 season. After all, it’s going to be a wild one for our state, with lots of outdoor activities. We also have big announcements in terms of content coming your way shortly, as well. I can’t say much yet, but high school hockey comes to mind. Oh yes, and we will also be opening our doors

for more writers, photographers, videographers, and hockey enthusiasts in general. If you, or someone you know, has any interest in writing about hockey, shooting hockey, or even just following hockey a little bit closer, send me an email (I think my contact info is somewhere on this page). I hope you enjoy this issue of MiHockeyMag – there were plenty of things to cram into the next 31 pages. The MiHockey team especially enjoyed the NHL Draft once again; we take great pride in seeing another batch of talented youngsters represent our youth hockey programs on an international stage. Michael McCarron may be a member of the Montreal Canadiens now, and Michael Downing may be a member of the Florida Panthers. But to us, they will be Michigan natives who took advantage of all the resources we have to become tremendous athletes. Congrats to all the players that were drafted. Congrats to all the players who were invited to NHL development camps. And congrats to all the kids who have decided that they don’t want to sit on the couch all summer, and instead have worked to improve their game. And remember, if you’re getting sick of the heat, an ice rink is a great place to cool off. See you around the rink,

COVER: Photo by Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins, design by Chuck Stevens/MiHockey

Cover reprints available e-mail:

July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20


TO ADVERTISE IN MIHOCKEY PLEASE CONTACT: Lucia Zuzga at (248) 479-1134 or, Michael Peck at (248) 479-1146 or








MiHockey and CCM have teamed up to give away their new RBZ Stage 2 stick. Check out or find us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how you can win a new twig before your season starts. It’s all part of CCM’s #FreakishlyFit July, as the hockey company releases the new RBZ Stage 2 stick and RBZ skates. Try on a pair of the RBZ skates at Perani’s Hockey World or Total Hockey and you can win more free stuff, too. Visit for more details.

It might be summer, but hockey never stops. Keep sending us your youth hockey pictures!

Check out more on Luke Glendening’s remarkable 2012-13 season – one that landed him a contract with the Detroit Red Wings – on Page 22.

Hockey fans who like classic video games should be excited for the NHL ’14 playing style that takes you back to the NHL ’94 days. We also like how they’re using Michigan native Matt Greene and Michigan resident Pavel Datsyuk on a lot of the promotional images, like the one above.

For the first time since his USHL days, Marysville native Chad Billins won’t be calling Michigan home. Congrats to the former Ferris State Bulldogs and Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman for signing with the Calgary Flames – we wish him the best of luck next season. We loved this candid shot of Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening and Chad Billins from the night the Griffins won the Calder Cup.



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Photos by MiHockey’s Michael Caples



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Our “Buy One-Get One Free” Tournament offer for the 2012-2013 season was an overwhelming success with over 300 teams taking advantage of our “Let’s Play 2” program. By popular demand we are once again offering “Buy One-Get One Free” Tournament promotion for the 2013-2014 season!

LIMITED TIME OFFER! Travel Teams must register by September 16, 2013 & House Teams by October 16, 2013.

TOURNAMENT LOCATIONS Tournaments run September 2013-2014

Chi-Town Cup


Chicago, IL

Rock-n-Roll Cup Cleveland, OH


Motown Cup Detroit, MI


Three Rivers Cup Pittsburgh, PA


South Bend Irish Cup South Bend, IN


Steelyard Outdoor Classic Pittsburgh, PA


Buckeye Classic Columbus, OH

To view all of the 13-14 season’s events and/or to register, visit: Tournament Hotline:




DRILL OBJECTIVE: PIVOT TURNS This is one of our drills featured in our Summer Skills Series. Excellent for defensemen, but important for forwards, too! KEY ELEMENTS: • Proper knee bend • Balance through turn

Players skate forward to the first pylon/glove and pivot backwards - skating backwards to the next pylon/glove and pivoting forward to the finish. Do drill in both directions.

• Push through to full extension

VARIATION: Use step out pivot turn, add pucks

• Use Crossunders

GOALIE: Working on skating skills

ORGANIZATION: Place cones or gloves as indicated in the diagram - staggered.

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you should know FAVORITE SPORTING EVENT: TO PLAY: Beach Volleyball TO WATCH: The Olympics


Kenny Chesney in Pittsburgh


How I Met Your Mother




NICKNAME: Sproully





Ryan Sproul

Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul may not be from Michigan, but the odds are pretty good that

he will be staying here for a while. The Red Wings’ second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft has been turning heads in the Ontario Hockey League, and


his next stop on the hockey trail should be Grand Rapids. Sproul was named


defenseman of the year by both the OHL and the Canadian Hockey League

My Phone


after posting 66 points in 50 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds last season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound defenseman can certainly move the puck, and the Wings are excited to have him in their development system.

My parents

Photos courtesy of: (Olympic Rings) (Kenny Chesney), (How I Met Your Mother), (Fired Up), (Luke Bryan)



July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20

Greater East Vice President Brandon Spedowski 989-486-1511 (h) 231-250-7031 (c) email:

Girls House Vice President Dina Howe 989-429-2653 (c) 989-435-7080 (w) email:

Metro Vice President Bobby Mitchell 248-302-0913 email:

Greater West Vice President Kevin Wood 616-560-6503 email:

Treasurer/League Development Joe Spedowski 231-796-2565 email: President Jeff Spedowski 231-796-0728 (h) 231-629-0435 (c) email:

Database Specialist/Secretary Steve Miller 616-250-1458 email:



Serv-Ice Refrigeration has constructed numerous rinks nationwide with over 25 years experience.

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July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20










Four Michigan players were selected to represent Team USA at the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, held Aug. 14-18 in Trnava, Slovakia. The 20-player roster was selected from players who participated in the USA Hockey Boys’ Select 16 Player Development Camp, which took place at the Northtown Center at Amherst in Williamsville, N.Y. MICHIGAN’S REPRESENTATIVES ON THE ROSTER ARE AS FOLLOWS: Name – Hometown – Most Recent Team AUSTIN ALGER – Livonia - Cranbrook BRENT GATES – Grand Rapids - Compuware SAM MILETIC – Bloomfield Hills - Cranbrook ZACH OSBURN (Below) – Plymouth - Honeybaked


BY MICHAEL CAPLES During a press conference to announce their Olympic team head coach, USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio said that the governing body for hockey in our country expects nothing but the best in Sochi. “Hockey in our country has come to the point where winning the gold medal is not a miracle, it’s an expectation.” The man in charge of guiding the team towards that potential gold medal is Grand Haven native Dan Bylsma. The head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins was officially announced as head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team on June 29 in a press conference held in New York. “I’m excited beyond what words can properly describe,” Bylsma said. “It is an unbelievable honor to be selected

to represent our country as the coach of the Olympic men’s hockey team. Together with our coaching staff and management group, I will do everything I can to prepare our team to be in a position to win gold in Sochi.” Bylsma, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, grew up in Michigan before a hockey career – both playing and coaching – took him across North America. The Grand Haven native played four seasons for legendary college hockey coach Jerry York at Bowling Green from 1988-92 before moving on to the professional ranks. “In Dan, we’ve chosen someone that has had terrific success and relates well to players,” said USA Hockey Olympic team GM and Nashville Predators GM David Poile. “We’re extremely pleased and I know that our entire management group looks forward to working with him and his staff.”

FOUR MICHIGAN NATIVES MAKE U.S. UNDER-18 SELECT TEAM FOR IVAN HLINKA TOURNAMENT Twenty-one players who participated at the USA Hockey Boys’ Select 17 Player Development Camp have been chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. Four Michigan natives and two goaltenders currently calling the Mitten home ended up making the squad that will soon travel to the Czech Republic and Slovakia to compete in the annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The tournament – which Team USA last won in 2003 – begins on Aug. 3.



MICHIGAN NATIVES Name: Position – Hometown – Most Recent Team AARON HAYDON – Defense – Plymouth – Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) RYAN MANTHA – Defense – Clarkston Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) KYLE CONNOR – Forward – Shelby Township - Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) CODY MILAN – Forward – White Lake Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) MICHIGAN CONNECTIONS ALEX NEDELJKOVIC – Goaltender – Parma, Ohio – Plymouth Whalers (OHL) BLAKE WEYRICK – Goaltender – Ojai, Calif. – NTDP (USHL)

Holland, MI Chicago, IL Fort Wayne, IN Pittsburgh, PA Charlotte, NC Washington, DC Rochester, NY Philadelphia, PA Nashville, TN


July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20




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SEPTEMBER 2013 2013 Hockeytown Fall Challenge hosted by Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club Suburban Detroit, MI September 13-15, 2013 2004- 1999 AAA age groups All games are 15-1515 periods with the Championship team for each age group earning a game at Comerica prior to the Winter Classic Alumni games. For more info please go to Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI September 27-29, 2013 Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam; AA and A / Midget Minor & High School JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI September 27-29, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 OCTOBER 2013 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 11-13, 2013 Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam; AA and A // Midget Major & High School Varsity Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI October 11-13, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567

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Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI October 25-27, 2013 Squirt A, B and House, Pee Wee AA, Bantam A, B and House, Midget Minor/HS JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI October 25-27, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 NOVEMBER 2013 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 1-3, 2013 Squirt AA, Pee Wee A, B and House, Bantam AA, Midget B and House Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 8-10, 2013 Squirt A, B and House, Pee Wee AA, Bantam A, B and House, Midget Major/HS Varsity Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI November 8-10, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 Motown Cup Tournament Series Brighton/Novi, MI

November 29 – December 1, 2013 Thanksgiving Tournament Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 DECEMBER 2013 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI December 6-8, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI December 13-15, 2013 Squirt through Midget; House, B, A and AA; High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Hockey Time’s Holiday Extravaganza Detroit, MI December 29-31, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 JANUARY 2014 Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI January 17-20, 2014 Martin Luther King Weekend Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567


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216-325-0567 Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA September 27-29, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 OCTOBER 2013 Empire State Tournament Series: Rochester Fall Classic Rochester, NY October 4-6, 2013 Squirt through Midget: B, A, AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Liberty Cup Tournament Series: Philadelphia Early Season Challenge Philadelphia, PA October 4-6, 2013 Squirt through Midget: B, A, AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 South Bend Cup Tournament Series South Bend, IN October 4-6, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 Rock ‘N Roll Cup Tournament Series Cleveland, OH October 11-13, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567

Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA October 11-13, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 Buckeye Classic Tournament Series Columbus, OH October 11-13, 2013 Mite through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Hockey Time Productions 216-325-0567 The Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Columbus Day Clash Pittsburgh, PA October 12-14, 2013 Squirt through Midget: B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 Hoosier Cup Tournament Series: Fort Wayne Fall Classic Fort Wayne, IN October 18-20, 2013 Squirt through Midget: House, B, A and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040


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It took a year longer than it maybe should have, but Brendan Shanahan is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee announced today that the former Red Wings star – currently NHL’s vice president of hockey and business development and director of player safety – will be one of three NHL alums to be inducted as the class of 2013. Shanahan joins Scott Neidermayer and former Red Wings teammate Chris Chelios as the latest class of NHLers to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The trio will be joined by women’s hockey star Geraldine Heaney and former Flyers GM Ray Shero during an official induction ceremony in November. I’ve always been fortunate to have great teammates and coaches throughout my career,” said Shanahan in a prepared statement. “At every level I have tried to learn and my key to success was having people around me that helped me improve

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my game.” Shanahan, a Mimico, Ontario native, was the definition of ‘power forward’ in his NHL career. The former member of the Devils, Blues, Whalers, Red Wings and Rangers scored 656 goals and 698 assists in 1,524 NHL games, while adding in 2,489 penalty minutes along the way. The No. 2 overall pick in the 1987 NHL Draft won three Stanley Cups during his 21-year professional career (all with Detroit), and he played in eight NHL AllStar Games. Shanahan was traded to the Red Wings in 1996 – Detroit sent Paul Coffey, Keith Primeau and a first-round pick to Hartford in exchange for the future hall-of-famer and Brian Glynn. Shanahan is considered by many to be the final piece needed for the Red Wings to end a 42-year Stanley Cup drought, playing an important part in the team’s 1997 and 1998 championship seasons. BY MICHAEL CAPLES


In 2011, it was the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame calling the name of former Red Wings star Chris Chelios. In 2013, it is a hall without a country’s name in front of it. The Hockey Hall of Fame announced their Class of 2013 members July 9, and Chelios was the first inductee. The Chicago native and Michigan hockey dad joins Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Geraldine Heaney and Fred Shero as the latest group to receive one of hockey’s highest honors. Chelios, now 51 years old, retired three years ago, bringing to a close a historic and certainly lengthy NHL career. In his 26 professional seasons, Chelios played in 1,651 games – more than any other defenseman in league history. The firstballot hall-of-famer was the oldest firsttime candidate ever considered by the selection committee. He compiled the NHL record for games played on the blue line while skating with

the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings and the Atlanta Thrashers. Throughout that career, Chelios collected three Stanley Cup rings, three Norris Trophies, an Olympic silver medal and a NCAA national championship. The Chicago native recorded 948 points during his NHL career, which helped him appear in 11 different NHL All-Star Games. The trade also brought the rest of the Chelios bunch to Michigan’s hockey scene – Chris’ two sons, Dean and Jake, both play for Michigan State, while daughters Caley and Tara have been stand-outs for the Cranbrook-Kingswood girls’ team. Chelios currently works as an advisor to hockey operations for the Red Wings. The hall-of-famer works with both the coaching staffs in Detroit and Grand Rapids and serves as a mentor for the organization’s prospects and young players.




DEVELOPMENT CAMP Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey


CHECKING IN with JARED COREAU at the RED WINGS’ DEVELOPMENT CAMP TRAVERSE CITY - Goaltender Jared Coreau has spent the past three seasons playing in Michigan, and it looks like it will stay that way for at least another three years. The former Northern Michigan Wildcat signed a threeyear entry level contract with the Detroit Red Wings back in April and is now in Traverse City for the team’s annual development camp. Despite still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, the 6-foot-5 goalie made the trip to Traverse City and is participating in limited on-ice drills as well as office workouts with the coaching staff and trainer Piet van Zant. “When I drove in I felt a little bit at home,” Coreau said. “It’s similar to Marquette in terms of being on the water and everything.” Coreau decided to forgo his senior season at Northern Michigan after posting a 2.70 goals-against average along with a .919 save percentage in 38 games played this past year. He ended up choosing the Red Wings over several other NHL teams. The netminder said that the past couple of months have been like any other he’s experienced. “It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “It’s always Red Wings everywhere, all through Michigan. It’s a top-notch organization.” The transition from college to the pros hasn’t been too difficult for Coreau. “Not a terrible amount has changed in terms of what I do,” he said. “I’ve tried to live professionally the past four or five years but the people around you - instead of teammates saying ‘let’s go drink tonight’ it’s ‘let’s go workout,’ do something that’s going to get us better.» His growing relationships with Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard and former Red Wing goalie Chris Osgood have helped him justify his choice in signing with Detroit. “Jim and Chris are really good guys,” Coreau said. “They’re people too, they’re not just coaches. They joke around. They are really good guys.” Although he can only practice in a limited role this week, he still has some goals he’d like to accomplish in his return to the northern Michigan area. “This week I’m just trying to work hard, show what I can do, and meet new guys,” he said. “Coming up to the season just to compete for a job, I know I’m not going to step in and be given anything.” NICK BARNOWSKI

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TRAVERSE CITY - Aside from the news about forward Darren Helm’s recovery, the defensemen within the Detroit Red Wings’ system shared some of the spotlight on the first day of the organization’s annual summer development camp. Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen, and Alexei Marchenko, among others, impressed after taking to the ice for the first time at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. The young defense group has Jiri Fischer, the team’s director of player development, encouraged for the future. “Time will tell, but it’s pretty exciting,” Fischer said. “I’m really excited that they all want to learn.” Leading the way is Sproul, who was named the top defenseman in the CHL this past season. The 6-4, 200 pound blueliner is expected to make the jump to the pros by joining the Grand Rapids Griffins this upcoming year. “I have no big expectations,” Sproul, who played two games with the Griffins after his OHL season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds ended, said. “I just want to come in and do my thing and help out as much as I can. Being a pro I know is not going to be easy but I’m definitely looking forward to it.” Sproul had 66 points in 50 games with the Greyhounds, and while the junior accolades have started to pile up, he realizes that it won’t be as easy as walking onto the team. “You’re still fighting for a spot,” he said. “Coming in with 10 guys all battling for a couple spots, it’s my goal over the summer to keep those guys out.” Joining him in that battle will be Ouellet, who will also be turning pro after three seasons in the QMJHL. “I know there’s going to be a big step for sure, and I”ll do my best to get ready for that step,” Ouellet said. The 6-foot, 187 pound defenseman noted that he will draw upon his two-week experience as a Griffin last season when making the transition to the pros. While he did not see action in a game, he was able to practice with the team, which was helpful. “I practiced with the team for a couple weeks and it was a really good learning process for me,” Ouellet, who played in six games for Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship, said. Ouellet praised the staff the Red Wings have brought in for the six-day camp, which includes Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios and Fischer, who was a former Detroit defenseman. “The staff is really good,” he said. “You have good coaches and really good strength coaches. It’s just a learning experience and it’s nice every year.” Jensen, who fought with this year’s second-round draft pick Tyler Bertuzzi at practice today, drew praise from Chelios.

“Jensen’s a really good skater, a skilled player,” said Chelios, who works actively with both the Red Wings and Griffins during the season. Like with Sproul and Ouellet, Jensen will also be turning pro, and at the age of 22, will carry three years of NCAA hockey experience with St. Cloud State with him to the pros. He was named WCHA defenseman of the year and a first-team All American while putting up 31 points en route to St. Cloud State’s first ever Frozen Four appearance. His style of play fits the way the Red Wings like to play the game. When discussing Marchenko, Fischer commented on the differences the CSKA Moscow (KHL) defenseman will have to adjust to when making the jump to North America. “Playing on big ice will be different from playing on small ice,” Fischer said. “For defensemen, coming to small ice and all of the sudden being forechecked a lot harder, having a lot less time on the breakouts because there is always somebody coming, it’s a little more hectic under pressure than it is in Europe.” Chelios spoke highly of Marchenko. “Just watching him last year, he plays like a man,” he said. “He really engages and asks a lot of questions which is a good thing.” The club also has blueliners James de Haas, Richard Nedmolel, Marc McNulty, and Mitchell Wheaton in the system. Despite the number of talented defensemen, Fischer said that each player will get their shot to make an impression. “Time will tell, everybody’s got their fair shot at making the team in training camp, so let the best guy win,” he said. Ouellet knows that it won’t be easy but in the end, the chase for roster spots will end up making everyone better. “It’s a big challenge for me, like everyone, and we’re all fighting for a spot,” Ouellet said. “There’s a lot of competition and this is a good thing for all of us. It pushes us to the limit, everyone of us, and it’s going to get the best of all of us.”




LUKE GLENDENING TALKS ABOUT HIS WHIRLWIND 2012-13 SEASON BY NICK BARNOWSKI TRAVERSE CITY - Luke Glendening has had quite the year. After signing with the Grand Rapids Griffins in June of 2012, Glendening started this past season in Toledo, where he put up 21 points in 27 games with the Walleye, earning a call up to the AHL. In Grand Rapids, he excelled, with 26 points in 51 games, and helped lead the Griffins to a Calder Cup championship. Now, the journey continues for the former high school hockey star and Michigan Wolverines captain, as he is participating in Detroit’s annual summer development camp in Traverse City for the second year in a row after signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Wings on July 5.

“It’s good to be back here,” he said. “It’s exciting, a lot of new faces, a lot of good players up here, it’s good to get back on the ice.” Glendening said that he didn’t know what to expect as far as how quickly his professional career would progress. “I started my year off in Toledo and it was great for my development in terms of just being around the game, learning how to be a pro,” he said. “I got called up to Grand Rapids and had an opportunity to play there and it was exciting for my team, it was a unique opportunity that we had there and that’s something we’ll be able to share with each other forever.” After being called up by the Griffins about midway through the season, Glendening was moved to center,

which he said helped him offensively. “Obviously I played with some pretty good players this year as well and they put the puck in the net,” he said. “But I moved into the middle, and it’s giving me more of an opportunity to move the puck.” His point total, two-way game, and leadership drew praise from Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. Babcock told MLive in June that “[he] jumps right at me for sure. He does everything right, he competes real hard and he will challenge for a job in the National Hockey League in not too long.” Although Babcock’s comments were welcomed by Glendening, he knows that words don’t always equal success. “It’s a huge compliment from him but there’s a lot of work to be done. Just because he said that doesn’t mean I have a spot. There’s a lot of work to be done still.” The Grand Rapids native said that he doesn’t really feel much pressure from being a local kid who’s spent his whole career playing for the local teams. “I’m just excited for the opportunity, to try and cherish it,” he said. “You can put all the pressure on yourself in the world if you want but at the end of the day it’s the same game I’ve been playing since I was a kid and I’m just trying to enjoy every day.” Despite his success, Glendening realizes that it won’t all be easy. “It’s exciting to be a part of this organization, especially to be affiliated with the Red Wings for another year,” he said. “It’s exciting but there’s a lot of work to be done.”



SUMMER SKILL SERIES 108&34,"5*/(r4)005*/(r"(*-*5:4,"5*/(r16$,)"/%-*/( 4."--"3&"(".&4r0/&)063$-"44&40/'3*%":0/-:

SUMMER 2013 248-478-1600




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2013 NHL


MANTHA READY TO PROVE THE WINGS MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE AT NO. 20 Despite being the only 50-goal scorer in the QMJHL last season, there were still some doubts surrounding Anthony Mantha’s game when the Red Wings selected him 20th overall in the NHL Draft. Mantha, a forward from Longueuil, Quebec, is determined to prove his critics wrong, however. “I’ll show the Red Wings that they picked the right guy,” Mantha said during his media interviews following his selection. NHL Central Scouting rated Mantha the No. 10 North American-born skater in both their midterm and final projections. He recorded 50 goals and 39 assists in 67 QMJHL contests. The Red Wings traded their original No. 18 pick down for the No. 20 and No. 58 picks before selecting Mantha. “It’s a great feeling,” Mantha said. “The pressure all comes down. Just living the moment right now, it’s great.” Mantha confessed that he was a Canadiens fan growing up. “I come from Montreal so I always followed Montreal

more than Detroit, but it’s a great honor to be part of Detroit,” their latest first-round pick said. However, Mantha is familiar with the Original Six team out of Detroit. His grandfather, Andre Pronovost, captured four Stanley Cups during his NHL career, and skated for the Red Wings for parts of three seasons. “It’s really an honor,” Mantha said of being drafted by one of his grandfather’s former teams. “Words really can’t come, but it’s just being there and showing them what I’m able to do. It’s just something that’s great for me.” The 6-foot-4, 190-pound forward credits his grandfather and his father most for his development on the ice. “Well every member of my family helped me,” Mantha said. “If I could say a little bit more, my father and my grandfather. They were always on the ice when I was younger with me, they just helped me out the whole way.” The skill set cultivated by his family is high-end on the offensive side of the game; Mantha said his greatest strengths are his ability to find the back of the net and his play with the man-advantage.

The main thing Mantha said he needs to improve on is how hard he competes on a nightly basis. “It’s really to bring my compete level to every game,” Mantha said. “That’s what I’ve been working on the last year. I think that next year is going to be top-notch, I need to be able to bring it there, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be ready next year.” Mantha said he tries to pattern his game off of Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. “He’s a tall and big guy, good offensively or defensively,” Mantha said.


CANTON’S DOWNING SELECTED BY PANTHERS Canton native Michael Downing has been to Florida once in his life. He’s certainly going to get more familiar with the Sunshine State now. The University of Michigan commit was selected by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round of the NHL Draft in New Jersey late Sunday evening. While it was later than he was supposed to hear his name called, Downing had no complaints. “I’ve been to Florida once, I was in a tournament – maybe 13 years old – but yeah, I was shocked,” said Downing, a defenseman. “So much stuff, so much pressure on you, you just want to hear your name called. I didn’t talk to Florida much while I was here, but I was shocked, and I’m happy.” Downing concluded his second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints this spring when the club captured the USHL league championship. The Canton native, listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, recorded three goals and 20 assists in the time frame, along with 107

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penalty minutes. Before joining the USHL, Downing was a stand-out defenseman for Detroit Catholic Central. He played youth hockey for Honeybaked, Belle Tire, and Victory Honda. His next stop will be the University of Michigan; Downing is part of an impressive 2013 recruiting class that will make the losses of Jon Merrill and Jacob Trouba just a little bit more bearable for the folks in Ann Arbor. Downing said he can’t wait to start skating for Red Berenson and the Michigan hockey program. “I’m really excited, I’ve been waiting for it for a while, and I’ve always wanted to play there. He’s a living legend, so it will be good.” He is also excited to be part of the inaugural Big Ten hockey season. The Wolverines, along with in-state rival Michigan State, will begin competing in the new conference in November. “That will be a lot of fun, to be on the Big Ten Network and all that, I think it will be great.” BY MICHAEL CAPLES




WOLVERINES’ COPP DRAFTED BY THE JETS When the puck drops to open the Michigan Wolverines’ season next fall, it will be the first time in a decade that Andrew Copp and Jacob Trouba won’t be taking the ice together as teammates. Yet somewhere down the road, they might just be reunited in the NHL. Copp, an Ann Arbor native and former teammate of Trouba’s at Compuware and the National Team Development Program, was selected by the Winnipeg Jets at the 2013 NHL Draft – a year after Trouba was picked ninth overall by the same team. “I’ve been playing with Jake since I was 10 or 11 years old so it’s pretty cool,” Copp said to the media Sunday evening after being selected 104th overall by the Jets. “He’s been texting me up in the stands, waiting for me to get picked by Winnipeg and fortunately it happened.” For Copp, hearing his name called was a moment that had to be put on hold for a year, after he went undrafted in 2012. Being selected by the Jets during the 2013 Draft made everything better for Skyline High School alum, however. “It means a lot, it’s just one step towards the ultimate goal, obviously, but it’s a nice feeling to be wanted and especially in the second year, just [for them] to notice you’re improving.” Being selected by a NHL club at the draft means

fielding questions about your playing style by journalists unfamiliar with your body of work; the sophomore forward described himself as being responsible at both ends of the ice to the Winnipeg media members in attendance. “Just a two-way centerman,” Copp said. “I think I can play in any situation, PK, power play, end of the game on a six-on-five I can be out there, trying to score the gamewinning goal or when we need to stop them from getting a goal, so, just a complete type of player.” He also acknowledged that despite his strong freshman season in Ann Arbor, he has plenty of work to do. Copp had 11 goals and 10 assists as a rookie with the Wolverines while he slowly worked his way up Red Berenson’s depth chart, finishing the season on the first line. “I need to get a little quicker and faster and I obviously need to get stronger, better hands,” Copp said. “You can never get enough of any one thing. Obviously, I want to start concentrating on finishing my career at the University of Michigan and see what happens from there.” The new member of the Jets confessed that he doesn’t know much about Winnipeg, but has heard good things from his old teammate. “Not a whole lot, other than it’s the second year back in the city, and it’s a lot of fun,” Copp said. “Jake’s been texting me a lot, saying they have great fans and a great arena out there, so I’m looking forward to it.”


Besides Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones slipping to the Nashville Predators at No. 4 during the 2013 NHL Draft, Macomb native Michael McCarron’s draft selection might have been the second shocker. With the No. 25 pick in the first round, the Montreal Canadiens selected the right winger from the U.S. National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. McCarron had been rated as the No. 35 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in their final projections. “Ever since I was six years old, I’ve strapped them up — tons of hours in the rink, shooting, skating, workouts; it’s all been worth it, though,” McCarron said to a swarm of media members inside the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “This feeling is amazing.” “It’s so special putting on an Original Six jersey,” he added. “It gives me chills. I can’t even describe it really.” McCarron, also a product of the Honeybaked youth hockey program, recorded 16 goals and 21 assists in 59 games this year with the NTDP, and led the team in penalty minutes with 182. McCarron - a Western Michigan commit - decided to play for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League, after signing an entry-level contract with the Canadiens on July 11. The Knights traded for McCarron’s rights after he was originally selected by the Belleville Bulls. After being drafted, McCarron weighed the pros and cons of taking the college route versus playing major



junior with the Knights, who acquired his rights on June 27, 2012. His older brother, John, plays for Cornell University. Western Michigan coach Andy Murray told MLive that the Broncos wish McCarron luck in his hockey career path, just that they wished he would have communicated with them more in the days prior to the Canadiens’ announcement that he had signed with the NHL club. “London’s a good program and has good coaches and we wish Mike luck,” Murray said. “The only thing we were disappointed in, and we told Mike this, is the lack of communication the last number of days here from him.” The 6-foot-5 McCarron has his eyes set on eventually making a lasting impact with the Canadiens. “I feel that I can play on the fourth line or play on the first line and be successful,” McCarron said. “I think that I can crash and bang or be on the first line and create opportunities to score every shift.” SALINE’S AIDAN MUIR SELECTED BY EDMONTON Victory Honda forward Aidan Muir, another Western Michigan commit, was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round of the NHL Draft. Muir, the top pick of the Indiana Ice in the USHL Draft, is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound winger who decided to stay home instead of traveling to New Jersey. He told MLive that “the roof blew off the place” when his family and friends heard his name called on the TV they were watching.

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ST. CLAIR’S MOTTE SELECTED BY THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPS BY MICHAEL CAPLES Tyler Motte said he attended the NHL Draft just trying to soak in the experience. “You hear numbers thrown at you all the time, but you don’t really know,” the St. Clair native said. “You just kind of come here, sit down, try to get in a flow with it. You know some guys going here, going there, and you just try to sit back and try to enjoy it. It’s one of those things that you can’t really control, so you try to enjoy it and soak it all in. Obviously it’s exciting, but like I said, you just sit up there, enjoy the moment with your family, and see what happens.” He had plenty to enjoy with his family when his name was called. Motte, a product of the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, was selected by the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey. “Oh absolutely,” Motte said when asked if it was extra special to be selected by the Cup champs. “I had the

luxury of being in Chicago for their combine, maybe a month ago, and it’s a great city. I got the opportunity to walk around a bit, meet people, it’s an exciting place. Obviously with them winning a Stanley Cup, they’re a great franchise, and they’re moving in the right direction.” After two years with Team USA, Motte will take his game to the newly-formed Big Ten hockey conference, as a member of the Michigan Wolverines. The forward, who scored twice in the NTDP’s first victory over their Ann Arbor neighbors in program history last January, said he’s looking forward to becoming part of the Maize and Blue. “It’s a great school,” Motte said. “Education is obviously a big thing over there, and the hockey is second to none. Obviously they had a little bit of a rough go last year, but they’re moving in the right direction. We have a big class coming in, and they’re looking for us to step in early, and produce with them. It will be a great test, coming in freshman year, but I’m looking to come in with the rest of the freshman class and try to help out the team early.”

Motte said he’s looking forward to being a part of the first Wolverines class to compete in the Big Ten. “It’s going to be interesting. With a lot of conferences shifting around, it will be good. Obviously we’ll be playing each team a little more often, I think we’ll be playing each team four times, a little more of a rivalry, maybe. At the same time, it’s still great hockey, playing with maybe a bigger level there, with Big Ten Network and all that. It will be great, it’s going to be the first year, and we’ll see how it goes.” He also knows that success in college hockey – and one day a chance at the NHL – will only come if he can improve during his extended stay in Ann Arbor. “Obviously offensive touch, you can always work on it,” said Motte, who plans on pursing a degree in sports management from UM. “Working the corners, all aspects of the game, you have to get better if you want to get to a level like the NHL, and you have to get better every day.”

CALUMET’S STORM CONTINUES RISE THROUGH RANKS BY BRYAN FONGERS June 30, 2013 is a day that will live in the back of Ben Storm’s mind for the rest of his life. It was like any other ordinary day for a hockey player in the summertime as Storm spent his Sunday at a usual place – the golf course. Little did he know that he would get some life-changing news about his potential hockey future; he had been drafted by a National Hockey League team. Why the golf course on Draft Day? As the Calumet, Michigan native explains, he wanted to get away from all commotion and just enjoy his day on the links near the St. Cloud State University campus. “I found out that I was picked by my phone blowing up with all my friends and family texting me at the same time,” Storm said. “I was nowhere near a TV at the time because I was trying to keep my mind off it. After I had found out that I was drafted, it was like a dream come true and an unbelievable feeling.” Storm was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the sixth round, 153rd overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. As the former Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman explains, he was privileged to be drafted by two former Avalanche greats who now serve in their front office in Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. “It is an honor to be drafted into an organization with a rich hockey tradition in the Colorado Avalanche,” said the 6-foot-6, 213-pound defenseman. “It is exciting to know that I could one day be playing for both those guys who have already done a lot for that community on and off the ice.” This past season, Storm played in 55 games for the Lumberjacks, totaling 12 points (two goals and 10 assists) to go along with a plus-8 rating. Over the course of the past season, Storm developed into a solid contributor on

July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20

the Lumberjacks’ blue line and says that while it was a gradual progression, he was very pleased with how the season went. “The beginning of this past year was tough as I was struggling to consistently make game night lineup and was barely seeing any playing time in the USHL,” said Storm. “However, I kept working hard on my game to improve every day and was able to finish the season strong. It was a great feeling. “As the season went long, my confidence continued to grow by the day, and I was having more fun on the ice,” said Storm, emphatically. “When you are more confident in yourself, the game tends to slow down and you make better decisions with the puck.” While Storm’s confidence grew, so did the interest in the big, tall defenseman, as he said that more than just the Avalanche was knocking on his door. “As the draft drew closer, I had about six other NHL teams that were contacting me expressing their interest,” said Storm. The hockey journey for the Calumet native now takes him about 700 miles west to the great hockey state of Minnesota. Right before this past season began, Storm accepted a scholarship to play collegiate hockey in Saint Cloud, Minnesota for the Huskies. Storm recently enrolled on campus and is already working out with the team to get ready for his upcoming freshman season. “I have been doing the captains’ workouts with the team along with skating every day to try and get prepared for the beginning of my college career,” said Storm. “I came to campus about a week ago, and it is already everything that I dreamed about with the updated facilities along with great teammates and coaching staff.” Storm said he hopes to participate in the Avalanche’s development camp this summer. As of right now, the former Calumet Copper King plans on continuing to get

ready for the upcoming season with St. Cloud State. Overall, Storm says that being one of three Lumberjacks selected in this year’s draft – joining Michael Brodzinski and Connor Hurley – is an honor in itself and shows how the USHL continues to be a solid product to develop future athletes on and off the ice. “Playing for the Lumberjacks this past season was a great experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Storm. “Muskegon is a great organization that helps prepare their players for the college and professional ranks. The USHL is a great and challenging league that helped prepare me for the future in college and hopefully the NHL.”





The Muskegon Lumberjacks added a familiar last name to their coaching staff on July 9. Trevor Nill, the son of former Red Wings’ assistant GM Jim Nill, was named the Lumberjacks’ new assistant coach. Nill, a four-year letter-winner at Michigan State University, completes the new coaching roster for the USHL club. “It’s very exciting to have my first coaching gig be with such a class organization in the Muskegon Lumberjacks,” Nill said via a release from the team. “It was a no-brainer in my mind when I was approached about the job,” said Nill. “Growing up, I always wished for a USHL team in Michigan, and now that I’m getting the chance to coach in that league while in my home state, it’s an unbelievable feeling. It will also be great to work with two hockey geniuses in (new Muskegon GM John) Vanbiesbrouck and Coach (Todd) Krygier.”

Nill, who played for the Spartans from 2008-12, was recognized for what he did off the ice as much as what he did on it. He was the recipient of the Mike and Marian Ilitch Humanitarian Award from the CCHA at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, and he was also recognized as a Hockey Humanitarian Academic All-Big Ten selection. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Trevor (Nill) over the years, and he is a great fit for our team as he adds a different dimension that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Lumberjacks Head Coach Todd Krygier. “Trevor is a smart kid that played for one of the top hockey programs in the country (in Michigan State) and is enthusiastic about the game of hockey. His experience and knowledge of the game at the collegiate level will provide a great teaching tool for our players to get to where they want to be within the next one to three years.”

Photo by Dave Reginek/DRW

MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS ANNOUNCE PRELIMINARY 28-MAN PROTECTED LIST The Muskegon Lumberjacks announced their preliminary 28-man protected list on July 11, with the USHL club welcoming back eight members from last year’s squad. The 28 players will compete for roster spots at the club’s training camp in late August.

RETURNING FROM LAST YEAR’S TEAM: FORWARDS CAMERON DARCY: South Boston, Massachusetts CONNOR HURLEY: Eagan, Minnesota (Buffalo Sabres draft pick/University of Notre Dame commit) CULLEN HURLEY: Eagan, Minnesota FREDERIK TIFFELS: Cologne, Germany (Western Michigan University commit) MASON JOBST: Speedway, Indiana MATT MENDELSON: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania DEFENSEMAN MIKE PRESTON: Carmel, Indiana GOALTENDER JORDAN UHELSKI: Flint, Michigan

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE ROSTER: FORWARDS BRIAN BACHNAK: Brownstown, Michigan (Riverview High School) C.J. SMITH: Richfield, Minnesota (Austin Bruins/ University of Massachusetts-Lowell commit) CODY KUSTER: Ludington, Michigan (Shattuck St. Mary’s) GRANT JOZEFEK: Chester, New Jersey (North Jersey Avalanche/West Mendham High School)



HARALDS EGLE: Liepaje, Latvia (Portland Junior Pirates/University of Vermont commit) MATHESON IACOPELLI: Brownstown, Michigan (Belle Tire) ROBBIE DEMONTIS: Kleinburg, Ontario (The Hill Academy) SAM BERG: Beamsville, Ontario (Hamilton Red Wings) TREVOR MORBECK: Jackson, Wisconsin (Oshawa Generals) DEFENSEMEN ADAM LARKIN: Clarkston, Michigan (Honeybaked Midget Major) CARSON GATT: Farmington Hills, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central High School/ Michigan State University commit) CHAZ SWITZER: Muskegon, Michigan (Compuware) CONNOR FRANTTI: Spring Grove, Illinois (Culver Academy Prep) JAKE MCCARTHY: Dedham, Massachusetts (St. Sebastian’s) JANIK MOSER: Mannheim, Germany (Mannheim Adler) SEAN LANG: Apple Valley, Minnesota (Coulee Region Chill) TOMMY PANICO: Wall, New Jersey (Team Comcast/ University of Massachusetts-Lowell commit) TRISTAN ROSTAGNO: Pawaukee, Wisconsin (Arrowhead High School/Michigan Tech University commit) GOALTENDERS ALEX BLANKENBURG – Washington, Michigan (Port Huron Fighting Falcons) ERIC SCHIERHORN – Anchorage, Alaska (Russell Stover/U.S. NTDP)

The Lumberjacks also announced that they traded the rights of Alexx Privitera to the Dubuque Fighting Saints for a conditional first-round pick in the 2014 USHL Phase One Draft. The club also acquired the rights to defenseman Janik Moser in exchange for an eighth-round pick in the 2014 USHL Phase Two Draft.

JOHN VANBIESBROUCK NAMED LUMBERJACKS’ GM; USHL APPROVES TEAM SALE The Muskegon Lumberjacks and the United States Hockey League had a pair of announcements on July 15 regarding the team’s leadership core. West Michigan’s USHL club has officially named former NHL goaltender and Detroit native John Vanbiesbrouck as their new general manager and director of hockey operations, and confirmed their new ownership group. Vanbiesbrouck, 49, recorded more wins (374) than any other American-born goaltender during his 20year NHL career. The Detroit native won the 1986 Vezina Trophy, and appeared in three All-Star Games during a career that saw him record a 2.98 goalsagainst average and 40 shutouts. The Lumberjacks confirmed that they have been sold to Ronald and Joel Friedman, along with former NHL players Chris and Peter Ferraro.

July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20


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ids in Michigan dream of one day playing for the Red Wings just like Canadian kids have dreams to play NHL hockey in Canada. Ryan Hartman grew up in the Chicago area idolizing hulking Blackhawks’ forward Eric Daze, hoping one day he’d be able to don the jersey of his hometown team for more than just fun. On June 30 at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Hartman realized a dream few see come to fruition as the Blackhawks grabbed the 18-year-old Plymouth Whalers’ gritty forward with the 30th and final pick of the first round at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “My palms were sweating a little bit and my mom was a little anxious to hear my name called, but I think it worked out good for me,” said Hartman to a throng of media at the draft. “I saw (Chicago’s) name on the lower end of the (draft) board and I kind of pictured my name being there and was kind of hoping they’d pick me.” As a youngster, Hartman said he went to Blackhawks’ games with his father and grandfather and now, to be on the verge in possibly a year or two to be able to grace the same ice as his heroes seems pretty surreal. “It couldn’t have been any better how this wrote itself,” Hartman said. This past season, his first in Plymouth after giving up a four-year scholarship to Miami University, Hartman scored 23 goals and 60 points in 56 games along with tallying 120 penalty minutes. He also won gold with the United States World Junior team over the Christmas holidays in Ufa, Russia, and skated in both the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game last September in Buffalo, N.Y., and CHL/ NHL Top Prospects Game in January out in Halifax, N.S. With the Whalers, Hartman said his time there was nothing short of “a great experience.” “It was a new adjustment, a new league and everything and I didn’t really have any expectations going into it, but (Plymouth coach-GM) Mike (Vellucci) did a great job,” said Hartman. “He moved me to the center position and I think that really developed my game playing multiple positions. He deserves a lot of credit.” Hartman follows recent Plymouth forwards Tyler Seguin (Boston, 2010), Stefan Noesen (Ottawa, 2011) and Rickard Rakell (Anaheim, 2011) and Tom Wilson (Washington, 2012) as Whalers who have been tabbed in the first round of the NHL draft. Along with taking in the 2012 draft in Pittsburgh, during this past season, Hartman said he tapped the brains of Wilson and fellow NHL prospect Mitchell Heard (Colorado’s second-round pick in 2012) to see what he could expect during the draft process. “(Wilson and Heard) just told me to relax and be yourself,” Hartman said. “They said you’ve done what you have and you’ve proven yourself already and it’s in God’s hands now pretty much.” Having done all that and now property of Chicago, it’s safe to assume the draft was a dream come true. “Yeah,” quipped Hartman. “Exactly.”




Main photo courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images Inset photo from the NHL’s official Twitter account

NHL DRAFT ALSO HAS SPIRIT-ED FLAVOR The Saginaw Spirit had three forwards drafted in Newark with Jimmy Lodge going in the third round (84th overall) to the Winnipeg Jets, Nick Moutrey being taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets one round later (105th overall) and Eric Locke going to the Buffalo Sabres in the seventh round (189th overall). “Just to get drafted by an NHL team is amazing,” Lodge said. “It’s like a dream come true. I was kind of expecting to go a bit higher, but it is what it is.” Lodge also played in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game last September in Buffalo.

WHALERS TAKE EUROPEANS IN IMPORT DRAFT The Whalers selected 18-year-old Swedish center Victor Crus-Rydberg with their first choice (41st overall) in the 2013 CHL Import Draft on July 3 and then picked up 17-year-old Swiss defenseman Yannick Rathgeb 113th overall. “We’re happy with both of the selections,” said Plymouth assistant general manager Brian Sommariva. “We think Victor and Yannick will help us while continuing to develop as players in North America.” Crus-Rydberg was also taken by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL draft.

Saginaw did not participate in the draft, trading their first pick to Guelph and passing on their second pick.

NEDELJKOVIC TO MAN USA CREASE Plymouth Whalers’ goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic has been selected to play for the United States in the upcoming 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. Last year with the Whalers, the 17-year-old Parma, Ohio, native went 19-2-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. Nedeljkovic is looking to build on the past year’s success and be a major contributor to Plymouth this season, where he figures to be the No. 1 goaltender. “In the next few years, my goals in hockey are to become the best goalie that I can be,” Nedeljkovic said. “I want to try and perfect my game so that way when I become draft-eligible for the NHL (in 2014), I can show scouts and head coaches what I have to offer and what kind of goalie I am. My long-term goals with hockey are very big. I want to have a long career in the NHL and play with the best athletes on the planet. I hope that I will be fortunate enough to win the Stanley Cup. After my career, I want stay with hockey and become a coach or a manager of a team, so I can pass on what I know about the game to others.”

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BY MATT GAJTKA SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Syracuse Crunch had a lot going for them in the Calder Cup Final: back-to-back wins, a rabid home crowd for Game 6, 10 players with championship experience and a tie game in the third period. None of it matters anymore, because the Grand Rapids Griffins have the hardware. For the first time, a Grand Rapids pro hockey team has won a championship, as the Griffins clinched the American Hockey League crown with a 5-2 triumph over the Crunch at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. By winning the best-of-seven Calder Cup Final four games to two, the Griffins delivered in the seventh trip to a title series by a Grand Rapids-based team. The Rockets (three times), Owls (twice) and IHL Griffins all finished one step short of the mountaintop. “This is so fulfilling,” said team captain Jeff Hoggan amid a raucous celebration on the ice after the final buzzer sounded. “It’s a special group. We were tested throughout the year, but we were confident and persevered. Now we get to share this for a lifetime.” After taking the top spot in the AHL’s Midwest Division, the Griffins finished the postseason at 15-9, featuring series victories over Houston (five games), Toronto (six) and Oklahoma City (seven) on their way to the final round. “This has been such an enjoyable journey,” said firstyear Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, a Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., native. “Life’s all about moments and I’m really excited for the players. All the games [in this series] were extremely close. We were able to put a couple plays together in the end to win it.” Grand Rapids took the first three games against Syracuse, including a pair of wins in upstate New York to start the matchup, before the Crunch held off elimination twice at Van Andel Arena to bring the series back east. “We were a little deflated to have to come back here, because Grand Rapids has been waiting so long for this,”



said Hoggan, who also won an AHL title with Houston in 2003. “It would’ve been special to win at home, but in the end, people aren’t going to look back and wonder where we won it. “This belongs to the city forever.” The Crunch, who went 11-1 in emerging from the Eastern Conference side of the playoff bracket, looked on the verge of forcing a winner-take-all Game 7. Defenseman Andrej Sustr connected with a long-range goal to tie the game 2-2 early in Game 6’s third period, and Syracuse appeared poised to go ahead. However, Grand Rapids blueliner Brennan Evans scored just the 16th goal of his 10-year pro career midway through the final frame, restoring the visitors’ advantage. Mitch Callahan set Evans up at the top of the left circle, giving the 31-year-old first-year Griffin enough time to rattle a slap shot off the body of Crunch goalie Cedrick Desjardins. From there, 21-year-old Griffins rookie goalie Petr Mrazek showed how much he’s grown by standing up to fierce Crunch pressure. The 6-foot-1 Czech, who started the year in the ECHL with Toledo before quickly ascending Detroit’s organizational depth chart, used his athleticism and poise to squelch multiple late scrambles around his crease. “Petr’s been great all season with the game on the line,” said Blashill of Mrazek, who finished with 24 saves. “He’s been a huge part of our success.” With the help of several Griffins diving to block shots and clear pucks, Mrazek preserved the 3-2 lead until Gustav Nyquist drew a slashing penalty to put Grand Rapids on a much-needed power play with 2:13 to play. The Griffins played keep-away for much of the remaining time, eventually breaking free for empty-net goals by Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson in the final minute. With the seconds ticking down, the joyous Grand

Rapids players, coaches and support staff hollered loud enough for all 6,375 fans in the arena to hear, then spilled on the ice for a pulsating postgame celebration. Tatar finished the night with two goals, including a power-play marker in the second that put the Griffins up 2-1. The 23-year-old Slovakian winger was awarded the playoff MVP trophy for compiling 16 goals and five assists in 24 postseason games. “Everybody played their role on the team this year,” said Tatar, Detroit’s second-round draft pick in 2009. “We have a great coaching staff and a great organization. I’m glad I could help do this.” Nyquist, 23, finished an abbreviated playoff run with a two-assist night, giving him seven points (two goals) in 10 playoff games. He and fellow Swedish forward Andersson (eight points) joined the Griffins’ Calder Cup chase in the Western Conference final after Detroit was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Callahan, one of 13 Griffins to skate in all 24 postseason contests, netted the Griffins’ first goal in addition to his assist on Evans’ Cup-winner. Landon Ferraro earned two helpers to give him 16 playoff points. Like most of his players, Blashill was reflective of what the championship moment meant to West Michigan and when he knew the 2012-13 Griffins could be something special. “I knew right from the start we had a lot of character on this team,” said Blashill, the former Ferris State goalie whose remarkable coaching career includes time as a Red Wings assistant, a head coaching spot at Western Michigan University and a previous championship in the USHL with the Indiana Ice. “I’m happy for the ownership of this team, all the employees who’ve put in so much work over a long period of time. It’s been unreal to have the opportunity to coach some great talent in a great city like Grand Rapids.”

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GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS Photos by Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - With their 5-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch in Game 6 of the AHL Final, the Grand Rapids Griffins brought the Calder Cup to the Calder City after 12 seasons in the American Hockey League. Moreover, the Game 6 triumph ended 25 total years of championship frustration for Grand Rapids-based pro hockey clubs, the first 13 of those in the IHL. The significance of the moment clearly wasn’t lost on 24-year-old rookie center Luke Glendening, who was born and raised in Grand Rapids before playing four years at the University of Michigan. “This is special…I couldn’t be more proud,” Glendening said. “We’re happy to bring this title back to Grand Rapids. They support us so well.” After serving as Wolverines captain during his senior year in Ann Arbor, Glendening started the season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, then earned a December call-up. He accumulated 32 points in 77 AHL games, postseason included. Glendening lamented that the Griffins couldn’t raise the Calder Cup in two chances at Van Andel Arena last weekend. Syracuse resisted elimination twice after Grand Rapids won the first three games of the best-of-seven series. “We were so close in ‘GR,’” he said. “We shouldn’t have had to come back [to Syracuse], but here we are, and we won it.” Defensemen Dan DeKeyser (Detroit) and Chad Billins (Marysville) were the other two Michiganders to lift the 77-year-old trophy at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Both played NCAA hockey in state, with DeKeyser just completing a successful three-year stay at Western Michigan and Billins 12 months removed from his career at Ferris State. “It’s been pretty great to play close to home and Ferris,” said Billins, 24. The rookie pro provided offense from the blueline in the regular season (10 goals, 27 points) and the playoffs (12 assists, 14 points). “A lot of friends and family came to games [in Grand

July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20

Rapids] and some of them are here tonight.” Home was also on the mind of first-year Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill. The 39-year-old Sault Ste. Marie native and former Ferris State goalie had his thoughts immediately drift west after his team claimed the prize. “I couldn’t wait to call my wife and family,” Blashill said. “They’ve made a lot of sacrifices over the years.” Grand Rapids is Blashill’s fourth home in the last four years, as he moved from a title-winning effort with the USHL’s Indiana Ice to the head spot at Western Michigan and an assistant position in Detroit in quick succession. He signed with the Griffins last summer. Despite the relatively short amount of time he’s lived in town, Blashill gushed about Grand Rapids after helping provide an indelible memory to its hockey fans. “It doesn’t get a lot of attention nationally, but it’s a great place,” said Blashill outside the boisterous Griffins’ dressing room. “Everyone who lives in that city deserves a moment like this.”

PAEK BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE Jim Paek’s eight years of service make him the longesttenured coach in nearly two decades of Griffins hockey. The former NHL defenseman joined the team in 2005 and has held an assistant coaching spot ever since. Paek signed a contract extension with the team last summer, hoping to be part of a moment like the Griffins’ Calder Cup championship night. “It’s incredible,” he said after getting his turn to hoist the Calder Cup overhead. “This is absolutely what you dream of.” It wasn’t the first championship for Paek, as the 45-yearold won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s, becoming the first Korean-born person to play in the NHL and lift its top prize. He also won two Turner Cups while skating in the IHL, one in Muskegon, and another with Houston. “This one ranks right up there with those,” said Paek when asked to compare the emotions of his first Calder Cup with previous titles. “Every time you win a championship, it’s fantastic.”

GRIFFINS ANNOUNCE HOME OPENER, HOCKEYTOWN WINTER FESTIVAL DETAILS, AND SELECT 2013-14 DATES BY MICHAEL CAPLES Who said it’s too early to start looking at next year’s schedule? Just eight days after they captured the Calder Cup for the first time in franchise history, the Grand Rapids Griffins revealed a first look at their 2013-14 season – including information about their outdoor game as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival. The now-defending AHL champions will hold their home opener – and a pre-game ceremony to unveil the first championship banner for the city of Grand Rapids – on Friday, Oct. 18. The Griffins will host the Toronto Marlies on Monday, Dec. 30, at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival, which also includes NHL alumni, junior, college, high school and youth contests leading up to the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. Other home dates confirmed by the American Hockey League include the Griffins’ 13th annual Matinee Game on Wednesday, Nov. 6; their 17th annual New Year’s Eve game on Tuesday, Dec. 31; a pair of Saturday games (Dec. 14 and Jan. 11) and a Friday contest on Jan. 31. Opponents for those games, along with a complete 2013-14 AHL schedule, will be released later this summer.







t’s said a week is a long time in professional sports, so a year must have seemed like a lifetime to Detroit Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland after the freeagent disappointments of last summer. However, the Wings got back in the free-agency game in a big way this year, pulling off one of the surprise signings in securing former Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson’s signature on a contract and landing the solid No. 2 center they needed in Stephen Weiss. It has completely changed the landscape for the Wings, especially as they head into the Eastern Conference this season, and punctured the idea that Detroit was sliding into irrelevance as both a free-agent destination and a Stanley Cup contender. “The Red Wings were always a team I looked at growing up,â€? said Weiss, who has always seemed destined to wear the winged wheel since his complete, two-way game as a junior earned him comparison to former Detroit captain Steve Yzerman. “Obviously playing in the Plymouth area (with the Whalers) for a few years, I got to go see some Wings’ games and always dreamt of playing for the Wings one day. To have them interested in me and to have that opportunity is just awesome. “Words can’t really express that right now.â€? If Holland and the Wings’ faithful were looking for an ego stroke, swiping Alfredsson from Ottawa and nipping the Boston Bruins in the race to be the Swede’s new home surely must provide it. Alfredsson is a man not prone to rash decisions. He did his homework and knows the league inside out. His relationship with the Wings’ Swedish stars certainly helped with the sales job, but there was more to it than just playing with some fellow countrymen. “I just really like the way Detroit plays hockey,â€? Alfredsson said. “It’s a puck possession game, a push the pace game and I just think with the personnel they have throughout their lineup I think I can come in and be of help in different areas and be part of something really good. “I know quite a few of the guys from before. I know their personalities. I know how they play. “The culture of Detroit really appealed to me with all the conversations I’ve had with different players that have been there.â€? Holland subscribes to the theory you make your moves and build your team in the summer and tweak it at most during the season. He knows with the plethora forwards in the Wings’ stable, one compliance buyout still unused and defenseman Brendan Smith having ďŹ led for arbitration there’s still plenty



of work to do before camp opens in September. “This is going to be a work–in-progress over the course of the summer,â€? Holland conďŹ rmed. “I think we have a lot of pieces here. I feel good about our nucleus. “I feel good that Pavel Datsyuk re-upped for three more years. We believe that we have a tremendous goaltender in Jimmy Howard. “We obviously got a couple of extra players. I’d still like to look at making a move or two, but it might take a month or two to ďŹ nally shape our roster.â€? Holland said if center Darren Helm, who missed the entire season with a sore back, can return to health his addition along with the two new signings gives the team much better balance. Helm skated at the team’s development camp earlier this month without any reported setbacks. “Darren Helm is a real key piece to our team,â€? Holland said. “When you think about adding Steve and AlďŹ e and Darren Helm to our team, from last year’s team, would be a tremendous, tremendous up-grade.â€? The compliance buyout and the abundance of forwards are two issues that will remain knotted together all summer. The growth of the Wings’ youngsters Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar is going to force some veterans out of the line-up. Andersson looks a solid choice as fourth-line center, should Helm return, at the expense of Cory Emmerton. Nyquist is clearly a top-six forward and Tatar is making a push for the same after his outstanding play in Grand Rapids. That has likely made things difficult for forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Jordan Tootoo, Todd Bertuzzi and Patrick Eaves. Free agents Dan Cleary - a Mike Babcock favorite - retains some hope of returning but Damien Brunner has priced himself out of Detroit. Bertuzzi will likely ďŹ nd a spot in the line-up if he’s healthy, thanks to his size, shootout skills and offensive ability that still seems capable of producing 15 to 20 goals a season. The oft-injured Eaves is well-liked, but the numbers game makes him a prime candidate to be moved. Tootoo simply doesn’t offer enough to earn a place in the line-up regularly. His season ended once the playoffs began last spring. Samuelsson is intriguing in that he’s a big body that could be useful, but he couldn’t stay healthy. Even in the off-season he’s still recovering from a torn pectoral muscle and that has likely saved him from being a compliance buyout. Injured players are not eligible to be bought out. “We obviously are going to have to move a player or two,â€? Holland said. “I’m not sure if we’re done with free agency.â€?

Photo by Jen Hefner/MiHockey

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fter the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, the pace set in going from the draft to free agency was frenetic. As if the league was still trying to catch up from the firsthalf lockout. One of the “catch-up” mechanisms to come out of the new collective bargaining agreement was the amnesty buyout, whereby a franchise can reduce the pain against the cap by taking bad, long-term deals off their books. One such case involved goaltender Rick DiPietro, bought out and let loose by the N.Y. Islanders under the new provision. I bring DiPietro up for the sake of examining the goaltending landscape in 2013. He was thought to be a rising star and paid on speculation. Injured at the 2008 All-Star Game, DiPietro never developed over the next five injury-riddled years. Fast forward to present tense and you have the Boston Bruins inking Tuuka Rask, hot off his run to the Stanley Cup Final, to an eight-year $56-million contract. Some say it is too much. That Rask hasn’t proven enough to warrant top money – despite the Final appearance. The same was being said in these parts when the Red Wings – as usual – got out ahead in signing goaltender Jimmy Howard before the playoffs. It paid off as Howard played his best hockey when it mattered most. Still, many will say his roughly $6.5-million annual salary is too high for a guy with very little post-season pedigree. All of which got me to thinking: Would you rather have the stable approach of Ken Holland when it comes to his team’s goaltending, or endure what Canucks’ fans have lived through in Vancouver? The curtain finally fell as GM Mike Gillis – unable to trade Roberto Luongo due to his arduous long-term deal, reversed course and dealt instead Cory Schneider to the N.J. Devils; this after signing Schneider two summers ago and declaring him the Canucks’ No. 1 netminder. Beyond the drama and the dough, though, who are the NHL’s top goaltenders and what are the criteria? Comparing contracts, as we’ve been talking about, is one method, but given the above DiPietro and Luongo



scenarios, it is hardly definitive. Statistics play a part and produce prodigious pay hikes based on surprise accolades. See Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky as case in point. Then you have the goalies-that-mean-themost-to their-teams category. Henrik Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, Carey Price and Ryan Miller represent that group: acknowledged as elite, paid as so, but without even a Stanley Cup ring among them. Ultimately, winning it all is the measure of a truly top-flight goaltender. That is the easiest for fans to identify with and the argument for/ against a goalie’s status. Throughout history, that has been the lore of Lord Stanley’s Cup - that great teams have great goalies. From Jacques Plante and Terry Sawchuk, to Bernie Parent and Ken Dryden, to Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr, to Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur - they all led their teams to multiple titles. Brodeur is still playing with his three titles, but no one else currently in the league has multiple titles as a No. 1 netminder. In fact the list of title winners is short: Corey Crawford -- 2013 Jonathan Quick -- 2012 Antti Niemi -- 2011 Marc-Andre Fleury-- 2009 J.S. Giguere -- 2007 Cam Ward -- 2006 Nikolai Khabibulin -- 2004

@Darren_Eliot That’s it. And Giguere and Khabibulin are now backing up much younger starters. All got paid/are getting paid because they did what every goalie that ever got geared up aspired to do – lead a team to the Stanley Cup championship. As well they should. The list, however, shows how difficult it is to win a single championship, never mind multiple. That’s why the local angst that used to surround Chris Osgood’s relative worth was largely misplaced. Yes, the teams he was part of were outstanding, but Ozzie got it done and was a key, clutch performer. Dryden used to have the same knock, so people looked at his shortcomings rather than the role he served. All he did was win six Cups in eight years with the Canadiens – the definition of getting it done under pressure. So, as the debate rages on as to who you would rather have as your goaltender, I think committing to Jimmy Howard was the prudent thing to do. He is one of their own – has earned his wings, so to speak, having grown up in the organization – just like Ozzie did. He is getting paid before leading his team to the Cup, but so are 24 other No. 1 netminders. It is the way of today’s cap era economics. Salary slotting is necessary. Gone are the days of dynasties. What remains is the respect winning brings. No matter the price.

July 22, 2013 V.23 : I.20







MiHockeyMag - July 22, 2013  

Griffins capture first pro hockey title for Grand Rapids, MiHockey checks out the Red Wings' development camp, big changes for the Muskegon...

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