GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings, affiliate to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League have added more depth to the organization by signing forwards Mark Hartigan, Mark Cullen, Carl Corazzini, Randall Gelech, and defenseman Garrett Stafford.
Hartigan, 29, will be entering his sixth pro season having played 79 NHL and 380 pro games. Last season, Hartigan logged time with four different teams, playing for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and Anaheim Ducks, as well as their respective affiliates in Syracuse and Portland.
Hailing from Fort St. John, British Columbia, Hartigan played collegiate hockey at St. Cloud State. During his senior season in 2001-02, he led the WCHA in goals with 37 before making his NHL/pro debut with the Atlanta Thrashers. He has spent the majority of his minor pro career in Syracuse. His most productive campaign with the Crunch came in 2005-06 when he totaled 75 points (34 goals, 41 assists in just 49 games.
Cullen, 28, a proven offensive performer at the AHL level, is one game shy of his 300th in the league. In 56 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms last season, he led the team with 36 assists, 52 points, and tied for third in goals with 16.
In 2005-06 as a member of the Norfolk Admirals, the Moorhead, Minnesota native notched a personal best 68 points in 54 games, ranking second in team scoring. That same season, he won the Fred T. Hunt Award as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination, and dedication to hockey.
In 2002-03, Cullen was a member of the Houston Aeros Calder Cup Championship team and led the club’s rookies in scoring with 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists) in 72 games, while adding 10 points (3G, 7A) in 15 playoff games.
Corazzini, 28, comes to the Red Wings after spending the last two years in the Chicago Blackhawks organization. Last year, Corazzini played seven games for the Hawks, spending the majority of the season with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. He finished the 2006-07 campaign with 57 points in 68 games after producing 55 points in 75 games the season before.
Following a four-year stint at Boston University, the Framingham, Massachusetts native began his pro career in 2001-02 with the Providence Bruins. He made is NHL debut with the Boston Bruins during the 2003-04 campaign, appearing in 12 games and scoring two goals.
Gelech, 23, has spent the previous two seasons with the San Antonio Rampage. About to embark on his fourth pro season, Gelech played in 79 games last year for the Rampage, authoring 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.
In 2003-04, Gelech earned All-Tournament Team honors in leading the Kelowna Rockets to the prestigious Memorial Cup Championship, emblematic of Major Junior A hockey supremacy. During the regular season he led the Rockets in both goals (30) and points (49). Not his first championship experience, the Wynard, Saskatchewan native also helped lead Kelowna to the WHL title and a Memorial Cup finals berth in 2002-03.
Stafford, 27, has been a mainstay in the San Jose Sharks organization since 2003-04. A defenseman with a scoring touch, Stafford has led his team’s blue-liners in points three out of the past four seasons he has played in the American Hockey League (2006-07 Worcester, 41 points in 77 games; 2005-06 Cleveland, 39 points in 80 games; 2003-04 Cleveland, 46 points in 73 games).
The Los Angeles, California native experienced a great rookie season in 2003-04. In addition to placing sixth among all AHL defensemen in scoring, he was named to the AHL All- Rookie and Second All-Star teams.
Stafford played four years at the University of New Hampshire prior to his pro career, where he was twice selected by his teammates as the UHN Defenseman of the year (Rod Langway Award).