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DETROIT AGREES TO TERMS WITH RUSSO

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday agreed to terms with defenseman Robbie Russo on a two-year contract.

A 2017 AHL All-Star Classic participant, Russo, 24, skated in 58 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2016-17 and ranked second among team defensemen in scoring with 32 points (7-25—32). Russo helped Grand Rapids win the 2017 Calder Cup, playing in all 19 postseason games while contributing seven points (0-7—7) and 22 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 195-pound blueliner became the 161st Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his debut with the Red Wings on March 7 at Toronto. In 19 games in Detroit, Russo averaged 16:04 of ice time and finished with a plus-two rating and two PIM.

During a historic rookie campaign in 2015-16 in which he was named to the AHL Second All-Star Team and the All-Rookie Team, Russo tallied 39 points (5-34—39) in 71 games to establish a new Griffins record for rookie defensemen and place eighth on the team’s all-time rookie scoring list. His plus-40 rating paced the AHL and finished as the second-best total in franchise history. Combined with the 2017 All-Star accolade, Russo is the only player in franchise history to be named to a year-end All-Star Team, an All-Rookie Team and an All-Star Classic. 

The New York Islanders’ fourth choice, 95th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Russo played four seasons (2011-15) at the University of Notre Dame, where he racked up 94 points (28-66—94) in 142 games and was a member of the 2013 CCHA Championship team. Serving as captain in his senior campaign, Russo was named an NCAA East Second Team All-American and to the Hockey East First All-Star Team as he finished second on the team in scoring with a career-best 41 points (15-26—41).

A Westmont, Ill., native, Russo played two seasons for the U.S. National Development Team prior to college and captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2011 18U World Junior Championship.

The Griffins will raise their 2017 Calder Cup championship banner and begin the defense of their title on Friday, Oct. 6 at Van Andel Arena against Manitoba when the puck drops on the 2017-18 season with Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank.

Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public this Friday, Sept. 8. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.