The Grand Rapids Griffins completed the franchise’s 23rd overall season of play, 18th as a member of the American Hockey League and 17th as the primary affiliate of the 11-time Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings with a 38-27-7-4 record (87 pts.), including 22-10-3-3 at Van Andel Arena and 16-17-4-1 on the road, and a fourth-place finish in the Central Division. Grand Rapids has competed in 1,818 regular season games between the International Hockey League and AHL since 1996-97 and totaled a 965-656-27-58-112 record (0.585) to go along with seven division titles, 17 playoff appearances and two Calder Cup championships (2017, 2013).
By virtue of Chicago’s 4-2 win against Manitoba on April 13, the Griffins clinched a Calder Cup Playoff berth for the 17th time in club history and a seventh consecutive season, extending their franchise record. Seven years ties Providence for the second longest active Calder Cup Playoff streak, trailing only defending champion Toronto’s eight. Grand Rapids has advanced to at least the second round in five of the last six postseasons.
Named the 11th head coach in franchise history on June 5, 2018, Ben Simon is the eighth head coach in franchise history to lead the Griffins to the postseason during his first full season behind the bench, joining Dave Allison (1996-97), Bruce Cassidy (2000-01), Danton Cole (2002-03), Greg Ireland (2005-06) Curt Fraser (2008-09), Jeff Blashill (2012-13) and Todd Nelson (2015-16). This is the fourth consecutive playoff appearance Simon has been a part of with the Griffins after he served as an assistant under Nelson from 2015-18. Simon played an integral role in helping Grand Rapids win the franchise’s second Calder Cup in 2017. Appearing in 21 games and scoring nine points (4-5—9) with the Griffins in 2006-07 as part of an 11-year professional playing career, Simon is the third former Griffins player to serve as Grand Rapids’ head coach, joining Nelson and Cole. He is also the fourth former Griffins assistant to then become the head coach – Cole, Ireland and Nelson – and all four have qualified for the postseason in their first full campaign.
The Griffins arrived to the postseason on a season-high nine-game winless streak (0-8-1-0). However, Grand Rapids entered the 2016 playoffs on a five-game losing streak in regulation before sweeping division champion Milwaukee in three games in the first round. This season marked just the second time in the team’s history that its playoff fate was determined on the date of its final regular season game (2006-07).
Follow The Leader(s)
Points: Chris Terry (29-32—61)
Goals: Terry (29)
Assists: Carter Camper (33)
PIM: Dylan McIlrath (98)
Plus-Minus: Vili Saarijarvi (+19)
Goaltender Wins: Harri Sateri (22)
Goals Against Average: Patrik Rybar (2.49)
Save Percentage: Rybar (0.908)
Griffins To Wings
Of the 38 players to play for the Red Wings this season, 27 had spent time in Grand Rapids at some point during their careers. A total of 14 players skated in games for both the Griffins and Red Wings this season (Jake Chelios, Dennis Cholowski, Christoffer Ehn, Martin Frk, Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek, Brian Lashoff, Dylan McIlrath, Wade Megan, Matt Puempel, Michael Rasmussen (conditioning), Libor Sulak, Dominic Turgeon, Filip Zadina), including five players who made their NHL debuts with Detroit (Chelios, Cholowski, Hronek, Sulak, Zadina).
Numbers To Know
:07 – Chris Terry scored seven seconds into Nov. 16’s 4-3 home loss to Ontario, the fastest goal to open any period in Griffins franchise history. The previous fastest was eight seconds, set by Jamie Tardif on Dec. 30, 2008 at Peoria.
2 – Filip Hronek scored the overtime winner in two consecutive games (Nov. 24 at CHI and Nov. 26 at IA), becoming the first player in franchise history to record an overtime goal in back-to-back contests.
4 – Carter Camper notched four power play assists in Jan. 12’s 5-2 home victory vs. Belleville, marking the first four-assist game by a Griffin since Andy Miele on Dec. 19, 2014.
5 – Chris Terry posted a career-high five points (2-3—5) during March 6’s 5-2 win against Texas, the first-five point outing by a Griffin since Eric Tangradi (2-3—5) on March 11, 2016 vs. Manitoba.
6 – Grand Rapids recorded a season-high six-game winning streak from Nov. 24-Dec. 5.
8 – Filip Hronek notched a career-high eight-game assist streak from Nov. 23-Dec. 7, which also equaled the franchise record established by center Valtteri Filppula from March 26-Oct. 13, 2006.
8 – The Griffins exploded for a season-high eight goals during their 8-4 win at Cleveland on Nov. 4. The eight-goal total marked Grand Rapids’ highest-scoring game since tallying nine at Rockford on Feb. 5, 2016, and the six goals produced in the third period was one shy of the franchise record for most goals in a period (seven at Chicago on Nov. 27, 2010).
9 – The Griffins notched a season-high nine-game point streak from Nov. 17-Dec. 7 (7-0-1-1).
16 – The Griffins finished 16-5-7-4 in one-goal contests.
31 – The Griffins tallied a 31-20-5-2 record against Central Division opponents, the third-most wins within the division trailing only Chicago’s 36 and Texas’ 33.
41 – The Griffins saw 41 different players suit up in a game this season.
Rules Are Rules
AHL rules state: “Each member club must dress for each regularly scheduled or playoff game at least twelve (12) players, other than goalkeepers, who have played in a total of not more than two hundred sixty (260) regular season games in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League or any European Elite League, prior to the start of the season and one (1) player, other than goalkeepers, who has played in a total of not more than Three-Hundred and Twenty (320) regular season games in the National Hockey League, American Hockey League or any European Elite League, prior to the start of the season.” The Griffins had eight players on their year-end roster who fit this description: defensemen Brian Lashoff and Dylan McIlrath, and forwards Carter Camper, Matthew Ford, Martin Frk, Wade Megan, Matt Puempel and Chris Terry. Grand Rapids’ eight veterans accounted for 46.4% of the team’s point production (260/560), 49.3% of the goals (107/217) and 43.9% of the assists (153/349).
(Don’t) Put It In Reverse Terr
Chris Terry became the 96th player in AHL history to amass 500 or more points when he tallied an assist on Turner Elson’s power play goal on March 31. With 29 goals (T14th in AHL) and 61 points (T18th) – both team highs – Terry reached the 60-point mark for the sixth time in his AHL career.
AHL's Active Goal Leaders:
1) Chris Bourque (BRI) - 250
2) Chris Mueller (TOR) - 222
3) Chris Terry - 212
AHL's Active Point Leaders:
1) Chris Bourque (BRI) - 744
2) T.J. Hensick (SJ) - 588
3) Cal O'Reilly (IA) - 581
4) Travis Morin (TEX) - 561
5) Chris Conner (LV) - 529
6) Chris Mueller (TOR) - 527
7) Chris Terry - 501
Wade For It
In 34 GP in 2019, Wade Megan led Grand Rapids with 30 points and 16 goals while placing fourth with 14 assists.
Sixth-year pro Turner Elson enjoyed a career year in 2018-19 during his second season as a Griffin, posting career highs in points (39, previous best was 30), goals (18, previous best was 17) and assists (21, previous best was 16). Elson was signed by the Red Wings on Feb. 5 to a two-year contract that will run through the end of the 2019-20 season.
You’re A Wizard, Harri
Harri Sateri finished with a 22-11-5 record during his first season with Grand Rapids, tying for 14th in the league in wins and reaching the 20-win mark for the first time in his six AHL campaigns.
In his first season in North America, Patrik Rybar finished 10th in the AHL with a 2.49 GAA while showing a 16-16-5 record. He shut out the Milwaukee Admirals on Jan. 19 and March 9 for his first two clean sheets. Rybar and Sateri teamed to form the first European goaltender tandem in Griffins history.
Matt Puempel became the 40th player in franchise history to record 100 or more points in a Griffins uniform following a two-assist effort on March 8 vs. Iowa. The sixth-year pro paced Grand Rapids with 16 multi-point outings and eight power play goals. Puempel reached the 20-goal plateau for the third time in his AHL career and in back-to-back campaigns after depositing 23 last season (22 with Grand Rapids, 1 with Hartford).
Fastest To 100 Points In Franchise History
|Rank||Games||Player||Date Reached 100 Points|
Sharing the Wealth
Chris Terry (29-32—61), Matt Puempel (24-26—50) and Carter Camper (17-33—50) all hit the 50-point plateau to mark the third consecutive season the Griffins boasted at least three players with 50 or more points.
The sixth overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by Detroit, rookie Filip Zadina notched 35 points (16-19—35) in 59 games with Grand Rapids this season while becoming the highest Red Wings draft pick ever to suit up for the Griffins. Only three players in Griffins history were drafted higher than No. 6: Jason Spezza (No. 2 by Ottawa in 2001), Darrin Shannon (No. 4 by Pittsburgh in 1988) and Stephen Weiss (No. 4 by Florida in 2001). Dylan Larkin (selected 15th overall in the 2014 Draft) was the previous highest Red Wings draft selection to play for Grand Rapids. Zadina’s 35 points tied for 19th on the Griffins’ single-season rookie scoring list. Zadina became the 176th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he debuted with Detroit on Feb. 24 vs. San Jose. In nine games during his first NHL stint, Zadina recorded three points (1-2—3).
Brian Lashoff’s 453 GP rank first among active players who’ve spent their entire AHL career with the same team and tie for 12th all time.
|981||Bill Needham||Cleveland Barons|
|753||Arnie Kullman||Hershey Bears|
|608||Howie Yanosik||Hershey Bears|
|570||Paul Larivee||Providence Reds|
|534||Pete Backor||Pittsburgh Hornets|
|531||Roger DeJordy||Hershey Bears|
|517||Pete Kapusta||Providence Reds|
|513||Stan Smrke||Rochester Americans|
|496||Bob Leduc||Providence Reds|
|459||Chuck Hamilton||Hershey Bears|
|454||Barry Ashbee||Hershey Bears|
|453||Brian Lashoff||Grand Rapids Griffins|
|453||Frank Mario||Hershey Bears|
|444||Sandy McGregor||Baltimore Clippers|
|444||Darryl Sly||Rochester Americans|
The Griffins were involved in 22 games this season tied after regulation, setting a single-season franchise record. The 2008-09 and 2006-07 teams both played 20 games tied after 60 minutes. The Griffins finished 5-7 in overtime this season and 6-4 in a shootout.
Chris Terry was selected to play for the Central Division All-Star Team at the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, which was held Jan. 27-28 in Springfield, Mass. Terry, in his 10th season as a professional and first in Grand Rapids, earned his third consecutive AHL All-Star bid and fourth overall (2012). Terry was named the Griffins’ winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Grand Rapids community during the 2018-19 season. He earned his second consecutive Man of the Year award after being Laval’s recipient in 2017-18.
The Griffins averaged 8,206 fans per game and finished with an increase over last season (7,960 avg.), posting an average of 8,000+ for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
Following a 5-2 win at Iowa on March 26, the Griffins finished their season-high six-game road trip with a 5-1 record, the most successful six-game swing in franchise history and the second-best trip of at least six games (finished 6-1 during a seven-game trip from March 25-April 7, 2000).
Home vs. Road
Despite concluding the season with a six-game winless streak at Van Andel Arena (0-5-1-0), the Griffins finished with a 22-10-3-3 overall mark inside friendly confines and ranked among the league’s home leaders with 22 wins (T10th), 50 points (T8th) and a 0.658 points percentage (T11th). Grand Rapids claimed 20 or more victories on home ice for the seventh straight season. Chris Terry (14-20—34), Carter Camper (11-19—30), Matt Puempel (12-15—27) and Filip Zadina (12-15—27) paced the team in scoring at home. Harri Sateri tallied a 13-3-2 at Van Andel Arena with a 2.51 GAA and a 0.906 save percentage while Patrik Rybar was 9-7-4 with a 2.58 GAA, a 0.905 save mark and one shutout. On the road, Terry (15-12—27), Puempel (12-11—23) and Camper (6-14—20) led the scoring charge. Sateri was 9-8-3 in away games with a 3.13 GAA and a 0.893 save percentage and Rybar posted a 7-9-1 record, a 2.39 GAA, a 0.912 save percentage and one shutout.
Griffins in General
The Griffins were the second team in the Western Conference to reach 80 points following a 2-1 shootout win at San Antonio on March 19...Grand Rapids became the first in the West to hit the 70-point plateau after a 4-3 shootout win against Texas on Feb. 22...The Griffins became the fifth team in the league this season to reach 30 victories after a 3-2 overtime win vs. San Antonio on Feb. 16...Grand Rapids achieved 30 Ws or more in its first 53 games for the sixth time in the last seven seasons...The Griffins’ 3-0 win against Milwaukee on Jan. 19 marked the franchise’s 950th all-time regular season victory…Grand Rapids is 965-656-27-58-112 (0.585) in the regular season since 1996-97…Grand Rapids’ 305 regular season wins and 661 points since the 2012-13 campaign are both the second-most in the AHL in that time, trailing only Toronto (317 / 687) and just ahead of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (304 / 657).
Win Some, Lose Some
Compare the statistics during the Griffins’ 38 wins and 38 losses (including overtime and shootout):
Back To Back
Compare the statistics for when the Griffins played on successive nights:
|W||L (incl. OT, SO)||GF||GA||PP%||PK%||SF||SA|
Four Griffins set personal career highs this season:
Turner Elson - 39 points, 18 goals, 21 assists
Axel Holmstrom - 12 goals
Vili Saarijarvi - 16 points, 2 goals, 14 assists
Harri Sateri - 22 wins
On a Scale of 1-10
Ten Griffins ranked among the AHL's individual leaders during the regular season:
Chris Terry - 61 points (T18th), 29 goals (T14th), 204 shots (T10th)
Turner Elson - 3 shorthanded goals (T8th)
Matt Puempel - 225 shots (4th)
Vili Saarijarvi - +19 rating (T14th among defensemen)
Jake Chelios - +18 rating (T16th among defensemen)
Dylan McIlrath - 98 PIM (T9th among defensemen)
Filip Hronek - 4 power play goals (T14th among defensemen)
Filip Zadina - 16 goals (T15th among rookies)
Patrik Rybar - 2.49 GAA (10th), 2 shutouts (T11th)
Harri Sateri - 40 GP (T16th), 2367:33 minutes (15th), 22 wins (T14th) 1.000 shootout save percentage (T1st)
Take Me to Your Leaders
Following this year’s performances, several Griffins rank among the franchise’s all-time top 10 statistical leaders (regular season):
Colin Campbell - 319 games played (8th), 5 shorthanded goals (T7th)
Carter Camper - 2 overtime goals (T7th)
Martin Frk - 25 power play goals (T3rd), 14 first goals (T3rd)
Filip Hronek - 3 overtime goals (T3rd)
Brian Lashoff - 453 games played (2nd)
Patrik Rybar - 2.49 goals against average (10th)
Harri Sateri - 4 shootout wins (T10th), 1.000 shootout percentage (1st)
One for the Books
A few Griffins compiled statistics that ranked among the team’s all-time top 10 for a single season:
Carter Camper - 2 overtime goals (T3rd)
Turner Elson - 3 shorthanded goals (T5th)
Filip Hronek - 2 overtime goals (T3rd)
Harri Sateri - 4 shootout wins (T6th), 1.000 shootout percentage (1st)
Filip Zadina - 1 overtime goal (T9th)
In the Show
With the advancement of 11 former Griffins to the NHL this season, Grand Rapids has now sent 179 players on to the NHL during its 23 seasons of play. Forty-two Griffins alumni logged ice time in the NHL during the 2018-19 regular season.