GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned left wing Taro Hirose and defenseman Luke Witkowski to the Grand Rapids Griffins from their taxi squad and reassigned goaltender Calvin Pickard to the Griffins.
Hirose made his NHL season debut on Dec. 18 against the New Jersey Devils, logging an even plus-minus rating and two penalty minutes. The left winger appeared in 26 outings with Detroit in 2019-20 and six last season, amassing nine points (2-7—9). The former Michigan State Spartan has 10 penalty minutes and 16 points (3-13—16) in 43 NHL games. After leading the Griffins in assists a year ago with 23, Hirose has picked off right where he left off as he has bagged 19 helpers in the opening 30 games, which is a team high and tied for ninth in the AHL. The Calgary, Alberta, native’s 27 points (8-19—27) this season pace the Griffins and are tied for 14th on the circuit.
Witkowski joined the Red Wings for the first time this year on Dec. 7 and has since been sent back to the NHL club four times now. Witkowski, 31, is in search of his first NHL game since Nov. 1, 2019. From 2017-19, the blueliner spent two full seasons with Detroit, totaling six points (1-5—6) and 91 penalty minutes in 65 outings. The former Western Michigan Bronco has appeared in 131 games in the NHL and has amassed 13 points (2-11—13) and 162 penalty minutes. Witkowski has spent eight years in the AHL with Syracuse and Grand Rapids, registering 49 points (9-40—49) and 666 penalty minutes in 285 contests. Through 24 games this season with the Griffins, the Holland, Mich., native has two assists and 47 penalty minutes, which places eighth among AHL defensemen.
Pickard was the backup goaltender for Detroit in today’s game against Buffalo and has appeared in 113 NHL games throughout his career, with his most recent contest coming on May 8, 2021 against Columbus. The netminder has posted a 34-53-10 record in the NHL with a 3.01 goals against average, 0.904 save percentage and four shutouts. The 10-year-pro has seen action in 25 of the 31 games this season with Grand Rapids. He set a new AHL career high for consecutive games played (14) on Dec. 10 at Manitoba and made his 12th straight start on Dec. 22, which set a new career high for the goaltender. Pickard currently places sixth in the AHL with a 2.31 goals against average while his 0.930 save percentage ranks second.
Single-game tickets are on sale through griffinshockey.com/tickets. 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.
Photo by Mark Newman/Griffins