GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday released left wing Justin Abdelkader from his professional tryout, as he’ll be joining Team USA as an alternate for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
Former Griffins center Andy Miele and goaltender Pat Nagle were previously named to the United States’ 25-man Olympic roster, while 11 other alumni were also selected to play for their respective countries.
This will be Abdelkader’s sixth time representing his nation, as the Muskegon, Mich., native most recently captained Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2021 World Championship. The forward captured his first bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Championship, made his World Championship debut in 2012 before first serving as captain in 2014, then played in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. While wearing the Red, White and Blue, Abdelkader has amassed 12 points (5-7—12) and 47 penalty minutes in 31 contests.
The 14-year-pro joined the Griffins on a professional tryout on Jan. 21 and made his season debut a day later against Milwaukee, setting the new standard for longest time between Griffins appearances at 4,305 days, or 11 years, nine months and 12 days (April 10, 2010 to Jan. 22, 2022). Abdelkader competed with Grand Rapids for two years from 2008-10 before moving on to the Detroit Red Wings, where he ultimately played parts of 13 seasons. The 2004 Mr. Hockey of Michigan has skated in 112 games for the Griffins and totaled 76 points (35-41—76) and 190 penalty minutes, earning AHL All-Rookie Team honors during the 2008-09 season when he logged 52 points (24-28—52) in 76 contests.
Abdelkader earned a full-time roster spot with Detroit in the 2010-11 season and concluded his NHL career with 739 games, 252 points (106-146—252) and 608 penalty minutes. The former Michigan State Spartan wore the “A” on his Red Wings jersey from 2016-20. Abdelkader spent his entire North American career in the Red Wings organization and appeared in eight Stanley Cup Playoff runs.
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.
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