GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Fourteen members of last season’s Grand Rapids Griffins squad will be among 23 of the team’s alumni who will take to the ice this Friday, Jan. 1 for 11 days of Detroit Red Wings training camp at the BELFOR Training Center inside Little Caesars Arena.
The core of the 2019-20 Griffins will be together for the first time since March 11, when a 4-1 win over Iowa marked Grand Rapids’ last game before the American Hockey League's season was suspended. The Griffins had climbed up to third in the Central Division and were in position to extend their franchise record with an eighth consecutive berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
In all, 40 players will participate in daily on-ice practices, with Red & White scrimmages taking place on Tuesday, Jan. 5, Friday, Jan. 8 and Sunday, Jan. 10. Live streams of practices and scrimmages will be available on detroitredwings.com, where the camp’s roster and schedule can also be found.
The 14 members of the 2019-20 Griffins who are are slated to participate include forwards Turner Elson, Taro Hirose, Chase Pearson, Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov, Dominic Turgeon and Filip Zadina; defensemen Dennis Cholowski, Joe Hicketts, Brian Lashoff, Gustav Lindstrom and Dylan McIlrath; and goaltender Pat Nagle.
Also present at camp will be nine others with previous Griffins playing experience – Tyler Bertuzzi, Kyle Criscuolo, Danny DeKeyser, Valtteri Filppula, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Filip Hronek, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha – and a handful of players who could make their Grand Rapids debuts this season.
Griffins third-year head coach Ben Simon will assist the Red Wings’ coaching staff, headed by former Grand Rapids bench boss Jeff Blashill, during the camp.
This afternoon, the AHL Board of Governors approved the structural framework for an AHL season that will begin on Feb. 5. Details are being worked out and will be made public when available.