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McNAMARA DEPARTS AFTER 15 SEASONS AS GM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – After serving 15 seasons as the only general manager in Grand Rapids Griffins history, Bob McNamara on Thursday announced that he will not return for the 2011-12 season, looking instead to pursue new opportunities in the hockey world.

McNamara guided the Griffins to aggregate records of 627-448-135 (0.574) during the regular season and 45-47 (0.489) during the playoffs while helping advance 117 players to the NHL. Since 2000, the Griffins have claimed five division titles and earned regular season championships in both the American Hockey League (2005-06) and the International Hockey League (2000-01).

“It’s been a great run over the last 15 years, beyond what I could have imagined when I came to Grand Rapids,” said McNamara. “But as difficult as it is to leave this organization, it’s time for me to look for a new challenge.

“Staying in one place for so long doesn’t happen very often in our industry, and I’ve been very fortunate to work with outstanding players, coaches and front office staff and enjoy the incredible support of Griffins fans. Most of all, I’d like to thank [owners] Dan DeVos and David Van Andel for the opportunity they gave me, the trust they placed in me, and the friendship they showed me throughout the years,” added McNamara.

“We are extremely appreciative of everything Bob has done for our franchise dating back to our inaugural season in 1996-97,” said DeVos, the Griffins’ president and CEO. “He has been one of the key people involved in helping create and sustain our franchise’s reputation for excellence. From being named the IHL’s General Manager of the Year during our first season, to reaching the Turner Cup Finals in 2000, to winning four consecutive division titles, Bob has established an impressive record of success and served as the face of our team.”

“While we are sad to say goodbye to Bob, we know that he will continue to find success in his career,” added Van Andel, chairman of the Griffins. “Bob not only has been a valued colleague, but also a great friend. We wish nothing but the best for Bob and his family in whatever the future holds next for them.”

After careful consideration of both McNamara’s departure and the changing dynamics of the sport, the Griffins have opted to forego hiring a new GM. Instead, they’ll work with the Detroit Red Wings to implement the model used by nearly all of the AHL’s 30 teams, in which the NHL club has primary responsibility for the hockey operations of its AHL affiliate. Under this new structure, various day-to-day responsibilities of the GM will be reassigned within the Griffins organization.

“Our affiliation with Detroit has evolved to the point where the Red Wings supply nearly all of our players,” said DeVos. “Over time they’ve taken on greater responsibilities and a larger and more active role in our hockey operations, so we’re confident it will be a seamless transition to this new model.”

Nine years into an affiliation that runs through the upcoming 2011-12 season, the Griffins and Red Wings have begun discussions regarding modification and extension of the current agreement, with one of the primary goals being to structure a relationship that will foster on-ice success for both the Red Wings and the Griffins.


Griffins Season-by-Season Records
Season League Regular Season         Playoffs    
GP W L T OTL SOL PTS PCT GP W L PCT
1996-97  IHL 82 40 30     12 92 0.561 5 2 3 0.400
1997-98  IHL  82  38  31      13  89  0.543  3  0  3  0.000
1998-99  IHL  82  34  40      8  76  0.463        
1999-00  IHL  82  51  22      9  111  0.677  17  10  7  0.588
2000-01  IHL  82  53  22    4  3  113  0.689  10  6  4  0.600
2001-02  AHL  80  42  27  11  0    95  0.594  5  2  3  0.400
2002-03  AHL  80  48  22  8  2    106  0.663  15  10  5  0.667
2003-04  AHL  80  44  28  8  0    96  0.600  4  0  4  0.000
2004-05  AHL  80  41  35    2  2  86  0.538        
2005-06  AHL  80  55  20    1  4  115  0.719  16  8  8  0.500
2006-07  AHL  80  37  32    6  5  85  0.531  7  3  4  0.429
2007-08  AHL  80  31  41    2  6  70  0.438        
2008-09  AHL  80  43  25    6  6  98  0.613  10  4  6  0.400
2009-10  AHL  80  34  39    3  4  75  0.469        
2010-11  AHL  80  36  34    2  8  82  0.512        
Totals     1210  627  448  27  28  80    0.574  92  45  47  0.489


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