GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Twenty-nine players with Grand Rapids Griffins playing experience will be among the 66 Detroit Red Wings stars, prospects and invitees who will take to the ice this Saturday, Sept. 17 for the start of Red Wings training camp at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich.
Twenty-one players who skated for the Griffins’ 2010-11 squad are expected to be on hand, including goaltenders Joey MacDonald, Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce; defensemen Greg Amadio, Travis Ehrhardt, Doug Janik, Jakub Kindl, Brian Lashoff, Sebastien Piche, Logan Pyett and Brendan Smith; and forwards Joakim Andersson, Willie Coetzee, Cory Emmerton, Jamie Johnson, Chris Minard, Jan Mursak, Gustav Nyquist, Francis Pare, Brent Raedeke and Tomas Tatar.
Also participating in camp will be eight other former Griffins – Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson, Landon Ferraro, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Jiri Hudler and Niklas Kronwall – and several players who could spend time with Grand Rapids this season, including defensemen Garnet Exelby and Bryan Rufenach, and forwards Mitchell Callahan, Chris Conner, Adam Estoclet and Andrej Nestrasil.
Griffins head coach Curt Fraser and assistant coach Jim Paek will assist the Red Wings’ coaching staff during the camp, which concludes next Tuesday, Sept. 20. Former Griffins Aaron Downey (AHL strength and conditioning coach) and Chris Osgood (goaltending development coach), who will both spend time in Grand Rapids working with Detroit’s prospects, are set to participate in their first training camps as coaches.
The camp schedule features abbreviated Saturday sessions, with three player groups hitting the ice at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday and Monday call for the teams to practice at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. each day, with two of those groups scrimmaging at 12:30 p.m.
Camp will conclude Tuesday with a Red vs. White game at noon, before the Red Wings begin their eight-game preseason schedule in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. The preseason schedule will also include a stop in Grand Rapids for the Red and White Game on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.
For the fifth consecutive year the Griffins will conduct their own training camp at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena to facilitate their players’ participation in the Red Wings’ preseason games. Practice dates and times are yet to be announced. The Griffins’ first local practice is currently scheduled for Monday, Oct. 3.
The Griffins will open the American Hockey League’s regular season on the road, taking on the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8:05 p.m. They will kick off the home slate when the Toronto Marlies visit Van Andel Arena on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. For ticket information, visit griffinshockey.com or call the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.