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MOTOWN BOUND

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled 11 players from the Grand Rapids Griffins to serve as “black aces” for the Red Wings’ 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff run.

Joining the Red Wings are goaltender Tom McCollum; defensemen Travis Ehrhardt, Garnet Exelby, Doug Janik, Brian Lashoff and Brendan Smith; and forwards Joakim Andersson, Louis-Marc Aubry, Fabian Brunnstrom, Francis Pare and Tomas Tatar.

This group will join six current Detroit players who suited up for the Griffins during the 2011-12 season: Ty Conklin, Chris Conner, Joey MacDonald, Jan Mursak, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan. Ten members of this year’s Griffins team played at least one game for the Red Wings this season. Conversely, 20 of the 31 players who played for Detroit this season are current or former Griffins, 15 of whom played a part in the Red Wings’ NHL-record 23-game home winning streak.

In addition, Griffins head coach Curt Fraser, assistant coach Jim Paek, equipment manager Brad Thompson and athletic trainer John Bernal will assist Detroit’s hockey operations staff during the postseason.

The Griffins have seen an alumnus engrave his name on the Stanley Cup in each of the past four seasons (2008-2011) and six times in the last seven seasons. This season, the team saw 31 alumni suit up for nine of the 16 NHL playoff teams: Boston (Chris Kelly); Detroit (Justin Abdelkader, Andersson, Brunnstrom, Conklin, Conner, Cory Emmerton, Jonathan Ericsson, Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Jiri Hudler, Janik, Jakub Kindl, Niklas Kronwall, MacDonald, Mursak, Nyquist, Kyle Quincey, Sheahan and Smith); Florida (Mark Cullen and Tomas Kopecky); Los Angeles (Scott Parse); Nashville (Chris Mueller); NY Rangers (Sean Avery and Kris Newbury); Ottawa (Jason Spezza and Chris Neil); Philadelphia (Andreas Lilja); and Pittsburgh (Jason Williams).

The Red Wings will continue their first-round playoff series against the Nashville Predators when they host Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


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