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KARLANDER COMES, RITOLA REMAINS

Ritola made his NHL debut with the Wings today.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday signed left wing Kory Karlander to a professional tryout, marking the 13-year veteran’s fifth different season in a Griffins uniform.

Karlander, 35, totaled 169 games during a pair of two-year stints with the club (1998-00 in the IHL, 2003-05 in the AHL), compiling 64 points (25-39—64), 206 penalty minutes and a plus-one rating. His four shorthanded goals during the 1998-99 campaign led the IHL and set what was then a single-season franchise record, while his six career shorthanded tallies still tie for third all time on the Griffins.

Currently playing his fourth season with the Kalamazoo Wings, Karlander leads the IHL with 81 points (35-46—81) in 61 games and ranks second on the circuit in both goals and assists. He will play his first game as a Griffin in nearly three years tonight when the Lake Erie Monsters visit Van Andel Arena at 7 p.m. Karlander’s last appearance for Grand Rapids came in a 5-0 home win over the Monsters’ predecessors, the Cleveland Barons, on March 29, 2005.

Karlander assumes the roster spot of Mattias Ritola, who became the 93rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his debut for Detroit earlier today in the Red Wings’ 3-1 loss to Nashville. Ritola, summoned this morning to replace the flu-stricken Aaron Downey, logged 4:29 of ice time and recorded one shot.

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