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GONE CAMPING UP NORTH


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– Twenty-four players with Grand Rapids Griffins playing experience will be among the dozens of Detroit Red Wings stars, prospects and invitees who will take to the ice this Saturday, Sept. 20 for the start of Red Wings training camp at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich.

Seventeen players who skated for the Griffins’ 2007-08 squad are expected to be on hand for the start of Red Wings camp, including goaltender Jimmy Howard; defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Tom Galvin, Jason Jozsa, Jakub Kindl, Derek Meech and Kyle Quincey; and forwards Cory Emmerton, Randall Gelech, Darren Helm, Francis Lemieux, Darren McCarty, Evan McGrath, Ryan Oulahen, Mattias Ritola, Jamie Tardif and Zack Torquato.

Also participating in camp will be all nine former Griffins whose names will soon be engraved on the Stanley Cup – Valtteri Filppula, Helm, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Kopecky, Niklas Kronwall, Brett Lebda, McCarty, Meech and Chris Osgood – and a host of players who could spend time with Grand Rapids this season, including goaltender Daniel Larsson; defensemen P.J. Atherton, Sergei Kolosov and Logan Pyett; and forwards Justin Abdelkader, Aaron Downey, Darren Haydar, Jan Mursak and Francis Pare.

Griffins head coach Curt Fraser and assistant coach Jim Paek will assist the Red Wings’ coaching staff throughout the camp, which concludes next Tuesday, Sept. 23.

The camp schedule for Saturday and Sunday calls for three player groups to practice separately at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with two of those groups scrimmaging at 11:15 a.m. Monday and Tuesday will feature reduced schedules, before the Wings start their preseason slate by hosting Montreal on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

For the second consecutive year the Griffins will conduct their own training camp at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. The Griffins’ camp will take place from Sunday, Sept. 28 to Friday, Oct. 3, with practice times to be announced in the coming days.

After opening the 2008-09 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 11 in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters and playing their first three games on the road, the Griffins will make their Van Andel Arena debut on Saturday, Oct. 25 against the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Single-game tickets for all 40 home games will go on sale this Saturday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. at all Star Tickets outlets or online. Group, full-season and mini-plan ticket packages are currently available by calling the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.

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