Friday, October 06, 2006

Griffins Update

This is a new feature at On The Wings that Matt has asked me to write. Hopefully, I will write about once a week just to report what’s going on with the Wings AHL affiliate. The Grand Rapids Griffins are made up of players assigned by either Detroit or Edmonton, as well as a few with AHL contracts. I will focus mainly on Detroit prospects, though the general success of the team will be reported.

Tonight is the Griffins season opener. They play the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio at 8:00 PM. When they take the ice tonight, the Griffins will hardly resemble the team from last year. Their roster is as follows:

Goaltenders 33- Jimmy Howard (DET)

1- Stefan Liv (DET)

Defense 3- Danny Syrvet (EDM)

4- Dan Smith (DET)

8- Nick Naumenko (GR Professional Tryout)

12- Tom Galvin (GR Professional Tryout)

18- Jason Becket (GR Professional Tryout)

22- Kyle Quincey (DET)

28- Derek Meech (DET)

Jonathan Ericsson (DET-Injured)

Offense 7- Stephane Goulet (EDM)

9- Kip Miller (GR)

10- Brock Radunske (EDM)

11- Krys Kolanos (DET)

14- Matt Hussey (DET)

15- Valterri Filppula (DET)

16- Ryan Oulahen (DET)

17- Evan McGrath (DET)

19- Eric Himelfarb (DET)

21- Josh Langfeld (DET)

23- Matt Ellis (DET)

25- Scott Barney (GR)

26- Brendan Brooks (DET)

27- Darryl Bootland (DET)

29- Ryan Keller (GR)

Only Howard, Quincey, Meech, Oulahen, Himelfarb, Ellis and Bootland remain from last season’s team. They had an incredible year, offensively, with 323 goals. 172 of those goals were scored by the top four offensive producers (Jiri Hudler, Donald MacLean, Eric Manlow and Tomas Kopecky)-all of whom are gone. The front offices of both the Red Wings and the Griffins have done a good job of getting some high production skaters.

The Griffins played only two exhibition games, and had a somewhat pathetic showing for both. The lost the fist to the Chicago Wolves, 3-2. The second was an 8-5 loss to the 05-06 Conference Champion Milwaukee Admirals. Hopefully, the regular season will have better results.

This season, there are a few key prospects to keep an eye on. Jimmy Howard is an obvious one. He’s already proven he can succeed at the AHL level in the regular season. He’ll be looking to prove that he can play in the post-season. Stefan Liv is a very exciting addition. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to North American hockey. He and Howard will make a great tandem and will hopefully lead GR to the Calder Cup. On defense, the Wings have Kyle Quincey coming up. His skills were seen quite clearly during the Preseason games for Detroit. On offense, Darryl Bootland and Valterri Filppula will hopefully play on the same line once again, though their linemate will be absent (Kopecky). They were arguably the Griffins best line last season. Filppula is on track to reach the NHL quite soon. If Bootland has another season like this past one, it could give him a much better chance of making the Wings next season.


At 11/08/2006 06:57:00 PM, Blogger Kayla! said...

I Love Jonathan Ericsson so much !Woww

At 11/19/2006 09:35:00 PM, Blogger Me said...

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