The Grand Rapids Griffins are continuing to play good hockey this season. Every game has been close and really exciting to watch. Coach Blashill has brought the team to a new level with his coaching style and it has been great for the fans. He really works the bench and you can see him constantly communicating with the team throughout play. The Griffins are currently in first place in the Midwest Division with 43 points.
In a few days, there will no longer be any player left from the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Championship teams. With Nicklas Lidstrom already retired, his longtime friend and fellow Swede Tomas Holmstrom is expected to retire before the lockout shortened season begins.
A report suggested that Holmstrom had already informed the Red Wings of his decision during the lockout, but the Wings wanted to wait until the lockout was over to make the announcement.
Holmstrom is one of the best players of all time in front of the net. He took severe punishment from defenders and goalies, which got him the nickname "Demolition Man."
With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.
Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.
Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.
Tuesday night the Grand Rapids Griffins were not out scoring goals and checking players into the boards instead they held their annual Tip a Griffin at the Uccello’s Restaurants to benefit The Griffins Youth Foundation.
As I was sitting in my seat early Friday night at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids my mind was in full motion thinking of the upcoming game and season for the Grand Rapids Griffins. How would the team look this year? With players during the summer signing up overseas and the looming NHL lockout what were the Griffins going to look like and how would they perform?
Well, what a boring, disappointing, lackluster, saddening and gut wrenching offseason it;s been so far for the Detroit Red Wings. Look in a thesaurus and find more words that mean demoralizing, but the way things have gone this summer have not gone according to plan, if there was one at all.
For the millionth time, let's recap what happened. First and most importantly, Nicklas Lidstrom retired. No more number five on the blueline. No one to cover mistakes. No one to play 25 outstanding minutes a night. There is literally no one that can replace Lidstrom, although the Wings did try.
They made an attempt to pry Ryan Suter from the Nashville Predators, but he went to Minnesota to be forgotten for the rest of his career. Cross off the other defenceman from the UFA list because none come close to filling the void. The only other option was Shea Weber, Nashville's captain. Philadelphia signed him to a massive offer sheet, and the Predators matched it, allowing them to retain their star defenceman for the rest of his career.
In what will end up being a mediocre off-season in the eyes of Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere, the organization has done very little and seems to be all out of ideas. But does it make sense to go after yet another forward?
In what continues to be a stagnant summer for Detroit, the Red Wings have officially announced that Martin Frk, the Wings' 49th pick overall in the latest entry draft, has signed with Detroit to an entry-level contract. Frk played last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he logged 16 goals and 13 assists in 34 games.
An assessment of Frk shows that scouts feel his shooting ability is pro caliber, but many worry about primarily his skating and overall conditioning. With the system Detroit has in place, Frk will no doubt get the proper care he needs to develop fully into a reliable NHL forward. If he is able to bring his conditioning and skating up, paired with his already devastating shot, he could wind up becoming a star sniper in the Red Wings' future roster.