Calder Cup playoffs start next week

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As Grand Rapids prepares to host American Hockey League Calder Cup playoff games, a sign at Van Andel Arena is championing the Griffins’ mantra to defend the cup.

The Griffins last year won their first ever Calder Cup, beating the Syracuse Crunch in six games. This year, they hope to win the trophy again.

The Grand Rapids Griffins pose on the ice at War Memorial Arena in Syracuse after defeating the Crush in Game 6 to win the AHL championship. (June 18, 2013)
(The Grand Rapids Griffins pose on the ice after defeating Syracuse to win the Calder Cup. June 18, 2013)

Photos: Griffins celebrate Calder Cup

The Griffins finish up their regular season games this week, playing the Lake Erie Monsters Friday at home and in Cleveland on Saturday.

Though they have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and the right to defend their Calder Cup title, the Griffins are still hoping to earn a division title, which would give them a better seeding in the playoffs.

Playoffs begin next week, though dates have not yet been determined and we won’t know until this weekend who will be the Griffins’ first-round opponent.

Wednesday, crews spent a few hours putting up a 1,000-square-foot playoff logo that reads “Defend the Cup” on Van Andel Arena’s Fulton Street windows.

A Grand Rapids Griffins "Defend the Cup" logo on Van Andel Arena. (April 16, 2014)“It seems like just yesterday we won the cup. Here we are about to do another run,” Griffins Senior Director of Public Relations Randy Cleves said. “The fans are really excited. We are pumped. We wanted to get everyone interested again, so we have the ‘defend the cup logo’ going up on the arena today.”

It replaces a Calder Cup champions logo that went up in June after the Griffins won the cup.

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