Griffins gear up for Friday season opener

Grand Rapids Griffins
The Grand Rapids Griffins practice at Van Andel Arena on Oct. 10, 2016.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — He doesn’t have his full allotment of players yet, but as the Grand Rapids Griffins get ready for their season opener Friday night, head coach Todd Nelson has a lot more talent on the ice than he had last week.

The Detroit Red Wings reassigned Eric Tangradi, Mitch Callahan, Nick Jensen, Brian Lashoff and goalie Jared Coreau to the Griffins. Tyler Bertuzzi also skated with the team in practice at Van Andel Arena on Monday.

Bertuzzi shined with the Wings during the exhibition season, but they want to give him a little more seasoning.

“A lot of guys got at least four games in, so they got looked at, so they can’t complain about not getting an opportunity,” Nelson said. “But I think with them coming down here, it makes them hungry, knowing they’re not too far away from going up and helping out Detroit. So I think that’s a positive thing looking forward.”

“I had a good camp. I was confident going into there. It tuned out the way I wanted to. Now I’m going to come back here and have another good year hopefully and see what happens,” Bertuzzi said.

Anthony Mantha was also reassigned to Grand Rapids Tuesday. He was fighting for a spot in Detroit, but Andreas Athanasiou won that battle.

Nathan Paetsch was named team captain Wednesday. Matthew Ford, Ben Street and Lashoff are the assistant captains.

The Griffins open the season against the Chicago Wolves at 7 p.m. Friday at Van Andel Arena.

The Red Wings start their season Thursday versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida.



Grand Rapids Griffins