The Malik Report
by George Malik on 01/14/13 at 02:35 PM ET
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that the Grand Rapids Griffins are preparing to head to Detroit to take part in Tuesday and Thursday's "Red vs. White" scrimmage, and as they're slated to play several games immediately after the scrimmage, the Wings are giving the Griffins an assist by chartering Red Bird III to fly them to both Charlotte, NC and Rockford, IL:
[The scrimmage] will, in a small way, make up for the lost joint training camp held each September in Traverse City. But it is another game, too, for the Griffins during an already busy period.
“With not having the camp, it will be a nice opportunity to show them what you have,” said forward Gustav Nyquist, who has attended the past two camps. “But at the same time, they know how we’ve been playing and have watched a lot of games have a good idea what we can do. But it will be fun to mix up with the Wings and play with some really good NHL players.”
First-year defenseman Chad Billins to looking forward to it.
“It’s kind of a surreal thing to even think about,” he said. “Guys were talking in the locker room, and it will be exciting to be in that atmosphere. It’s an extra game, but whatever we have to do to get the Wings ready.”
So while the Red Wings look to get ready for their season, the Griffins prepare for another marathon week as they near midseason. The scrimmage comes a day before they play back-to-back road games at Charlotte, followed by a game Saturday at Rockford.
The Red Wings have accommodated the Griffins. The team will bus to the scrimmage, but afterward they will fly aboard the Red Wings private plane, Red Bird III, to Charlotte. After Thursday’s game against the Western Conference-leading Checkers, the plane will take the team to Rockford on Friday.
“From my perspective, it’s a great opportunity for all of our players to showcase themselves for the Red vs. White game,” said Griffins coach Jeff Blashill. “I think we’ll be absolutely fine to go in to Charlotte and play good both days. It’s a positive for our guys. Part of our responsibility here, too, is to help prepare guys for the Red Wings so this gives each of the guys a chance to see where they’re at, and gives the Red Wings a chance to see where they’re at.”
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