The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/24/13 at 09:01 PM ET
When the Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, Red Wings fans have a chance to watch the team's "next wave" up close as the Grand Rapids Griffins will hold a pair of exhibition games against the Lake Erie Monsters in Southeastern Michigan (and Southwestern Ontario).
On Saturday night, the Griffins and Monsters will play at Plymouth's Compuware Arena, and on Sunday the 29th, the teams will face off again at Windsor's WFCU Centre. The Plymouth Observer (no author's name listed) took note of the Griffins' appearance in Plymouth:
Plymouth Whalers fans know Saturday night is Hockey Night at Compuware Arena. Compuware will shift focus from the Whalers to the American Hockey League, hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Lake Erie Monsters in an AHL pre-season game. Tickets for the 7 p.m. contest run $10 and are available at the Compuware Arena box office by calling (734) 453-8400.
“The game should be a lot of fun for our fans,” said Compuware Arena President and Plymouth Whalers General Manager and Head Coach Mike Vellucci. “They’ll be able to watch players who are a half-step away from the National Hockey League. And they may be able to see Mitchell Heard and Garrett Meurs again, who were very good players here in Plymouth.
Those players skate for the Monsters, who are the Colorado Avalanche's AHL affiliate.
“We appreciate the cooperation of (Detroit Red Wings Assistant General Manager and Grand Rapids General Manager) Ryan Martin and (Lake Erie Director of Operations) David Oliver.”
The Griffins are the AHL-affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings and are defending Calder Cup champions, clinching their first league championship in franchise history last June.
“This game gives Red Wings fans a chance to see the current Calder Cup champions and future Red Wings,” said Martin. “The opportunity to have the game close to Detroit and at a great venue like Compuware Arena makes for a great fit.
“The Griffins are also playing in the Hockeytown Winter Festival later this year, so fans will get a preview of that game (Dec. 30 against the Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park).”
Update: And if you like beer more than hockey, prior to the Wings-Leafs and Griffins-Monsters games, the Red Wings are holding their "BrewHaHa" at the Joe this Saturday:
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.