The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/24/13 at 04:57 AM ET
As noted on Thursday, the Grand Rapids Griffins have been a step ahead of the Red Wings in terms of their 2012-2013 schedule, and they're a step ahead of the Red Wings in terms of their playoff push.
The Griffins will face off against the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL's Western Conference Finals tonight, hosting the Edmonton Oilers' affiliate for back-to-back games at Van Andel Arena before heading to OKC for 3 games.
The Griffins have posted an incredibly thorough, if not exhaustive series preview, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner both spoke to Griffins alums (Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson) and the Griffins' coach, respectively, Wallner also posted the series schedule and a recap of the Griffins' regular season tilts against the Barons, and...
Well, the Barons' practice facility is located half a mile from the path of the tornado that tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, and several of the team's players, their equipment manager and coach told the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones that they saw the tornado forming over their houses. Former Baron and current Griffins defenseman Triston Grant told Wallner that he had to check in on his friends in OKC, and Waller notes that the Griffins are very specifically holding a charitable drive to benefit the victims of the tornado at tonight's home game:
The Grand Rapids Griffins will take part in the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts with games Friday and Saturday against Oklahoma City at Van Andel Arena.
Here is a rundown of events planned during the opening two games of the Western Conference finals.
All proceeds will benefit the Red Cross unless otherwise noted.
• A moment of silence will be held before Friday’s game;
• Each Griffins player who participated in the series against Toronto will autograph one of his game-used sticks, and all of those sticks will be sold Friday on the arena concourse between 5:45 p.m. and the end of the second intermission. Price is $100 per stick, first-come, first-served;
• During the first timeout of the first period on Friday, representatives from Meijer will present a check to the Red Cross, and fans will be encouraged to make a donation via text message;
• The Griffins Booster Club will conduct a Chuck-a-Puck on Friday and a 50/50 raffle on Saturday;
• Donation buckets will be placed at various arena concession stands;
• The Griffins are facilitating additional donations through ticket sales to our corporate partners;
• Bell ringers will be present on the arena plaza to raise funds for the Salvation Army’s relief efforts.
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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.