Griffins and Red Wings Extend Affiliation Another Five Seasons

July 25, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Grand Rapids Griffins and the Detroit Red Wings on Monday announced a five-year extension of their affiliation agreement, ensuring that one of the most fruitful and passion-inducing partnerships in hockey will continue through at least the 2026-27 season.

This 20-year-old affiliation has seen the Griffins win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup on two occasions (2013 and 2017), making Grand Rapids one of three active AHL franchises to ever claim two cups within a span of five seasons. Coupled with the Red Wings' Stanley Cup in 2008, the Detroit organization's three combined AHL and NHL championships over the last two decades tie for third behind Tampa Bay (3 NHL, 1 AHL) and Washington (1 NHL, 3 AHL), and only one other current AHL-NHL pairing (Hershey-Washington) has produced a championship for both teams over that timeframe.

The Griffins-Red Wings partnership comprises one of the longest affiliations between current AHL and NHL franchises, ranking as the sixth-longest tenure. The Providence Bruins and Boston Bruins have the longest active, uninterrupted affiliation at 30 years.

"We are excited that the 20-year relationship between the Griffins and the Red Wings, one of the premier NHL/AHL partnerships, is continuing," said Scott Gorsline, executive vice president of DP Fox and COO/alternate governor for the Griffins. "Steve Yzerman, Shawn Horcoff and the entire Red Wings organization are great partners, and we look forward to exciting and competitive hockey in Detroit and Grand Rapids over the next five years."

The Griffins have sent 112 players to Hockeytown since the affiliation's inception in 2002. The names of nine former Griffins were engraved on the Stanley Cup following Detroit's 2008 title, and 76 Grand Rapids alumni played for the Red Wings over the final 13 seasons of their remarkable 25-year playoff streak that ended in 2016.

Most recently, 19 of the 38 players who appeared in at least one game for Detroit in 2021-22 also spent time with the Griffins during their careers. Ten of them were recalled from Grand Rapids last season, including Chase Pearson, who made his NHL debut on March 24. Last month, Moritz Seider became the first Grand Rapids alum to win the NHL's Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition.

"Grand Rapids continues to be a model franchise both on and off the ice and we're excited to continue our partnership," said Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman. "The winning culture established by the Griffins is extremely beneficial for the development of our young players and the fans in Grand Rapids do a tremendous job creating an exciting atmosphere to support the growth of our players."

The Griffins (Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy) and Red Wings (Presidents' Trophy) won their respective regular-season titles in 2005-06, becoming the first of only two sets of affiliates (Hershey-Washington in 2009-10) in at least the last 37 years to claim their leagues' best records in the same season.

In all, the 20-year relationship between Michigan's premier hockey teams has brought two cups, one regular-season championship, five conference finals appearances, 11 playoff berths (in 18 postseasons, including a franchise-record seven straight from 2013 through 2019), and four division titles to Grand Rapids, along with one cup, another trip to the final, three regular-season championships, three conference final appearances, 13 playoff berths, and seven division crowns to Detroit.

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