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Record 13 Former Griffins to Participate in Olympics

January 26, 2022 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Continuing the Grand Rapids Griffins' long and storied history with the Olympic Games, a record 13 former Griffins will take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics that will be held in Beijing, China, from Feb. 4-20.

The group includes four Calder Cup champions and all three goalies from the Griffins' 2018-19 squad that earned the franchise's seventh consecutive playoff berth. Seven of the 12 participating countries' rosters will include a former Griffins player, and 15 of the 18 Preliminary Round games will involve at least one of these alumni.

Taking part will be Andy Miele and Pat Nagle of the United States; Landon Ferraro, Eddie Pasquale and Ben Street from Canada; Jake Chelios and Ryan Sproul with China; Libor Sulak of the Czech Republic; Valtteri Filppula and Harri Sateri from Finland; Tomas Jurco and Patrik Rybar of Slovakia; and Mathias Brome from Sweden.

In addition, Mike Fountain will coach in the Paralympic Winter Games scheduled for March 4-13 in Beijing, as he is in his fourth year as the goaltending coach for Canada's Para Hockey Team.

Eight former Griffins participated as players or coaches in the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, after a then-record 11 alumni played in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

A Griffins alum has medaled in each of the last four Olympics. In the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, Niklas Kronwall became the first Griffins alumnus to earn an Olympic medal, winning gold thanks to Sweden's victory over Finland in the championship game. Valtteri Filppula became the second to medal in 2010 in Vancouver, earning a bronze with Finland. Kronwall then became the only former Griffin to win two Olympic medals by taking silver in Sochi alongside fellow Grand Rapids alumni Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson and Gustav Nyquist, completing the Olympic medal spectrum for former Griffins. The 2018 Games in PyeongChang featured two medal winners, as Alexey Marchenko won gold with the Olympic Athletes from Russia while Chris Kelly scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the bronze medal game.

With the selection of this year's 13 players, 37 alumni have donned their nations' colors after concluding their Griffins careers. Five players represented their countries while playing for the Griffins, including Kronwall during Sweden's gold-medal run in 2006. Among 16 players who participated in the Olympics prior to their time in Grand Rapids, Curtis Joseph (2002 Canada), Stefan Liv (2006 Sweden), Mikael Samuelsson (2006 Sweden) and Slava Butsayev (1992 Unified Team) all earned gold medals.


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