The Afternoon Shift – March 1

He's never looked better./Photo of Drew MacIntyre by Mark Newman

To steal a line from SI.com’s Adrian Dater, yesterday’s NHL trade deadline seemed more like an AHL trade deadline. Few big names switched teams, due in part to both the salary cap issues that saddle many Stanley Cup contenders and some notable deals that had already been made in the weeks leading up to Feb. 28. But a lot of depth players changed hands in the frantic hours before 3 p.m.

The Griffins’ roster was unaffected by the wheeling and dealing — maybe a good thing, maybe a bad thing, depending on your perspective – as the Red Wings opted to watch from the sidelines. However, many AHL players found new homes, including a pair of former Griffins.

Patrick Rissmiller, who was praised here last Thursday for becoming the Griffins’ 116th and most recent NHL alumnus, now finds himself with his third AHL team in four months and his fifth in 17 months following a trade from Atlanta to Florida. Oddly enough, his most recent AHL contest was against the Griffins last Saturday in Cleveland, as a member of the Lake Erie Monsters, and his next two will be in Grand Rapids this weekend, following his assignment to the Rochester Americans.

The other old friend on the move is goaltender Drew MacIntyre, whom we still like despite his maddening propensity for joining the Griffins’ fiercest rivals. Since his last game with Grand Rapids nearly five years ago, he’s manned the pipes for Manitoba, Milwaukee and Chicago, and he’ll soon add Hamilton to that list. MacIntyre’s trade from Atlanta to Montreal and his subsequent assignment to the Bulldogs might mean that standout Curtis Sanford will miss significant time with a reported back injury suffered on Saturday. 

Sanford currently is tied for the AHL lead in save percentage (0.930) and ranks second with a 1.93 GAA. While MacIntyre’s numbers don’t quite approach those lofty figures, he has posted a team-best 2.91 GAA and 0.906 save percentage this season for a Wolves squad that, to be kind, has been defensively challenged.

The Griffins won’t get another crack at MacIntyre this season, as they’ve completed their series against the Bulldogs with a 4-2-0-0 record. In three games against Grand Rapids as a member of the Wolves, his GAA was an unenviable 3.44, but his 0.914 save percentage gives you an idea of the immense amount of rubber (93 shots) he faced over just 140 minutes.

For the record, the AHL’s Clear Day deadline, when rosters have to be set for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, is this coming Monday, March 7 at 3 p.m.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL/opponent links:

Alumni news and notes:

Video – NHL alumni goals:

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