The Afternoon Shift – Feb. 4

Travis Richards was a mainstay on the Griffins’ roster for 10 seasons, and his No. 24 jersey was proudly hung from the rafters of Van Andel Arena in 2006. Now, he’s ready to take his rightful place on your credenza.

Richards’ likeness has been immortalized in resin form as a result of fan voting earlier this season, and his bobbleheads will be given away to the first 3,000 fans through the gates before Saturday’s game against Milwaukee. (Thanks, Lake Michigan Credit Union!)

The legend himself will be in the house tomorrow night as well, signing autographs for season ticket holders in the Arbor Mortgage Club prior to the game, and once again for the general public in Amway Section A during the first intermission.

Richards’ homage-in-plastic appropriately falls on Hockey Day in Michigan — or at least on the Griffins’ belated celebration of the event (since there was no home game on Jan. 29). Although Richards played his college hockey in his native Minnesota, it was in Michigan where he was based during his entire 13-year pro career (1993-96 in Kalamazoo and 1996-2006 in Grand Rapids) and where he settled after his playing days were over. The Kentwood resident is in his sixth season as hockey director for the Edge Ice Arena in Holland.

Other festivities on Saturday include:

  • The Griffins’ fourth annual Cross-Ice Jamboree, featuring nearly 350 kids and 48 teams playing 140 games at Van Andel Arena from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.;
  • National anthem performance by the Red Wings’ own Karen Newman;
  • The Griffins wearing AHL 75th anniversary jerseys that will be auctioned after the game in the Fifth Third Vault to benefit the Griffins Youth Foundation.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL/opponent link:

Alumni news and notes:

Video – NHL alumni goals:

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