A tip of the ol’ chapeau today to Patrick Rissmiller, who last night became the 116th former Griffin to play in the NHL when he skated for the Atlanta Thrashers in their 4-1 loss at Buffalo.
Rissmiller, who also became the 100th skater to join Grand Rapids’ NHL alumni ranks, went scoreless over 13:07 of ice time in his first NHL appearance since Oct. 20, 2008, when he played for the New York Rangers.
After leading the Griffins with four game-winning goals last season and ranking among the team’s leaders with 45 points (2nd), nine power-play goals (2nd), 20 goals (3rd) and 25 assists (T4th), Rissmiller was traded by the Rangers to Atlanta in August. He began the 2010-11 campaign with the Chicago Wolves before a pre-Thanksgiving reassignment to Lake Erie, where he contributed 30 points (11-19–30) in 42 games prior to his Feb. 21 recall to the Thrashers.
Rissmiller is tied for fourth in scoring for the Monsters, who will host two-time defending Calder Cup champion Hershey tonight before embarking on a crucial home-and-home series against the Griffins on Friday at Van Andel Arena. Lake Erie, which just welcomed back veteran netminder John Grahame and rookie standout Mark Olver from the parent Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, is locked in a three-way tie for second place in the North Division with Hamilton and Toronto, just two points back of leader Manitoba.
If the surging Griffins can sweep the two-game set against the Monsters, it could take a big four-point chunk out of what currently is their seven-point deficit in the race for a playoff spot.
Today’s Griffins links:
- Mursak moves to Motown (Griffins)
- Video: ‘Getting to know the Griffins,’ Episode 17: Forward Jan Mursak (MLive)
- Red Wings recall Jan Mursak from the Griffins to fill in for injured Patrick Eaves (MLive)
- Red Wings’ Patrick Eaves out at least a week; Jan Mursak recalled from Grand Rapids (MLive)
- Griffins’ Derek Meech focuses on return to NHL while providing leadership, skill (MLive)
- Griffins will have decisions to make before AHL’s Clear Day (MLive)
- Brendan Smith quickly learning from those around him (Winging it in Motown)
Video – NHL alumni goal: