The Afternoon Shift – Sept. 27

Lonely no more / Photo by John VanderHaagen

Hockey season has finally arrived in Grand Rapids.

Sure, the Tigers are division champs, the Lions are 3-0 for the first time in nearly two generations, and the Wolverines are also undefeated as October looms. But the one constant, shining constellation in the Michigan sports sky has long been the Red Wings, and tonight’s Red & White Game at Van Andel Arena and tomorrow’s first Griffins practice at Griff’s IceHouse herald the beginning of another season of promise.

Regarding tonight’s Red & White Game, the first at Van Andel Arena since Sept. 18, 2003, we’d love to provide a link to newspaper stories detailing the roster for each squad. But we won’t, because the Red and White lineups announced yesterday have changed dramatically. Instead, here’s a PDF that reflects the latest and greatest information from the Red Wings’ PR dept…subject to change, of course.

Speaking of change, the Griffins were originally scheduled to complete their joint training camp with the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena this week, but instead many of the players will now stay in Grand Rapids following tonight’s game and hit the ice at Griff’s IceHouse tomorrow and Thursday for 11 a.m. practices. The new schedule calls for off days Friday through Sunday while the players settle into town, before practice for the Oct. 8 season opener in Rockford resumes on Monday at Van Andel Arena. As with all Griffins practices at Griff’s IceHouse, this week’s sessions are free and open to the public.

West Michigan fans can also slake their hockey thirst this Saturday when the Detroit Red Wings Alumni take on the Jolly Roger All-Stars in a 4 p.m. charity match at the newly renovated Eagles Ice Center in Grand Rapids. The alumni roster is scheduled to include former Griffins Darren McCarty, Kevin Miller and Josh Langfeld, fellow former Red Wings John Ogrodnick, Brent Fedyk and Dennis Hextall, and ex-NHLers Dean Kolstad, Sergei Kharin and Ray Markham. Tickets are just $10, and proceeds will help fund a new scoreboard and rink lighting.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL link:

Alumni news and notes:

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