The Afternoon Shift – Oct. 17

Joey's back in the spotlight. / Photo by Bobby Pulte

Two of the more notable records in Griffins franchise history could topple this week.

Joey MacDonald, already Grand Rapids’ all-time leader in wins (99) and shutouts (17), will reclaim the goaltender games played mark that he once solely held when he makes his next appearance between the pipes. He and current Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard have each played 186 games for the Griffins, a whopping 83 more than third-place holder Marc Lamothe (103).

Meanwhile, Curt Fraser, already first all time with 243 games as the Griffins’ head coach, needs just three more victories to supplant Danton Cole as the winningest coach in franchise history, currently trailing him 116-114. 

When all is said and done, given MacDonald’s recent two-year contract extension and the current season’s infancy, both MacDonald and Fraser might put their numerous records up on a shelf that none of their successors can ever reach. That already appears to be the case for a couple of the most prominent names to play here over the Griffins’ first 15 seasons.

Take, for instance, Travis Richards, the only Griffins player to have his sweater (#24) retired. The former defenseman played 655 regular season games from 1996-06, nearly 300 more than No. 2 Michel Picard (364). Consider that the leading active Griffin, Francis Pare, has logged 223 games in a Grand Rapids uniform, putting him more than five and a half seasons away from challenging Richards’ record.

Also as seemingly unbreakable is Richards’ cumulative career rating of plus-131, which out distances runner-up Derek King by 60.

But the undisputed king of Ripken-esque records on the Griffins is none other than the aforementioned Michel Picard. During parts of six seasons (1996-00; 02-04) with the club, he racked up 158 goals — more than twice the total of No. 2 Jamie Tardif (78) — and 380 points, 142 more than bridesmaid Richards.

Toss in his 222 assists (182 for No. 2 Richards), 40 power play goals (26 for No. 2 Kip Miller) and 26 game-winning goals (Darryl Bootland, with 18, is the only player with more than half of Picard’s total), and it’s a safe bet that Picard’s name will still be atop the record books when we’re all using jet packs and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Lions’ Super Bowl XLVI championship.    

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL links:

Alumni news and notes:

NHL alumni goals:


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