A Griffins franchise record that once switched hands every two years is on the cusp of being broken again — perhaps for the final time? — more than seven years since its last ownership change.
Grand Rapids’ 3-2 shootout win at Oklahoma City last Saturday marked Curt Fraser’s 116th victory as the Griffins’ head coach, tying him with Danton Cole for first place all time. Following Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Houston, he’ll get his second shot at breaking the deadlock tomorrow, when the Abbotsford Heat visit Van Andel Arena for a 7 p.m. start.
Once achieved, Fraser’s new standard should remain intact for a very long time, given the transient nature of AHL head coaching positions. Consider:
- Fraser’s 247-game tenure with Grand Rapids is already unique, in that it is more than a half-season’s worth of games ahead of any other bench boss in Griffins history (Cole’s 208 games);
- Only one other head coach, Greg Ireland (192 games), logged more than two seasons of service with the club;
- The AHL has gone to a 76-game schedule, after the Griffins had played 80 games per season from 2001-11 and 82 per year while members of the IHL (1996-2001). Fewer games obviously mean fewer opportunities to earn wins.
For the record, here are the career numbers for all eight head coaches in Griffins franchise history:
|Head Coach||Tenure||GC||W||L||T||OTL||SOL||PTS||PCT||Record Win|
|Dave Allison||6/27/96-3/3/98||144||70||55||—||—||19||159||0.552||(70) 3-2 W vs. IND 2/26/98|
|Guy Charron||7/8/98-6/29/00||164||85||62||—||—||17||187||0.570||(71) 4-3 SOW
at Mich 3/10/00
|Bruce Cassidy||7/17/00-6/25/02||162||95||49||11||4||3||208||0.642||(86) 2-1 W vs. UTA 2/16/02|
|Danton Cole||6/26/02-2/10/05||208||116||72||16||3||1||252||0.606||(96) 4-3 OTW at SA 10/24/04|
None of the four previous record-setting wins was by more than a single goal, including two that required extra time. But as they say, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Good luck on getting No. 117 tomorrow, Fraz!
Today’s Griffins links:
- Second chance gives Nestrasil life (Griffins)
- MacDonald returns (Griffins)
- Turn up the Heat (Griffins)
- Video: ‘Getting to know the Griffins,’ Episode 1: Forward Chris Conner (MLive)
- Griffins forward Landon Ferraro close to return after suffering concussion (MLive)
- Griffins coach Curt Fraser deflects credit while on verge of franchise’s all-time wins mark (MLive)
- Making his case: Nestrasil hopes for extended AHL stint (The Left Wing Lock)
- Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey Mascot – Griff’s Mascot Feet (AvantGarb)
Alumni news and notes:
- Video: DRW TV commercial (Red Wings)
- New dad Jimmy Howard hopes to help Red Wings bounce back from ugly losses (MLive)
- Wings’ Jimmy Howard receives quick lesson in fatherhood (Detroit News)
- Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard watched Tuesday’s loss with newborn son (Detroit Free Press)
- Center Stage: Backstrom, Spezza back to old tricks (NHL)
NHL alumni goals:
- COL Kyle Quincey – Oct. 26 at CGY
- DET Darren Helm – Oct. 25 at CBJ
- OTT Jason Spezza – Oct. 25 at CAR (SO)
- OTT Jason Spezza – Oct. 25 at CAR