So this morning, I posted about the seven guys who were sent down to Grand Rapids, but the details were scarce. I look to rectify that right now...thanks for griffinshockey.com.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Thursday sent seven players to the Grand Rapids Griffins, their American Hockey League affiliate. The Wings assigned defensemen Travis Ehrhardt, Sergei Kolosov and Sebastien Piche, along with forwards Jamie Tardif and Tomas Tatar. Additionally, forwards Francis Lemieux and John Vigilante were released from their tryouts with Detroit and have joined the Griffins on AHL contracts.
Yep. Got it. That's what I posted earlier, let's dig a little deeper into some of these guys.
Kolosov, Tardif and Lemieux all played for the Griffins last season, while Ehrhardt and Vigilante previously signed with Detroit and Grand Rapids, respectively.
Vigilante used to play for the Plymouth Whalers, and possibly has the coolest name on the Griffs (aside from Mattias Ritola, of course).
Piche, 21, earned second-team all-star honors in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, when his 23 goals and 72 points in 62 games for Rimouski led all league defensemen. He signed with the Red Wings as a free agent in March.
I had no idea who this kid was when I posted earlier today. Looks like the kid can play. Just coming out of juniors means he's young. 72 points as defenseman is quite impressive for Major Junior Hockey in Canada. What kind of points did you have to get for first-team all-star honors?
Tatar, 18, made a strong impression with the Red Wings in training camp after becoming Detroit’s second choice (60th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The left wing played his first pro campaign in Slovakia last season, posting 15 points (7-8—15) in 48 games for Zvolen, and he led Slovakia’s World Junior Championship team with 11 points (7-4—11) in seven outings, helping his country to a surprising fourth-place finish in the tournament.
All stuff pretty much already known...but a reminder never hurts. This kid ripped up Grand Rapids and would probably be playing for the big club in any other organ-i-zation. Could be the youngest player to wear the Wings since Jiri Fischer joined the Detroit blueline club at 19 years of age. Don't expect Tatar there this year, but who knows what he'll accomplish in the AHL/OHL.
Get your Griffins tickets, people. They're going to be worth the (modest) price of admission.