Hockey Season is Almost Here: Checking in With the Grand Rapids Griffins

The Grand Rapids Griffins, the beloved AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, have always held a special place in the hearts of local hockey enthusiasts. As the chill of autumn descends upon the Mitten State, the anticipation for the upcoming hockey season reaches a fever pitch. The Griffins are gearing up for what promises to be an exhilarating season, and fans are eager to see what the team will bring to the ice. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect from the Grand Rapids Griffins in the forthcoming season.

Welcoming Coach Dan Watson:

The Detroit Red Wings named Dan Watson as the head coach of the Griffins on June 14, 2023, marking the beginning of a new era. Watson, who became the 12th head coach in franchise history, brings a wealth of experience from his six-season tenure as the head coach of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. Under his guidance, Toledo boasted a remarkable 45-19-5-3 record last season, making a notable run in the Kelly Cup Playoffs to reach the Western Conference Finals.

Watson’s coaching career is adorned with achievements, including leading Toledo to the Kelly Cup Finals twice, clinching three division titles, and earning two regular-season championships. His remarkable coaching acumen was recognized when he received the John Brophy Award as the ECHL’s Coach of the Year in the 2016-17 season. With a coaching ledger of 272-112-22-13 during the regular season and a 51-34 mark over five playoff campaigns, Watson’s arrival in Grand Rapids is a harbinger of exciting times ahead for the Griffins.

Veteran Leadership:

The backbone of any successful hockey team lies in the experience and leadership of its veteran players. The Griffins are fortunate to have a solid core of seasoned players who will be instrumental in guiding the younger members of the team. Their expertise on the ice and in the locker room will be invaluable as the season progresses.

Exciting Home Games:

Van Andel Arena will continue to be the battleground where the Griffins strive for victory. The electrifying atmosphere of home games is something that fans look forward to, and this season will be no different. With a lineup of formidable opponents, the home games promise to be thrilling encounters filled with high-octane hockey action. And make sure to mark your calendars, as the Griffins are set to hit the ice for their first game of the season on October 13 at 7:00 P.M at Van Andel Arena and make sure you bring your appetite as well as they are offering $2 beers and $2 hot dogs!

Community Engagement:

The Grand Rapids Griffins have a rich tradition of engaging with the community. This season, expect to see the players and the organization involved in various local events and charitable activities. It’s a wonderful way for fans to interact with the players off the ice and to see the positive impact the team has on the local community.

Playoff Aspirations:

With a balanced mix of youthful exuberance and veteran savvy, the Griffins have their sights set on a deep playoff run. The coaching staff, led by Watson, has been meticulously preparing the team to face the challenges of the long AHL season. Every game will be a step towards achieving the ultimate goal – clinching the Calder Cup.

In Conclusion:

The Grand Rapids Griffins are all set to soar into the new season with renewed vigor and determination. The blend of new coaching leadership, veteran experience, exciting home games, community engagement, and playoff aspirations make this season one to watch. So, gear up, get your tickets, and get ready to cheer on the Griffins as they glide, check, and score their way through the season. The action-packed world of AHL hockey awaits, and the Griffins are ready to rise to the occasion!

Be sure to check out the rest of their schedule here!