Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins Extend Affiliation Agreement

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 18: Dylan Larkin
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 18: Dylan Larkin /

The Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins will be affiliated with each other through the 2021-22 season.

For 15 years the Wings and Griffins have been partnered together, and on Thursday, they extend their affiliation for at least five more seasons.

"“Our arrangement with the Griffins has been very beneficial for both organizations,” said Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland. “The American Hockey League is the premier development league, and Grand Rapids has proven itself to be a model franchise both on and off the ice. We are thrilled that the Griffins have captured two championships in five seasons, both for the fan base in west Michigan and for the development of our young players, who benefit from long playoff runs and championship atmospheres.”"

The Red Wings have seen many players come up through the ranks in past seasons from the Griffins. This past season, the Griffins won the Calder Cup for the second time in five years as the American Hockey League side has performed at a high level over the past few seasons.

A Red and White game is expected to be played at Van Andel Arena during the next five years, which is part of the deal.

Both teams have been great together as they provide hockey to fans across Michigan. Even though the deal is only worth five years, it’s hard to see these two franchises splitting up in the recent future. They have both experienced successes in their own right during the 15 years they have been affiliated.

The Griffins did take a bit of hit with the loss of Tomas Nosek and others but it the team will likely be back in the playoffs next season as their NHL counterparts try to accomplish the same.

Almost every Red Wings player on the roster has spent some amount of time with the Griffins at some point in their careers. Even head coach Jeff Blashill was part of the Griffins organization.

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All-in-all, this affiliation is great due to the proximity of the two teams and the amount of fan support the two sides get from fans. At times, a National Hockey League team may be separated quite far from their AHL affiliate geographical, which can lead to a lack of support from the main NHL teams fans.

This is great news for a great affiliation.