Tag: Grand Rapids Griffins

Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings

Wings ink Landon Ferraro to a one-year deal


The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Landon Ferraro to a one-year deal, the club announced.

According to Ansar Khan of MLive.com, Ferraro’s deal is a two-way contract worth $600,000.

Ferraro’s one-year, $550,000 contract expired last week making him a restricted free agent.

The 23-year-old scored his first NHL goal on April 11. He appeared in three regular season games with Detroit during the 2014-15 season scoring a goal and averaging 11:59 in ice time. Ferraro also played seven playoff games with the Wings registering a minus-2 rating while averaging 10:09 in time on ice a night.

In 70 AHL games with Grand Rapids last season Ferraro scored a career-high 27 goals to go along with 15 assists and 61 penalty minutes.

Ferraro was originally the Wings’ second-round selection (32nd overall) at the 2009 NHL Draft.

Red Wings aim to fill void on blue line internally

Detroit Red Wings v Arizona Coyotes

With their lone right shot defenseman, Marek Zidlicky, likely headed for unrestricted free agency next week, the Detroit Red Wings will attempt to fill the void internally.

Dion Phaneuf has been rumored to be headed to Detroit, and there are options on the open market come July 1 (i.e. Cody Franson and Mike Green), but PHT has learned the Wings would like to give their young blue liners a chance.

Detroit has two right shot defensemen under contract for next season in Ryan Sproul and Alexey Marchenko. Nick Jensen is also a right-handed shot, but the pending restricted free agent does not have a contract for next season.

Sproul spent the 2014-15 season in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins collecting five goals, 24 points and 26 penalty minutes in 66 games. The 22-year-old has one NHL game on his resume, but that came during the 2013-14 season. He is owed $620,000 next season before becoming a restricted free agent.

Marchenko appeared in 23 games with the Wings during the 2014-15 scoring a goal and adding an assist while averaging 15:26 in time on ice. The 23-year-old also appeared in 51 games with the Griffins scoring 20 points, a plus-22 rating and 26 penalty minutes. He is heading into the final year of his entry-level deal, which will pay him $666,666 in 2015-16.

Jensen scored six goals and 27 points to go along with 15 penalty minutes and a plus-30 rating in 75 games with Grand Rapids last season. The 24-year-old’s two-year, $1.8 million contract is set to expire next week.

The Wings have qualified Jensen and further contract talks are expected later this week.

“We’ll be talking with (Detroit) down at the draft,” Jensen’s agent, Chris McAlpine, told PHT. “Ken (Holland) has mentioned that he’ll have a good shot of battling for a chance at making the team. That’s what you hope for as a player and Nick’s extremely excited about that.”

Detroit currently has five blue liners under contract for the 2015-16 season – all of them are left shot.

Report: Todd Nelson to be named head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins

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It appears Todd Nelson has found a landing spot.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Nelson will be the next head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Detroit Red Wings have been in search of a coach for their AHL affiliate after Jeff Blashill was promoted last week.

Nelson led the Edmonton Oilers to a 17-25-9 record in 42 games during the 2014-15 season.

Edmonton gave Nelson permission to explore other opportunities after hiring Todd McLellan.

Prior to joining the Oilers, Nelson coached the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons to a 161-105-42 between 2010-14.

The 46-year-old reportedly spoke to the Pittsburgh Penguins about their coaching vacancy in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last week.

According to Peter J. Wallner of MLive.com, Nelson was the first player in franchise history to be signed to a contract by the Griffins prior to the 1996-97 season.

Nelson appeared in 236 games with the Griffins as a player over four parts of seasons scoring 11 goals and 56 assists to go along with 123 penalty minutes.

The Griffins are expected to formally introduce Nelson as the club’s head coach at a press conference later this week.

Related: Leafs fill out coaching staff, hire Hiller, Smith and Brewer

Welcome Anthony Mantha to the trade rumor mill


At the NHL trade deadline Anthony Mantha was a prospect the Detroit Red Wings were unwilling to part ways with; however, it appears things have changed.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Wings’ are now willing to trade Mantha and their first round selection at this month’s draft (19th overall) for the right price.

Cox reports the 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward is the piece that killed any trade talks between the Wings and Leafs, which would’ve sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf to Detroit.

Mantha had a tough first season adjusting to the professional game.

The Red Wings’ first-round selection (20th overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft broke his leg back in September at the team’s rookie tournament in Traverse City.

When he finally returned to game action in mid-November, the 20-year-old struggled to find his groove.

“That injury was hard. It took me two months off so that means I started two months later than everyone,” Mantha told PHT in February. “I’ve started to play really good, but I mean I’m still two months back of everyone so I need to put double the effort in.

“After my injury, it had been five months since I had played a real game and it hurt my confidence a little bit and obviously my game is not the same.”

After consecutive 50-plus goal seasons with Val d’Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Mantha finished the 2014-15 season with 15 goals and 18 assists in 62 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He added two goals and two assists in 16 playoff games.

His poor first season in Grand Rapids led to some brutal honesty from longtime Red Wings executive Jim Devellano when asked about Mantha last month.

“Very, very, very disappointing,” said Devellano. “And I say that with a lot of sadness. Coming out of junior, we had such high hopes for him.”

Following the season, Mantha agreed many areas of his game need improvement heading into the 2015-16 season.

“I need to work on my strength, for sure,” Mantha said in May. “I need to work on a lot of aspects of my play, like getting quicker on my skates … I got better as the year went along but I need to keep growing for the summer.”

Despite the rough rookie campaign in Grand Rapids, Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill believes Mantha will be a good pro.

“He’s got special skill for a guy his size. He can do things that other guys just can’t do,” said Blashill in February. “He’s going to be a great player; I truly believe that and its just going to be a matter of time.

“When you care as much as he cares, as soon as he learns the daily attention to detail and the daily work ethic it takes, with his skill set, he’s going to be a special player.”

Chelios to meet with the Red Wings next week

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With Jeff Blashill officially named the club’s 27th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday, the Detroit Red Wings are now working on filling out his staff.

According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, Blashill and GM Ken Holland will meet with Chris Chelios next week. Chelios, who has served as an advisor to hockey operations since retiring in 2010, has worked with Blashill in Grand Rapids.

The 53-year-old occasionally went on the ice during practice to work with the Griffins’ defensemen.

TSN’s Aaron Ward reported earlier in the week that Chelios was a likely candidate to join Blashill’s coaching staff.

Chelios spent parts of 10 seasons in Detroit as a player winning Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.

The Red Wings are also in talks with Tony Granato about a possible extension after he declined the option on his contract for next season.

“We’re still in the process of getting the right guys and putting the staff together,” Blashill said on Tuesday. “Within a week we’d like to have it settled. Put the best staff together and get to work.”

Related: Holland, Cleary will meet next week to decide future in Detroit