The Grand Rapids Griffins kicked off training camp yesterday at Van Andel Arena in advance of their 20th anniversary season.

The team is beginning to take shape as the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday assigned forwards Martin Frk and Marek Tvrdon, defenseman Richard Nedomlel and goaltender Jake Paterson to Grand Rapids. They also released forward Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch from their tryouts, returning them to the Griffins in time for training camp.

This group will be joined by 16 others – forwards Kurt Etchegary, Alden Hirschfeld, Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Evan Rankin, Joel Rechlicz, Josh Shalla, Tyler Sikura, Austin Wuthrich and Dominic Zombo; defensemen Matt Corrente, Derek Docken, Ralfs Freibergs, Jared Nightingale, Andrew Prochno and Steve Spinell; and goaltender Neil Conway – on the Griffins' roster.

The Griffins will conclude camp with a pair of neutral-site preseason games against the Lake Erie Monsters. Grand Rapids will first battle the Monsters this Friday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bowling Green State University Ice Arena, home to the WCHA’s BGSU Falcons, before squaring off again on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre in Windsor, Ontario, where the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires play.

Ken Anderson/Getty Images
Ken Anderson/Getty Images

The Griffins will drop the puck on their regular season with an Oct. 9-10 road trip to Bakersfield and San Diego, marking their 20th campaign overall, 15th as members of the American Hockey League and 14th as the primary affiliate of the Red Wings. Their home opener is a big weekend Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, with back-to-back games against the San Antonio Rampage at Van Andel Arena.

Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. Single-game tickets for all home games are now available for purchase at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through, or by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.

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