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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tatar to Griffins; Cloutier released

UPDATE: Also, goalie Dan Cloutier was released. He was in Detroit on a professional tryout.


Tomas Tatar, the Red Wings' second-round pick this June, will be playing in the American Hockey League this fall instead of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Tatar was one of seven sent by Detroit to Grand Rapids today ... Travis Ehrhardt, Sergei Kolosov, Sebastien Piche, Jamie Tardif, Francis Lemieux and John Vigilante were the others.

Tatar, 18, could still wind up in juniors if he doesn't play more than nine professional games this season.

The Wings' roster is now at 39 players.

Here's the press release from the Griffins ...

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.

Kolosov, Tardif and Lemieux all played for the Griffins last season, while Ehrhardt and Vigilante previously signed with Detroit and Grand Rapids, respectively.

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.

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.

After completing their training camp at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Friday, the Griffins will stage their first Grand Rapids-area practice next Monday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Griff's IceHouse. They’ll have five days of preparation for their season opener next Saturday, Oct. 3 at Peoria, the first of five straight road games to begin the season.

The Griffins will make their Van Andel Arena debut on Friday, Oct. 23 against the Abbotsford Heat at 7 p.m., the start of an unprecedented three-game weekend to open their home schedule. Single-game tickets for all 40 home games are now on sale at all Star Tickets outlets, including the Zone and Meijer stores, or online through, while group, full-season and mini-plan ticket packages are available by calling the Griffins at (616) 774-4585.


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