Column: An improved Abdelkader bolsters Wings' Cup chances

On the walls of the home locker room for the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena, the minor league hockey team proudly displays the names of alumni who have gone on to skate for the big club, the Detroit Red Wings. Among the names in black, bold print is Justin Abdelkader. Tuesday, the locker room housed the White squad during the Red Wings' Red-White scrimmage, creating a homecoming of sorts for the 2004 Mona Shores graduate and star of Michigan State University's 2007 national championship team.
Nate Thompson
Sep 28, 2011

Abdelkader spent the entire 2008-09 and 09-10 seasons playing with the Griffins, but it’s positive for the 6-foot-1, 212-pound center and Red Wings alike that the only time he’ll see the inside of that locker room again will be in special trips, such as Tuesday’s intrasquad scrimmage.

The game in “Hockeytown West,” drew an impressive 10,1740 fans. It was the Red Wings first appearance in Grand Rapids since a practice in 2007, and their first scrimmage there since 2003.

“It’s always good to be back here, especially to play in front of a full crowd and see the support we have from West Michigan,” Abdelkader said. “It was really neat. Hopefully there will be more of these (in Grand Rapids) down the road.”

To read more of this story, see today's print or E-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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