Every year, members of the Detroit Red Wings conduct a community tour on their way to training camp in Traverse City.
This season, Grand Haven was one of their stops.
After spending Tuesday morning at Bronson’s Children’s Hospital in Kalamazoo, Red Wings Jakub Kindl, Drew Miller, Stephen Weiss and Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader visited members of the U.S. Coast Guard at Station Grand Haven.
“That was really nice,” Abdelkader said of his time visiting the Kalamazoo hospital. “I enjoyed going to the hospital and seeing the kids. Now we’re here in Grand Haven visiting the Coast Guard — taking some pictures and signing some autographs, thanking them for their service and what they do.
“These community tours are really important, whether it’s going to hospitals, Coast Guard, military or schools. I think it’s important to show our involvement in the community and what the community means to us.”
To go along with those photos and autographs, the Wings players presented a customized jersey to the Coast Guard.
Later, the four Wings’ players accompanied some of the Coast Guard members for a ride on a 47-foot lifeboat.
Abdelkader’s eyes lit up a bit when asked about hitting the water, which is something he misses about West Michigan.
“Today, it kinds of makes me jealous here, being on the water,” he said. “It feels like a summer day. We didn’t have many days in the 90s. You get a day like today and it’s like, ‘Shoot, is hockey season really starting, or is summer starting?’ It’s going to be nice to get on the lake here for one last time. It always feels good to be back home.”
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