Griffins to Change Logo?

The Grand Rapids Griffins are changing their primary logo for the 2015-16 season, if a screenshot from the NHL 16 video game is to be believed.

Twitter user @FlamezGaming Tweeted what appears to be a screen capture of the game’s team select menu, which was later retweeted by SportsLogos.Net. The menu, in which teams are identified by their primary logo, featured the Griffins’ “Griffzilla” logo rather than their traditional emblem.

The Griffins organization did not respond to a request for comment about the possible change.

The Griffzilla logo, so named because it features a stylized Griffin climbing over the Grand Rapids skyline reminiscent of Godzilla, has been used on the team’s red alternate jerseys since the 2012-13 season. The jersey on which is appears is a clone of the Washington Capitals’ home jersey.

The possibly-outgoing primary logo has been in use since the Griffins’ inaugural season. It was the crest for three sets of home and road jerseys – the team’s original design, the modified version of that template worn after their affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings, and the current Reebok Edge set.

One sign that the leak may not be true is that the 20th Season logo unveiled by the Griffins in January features the current primary logo rather than the “new” one. Another sign is that the American Hockey League’s online store currently has all jerseys that have been updated for the 2015-16 season on clearance and the Griffins are not included in that sale.

A sign in favor of the logo change is that the Griffins’ own online store currently has only two pieces of merchandise available and the current logo does not feature prominently on either. It’s possible that the merchandise has been cleared out to make room for items featuring the new logo.

Update, 9:35 PM: Another piece of evidence pointing towards the Griffzilla logo becoming the new primary of the Griffins comes in the form of a trademark filing by West Michigan Hockey, Inc.

Last December the Griffins’ parent company filed for a trademark on an updated version of the Griffzilla logo, featuring darker colors and slightly more detail. This is the logo that appears in NHL 16.

That said, it’s entirely possible this update was made for continued use as an alternate mark.

Red Wings Stadium Series Sweater Concepts

With yesterday’s leak of a possible Colorado Avalanche Stadium Series jersey, we have something to work with in determining what the Red Wings might wear when the two teams meet at Denver’s Coors Field next February.

Unlike the Winter Classic, the Stadium Series is typically not the NHL’s stage for throwback sweaters. Last season, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks wore two-toned monstrosities with giant sleeve numbers. The previous year we saw six of seven teams clad in jerseys that featured “chromified” logos, diagonal striping, contrasting-color shoulder yokes, and extra-tall numbers on the back. Only the New Jersey Devils bucked the trend, opting instead to wear their jerseys from the 1980s, which they have taken to wearing as an unofficial alternate in recent years.

Detroit has no such unofficial alternate to fall back on. I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see another color-on-color matchup as we did in the 2014 Winter Classic, so with the Avalanche in blue at home I think we can rule out the Red Wings breaking out their red jerseys from that game. Detroit could throw back to their primarily-white 2009 Winter Classic jerseys or their 1991-92 throwback set but I think we can count on the Stadium Series template trend continuing and the Wings going along with it.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas for how the Red Wings could look on February 27th.

My first concept is the most conservative. The white on the Avalanche design becomes red and the colored areas become white (aside from the collar), leading to a primarily white jersey with thin red stripes on the sleeves, a red shoulder yoke (the shape of the yoke is only different from the posted Avalanche design because I used a different template), and a red collar. We don’t know the number/lettering styles but this design has me thinking something like Team Canada or the Carolina Hurricanes so I ran with that.

Colorado appears to be rolling with a new logo for their Stadium Series jersey, a modernization of the Colorado Rockies’ logo of the 1980s. I don’t think we’ll see the Red Wings modify the Winged Wheel but they could use it in a couple different ways, one of which is as-is.

This much white on the jersey screams “practice jersey” to me but it could also be taken as a bit of a throwback, as it comes across as a modernization of the white jerseys the Red Wings wore from 1934 to 1961.

Another conservative idea makes the red not just a stripe on the sleeve but extended all the way to the cuff (taking the place of both the white stripe and the burgundy area of the sleeve in the Avalanche design). This helps break up the big mass of white on the jersey (though I think a hem stripe would do a better job of that, as appeared on the aforementioned 1934-1961 sweaters).

The crest should be familiar as it comes from one of my Winter Classic concepts. The modern Winged Wheel is placed under an arched “Detroit” in a block font, based on the 1928-29 Detroit Cougars jerseys (an element also used in the 2014 Winter Classic jerseys, with a “fancy” font and a retro Winged Wheel), so once again we get a little bit of a throwback element in an otherwise modern uniform.

The template seems made for at least three colors, so a break from tradition could see the Red Wings add black to their sweater for the first time in team history (ignore the black outline commonly shown on the Detroit Falcons’ wordmark, that’s wrong). Here we have red trimmed in black. I don’t like this idea at all but I could see the Red Wings taking the opportunity to finally do it, hiding behind the idea of being forced to by the three-color constraints of the template. And there’s something that feels appropriate about having what comes across as a 1990s roller hockey jersey in use in Denver.

For the logo, I break out another idea from my Winter Classic concepts, including the Winged Wheel in a roundel. With the Avs’ crest featuring one of their current logos inside a geometric shape, I could see something similar going on for Detroit. Again, not saying they should, just saying I could see it.

Much as with my Winter Classic concepts, I have no advance knowledge of what the Red Wings will wear for this game, I’m just looking at trends and working from there. I did the same thing looking at the Grand Rapids Griffins’ fan-submitted jersey concepts last summer and both of the ones they picked ended up being from my top ten. That said, it’s entirely possible the Red Wings buck the trend or the NHL doesn’t do templates or Detroit wears red on the road or I’m just wrong on all accounts.

Red Wings Sign Jurco to Two-Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of forward Tomas Jurco to a two-year deal.

As per club policy, no other terms were announced. The annual cap hit will reportedly be $900,000.

Jurco, 22, had been a restricted free agent. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (35th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 2014-15 was his first full season with the Red Wings. In 63 games, he scored three goals and added 15 assists for 18 points.

In 99 career NHL games, Jurco has 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. In 106 game with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, he has 27 goals and 33 assists for 60 points.

With Jurco signed, all of the Red Wings restricted free agents will be returning to the team. Unrestricted free agents Erik Cole, Marek Zidlicky, and Jonas Gustavsson will not return to the team. Daniel Cleary‘s future has yet to be determined.

Red Wings Re-sign Forward Pulkkinen

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of forward Teemu Pulkkinen on Tuesday. As per club policy, financial details of the one-year deal were not announced but it is reportedly worth $735,000.

The 23-year-old Pulkkinen scored five goals and added three assists for eight points in 31 games for the Red Wings last season. He also scored 34 goals with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, good for the most in the league despite playing only 46 games.

Pulkkinen, selected by the Red Wings in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (4th round, 111th overall), made his NHL debut for Detroit during the 2013-14 season, appearing in three games without scoring a point. In parts of three AHL seasons, he has appeared in 119 games, scoring 65 goals and 56 assists for 121 points.

With Pulkkinen signed, Detroit’s lone remaining restricted free agent is Tomas Jurco.

Red Wings Announce Signings of Jensen, Callahan

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signings of defenseman Nick Jensen and forward Mitch Callahan on Monday.

Jensen’s deal is for two years while Callahan’s is for one. Both are two-way contracts. Financial terms were not officially announced but reportedly Callahan will make $600,000 at the NHL level while Jensen will make $882,000.

Both players are expected to spend next season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Jensen, 24, was selected by the Red Wings 150th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In two seasons with the Griffins, he’s played 120 games, scoring six goals and adding 30 assists for 36 points.

He has yet to receive an NHL call-up.

Callahan, 23, was also selected in the 2009 draft (180th overall). In 237 AHL games, all with the Griffins, he has 59 goals and 52 assists for 111 points. He also has 271 penalty minutes.

Callahan made his NHL debut with Detroit during the 2013-14 season, playing one game and being held off the scoresheet.

With Jensen and Callahan inked, in addition to last week’s signings of Gustav Nyquist and Jared Coreau, the Red Wings’ remaining restricted free agents are Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, and Louis-Marc Aubry.

Red Wings Re-sign Nyquist

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Friday the signing of forward Gustav Nyquist to a four-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms were not announced. Reportedly the contract is worth $19 million, carrying a $4.75 million cap hit.

Nyquist was a restricted free agent who had opted for arbitration. He and the Red Wings continued negotiating leading up to the arbitration hearing – which would have been in late July or early August – and came to terms on the new deal.

Nyquist, 25, has led the Red Wings in goals each of the last two seasons. In 179 career NHL games he has 59 goals and 56 assists for 115 career points.

Originally drafted in the fourth round, 121st overall, in 2008, Nyquist has spent his entire career with Detroit.

With Nyquist locked up, Detroit’s remaining free agents are RFAs Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen, with Nick Jensen, Louis-Marc Aubry, and Mitch Callahan of Grand Rapids also due extensions.

Red Wings Re-Up Ferraro

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Sunday the signing of restricted free agent forward Landon Ferraro to a one-year deal.

As per club policy, financial terms were not announced. The contract is reportedly a two-way deal that will pay Ferraro $600,000 at the NHL level and $175,000 if he plays in the AHL. Ferraro’s waiver exemption ended last season, meaning he would have to be made available to the rest of the NHL before he could be sent down to the AHL.

Ferraro, 23, was originally a second-round draft pick (32nd overall) by the Red Wings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut with Detroit during the 2013-14 season, playing four games with the club. He spent the final three games of the 2014-15 season with the Red Wings and stuck with the team for all seven playoff games. He scored his first career NHL goal on April 11 in Carolina.

In 70 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, Ferraro had 27 goals and 15 assists for 42 points.

2015 Development Camp Rosters

The Red Wings announced their 2015 Development Camp lineup earlier this week but Michelle of Winging it in Motown tweeted out a photo of a paper version that includes jersey numbers earlier today.

I know I’m going to want to have that in a searchable format, so I’m just transcribing that here.

Num. Player
17 Chase Pearson
22 Evgeny Svechnikov
25 Dylan Larkin
31 Joren van Pottelberghe
36 Jake Paterson
37 Anthony Greco
39 Anthony Mantha
44 Alex Kile
45 Alex Globke
46 David Nemecek
49 Bryce Gervais
50 Chase Perry
51 Won-Jun Kim
53 Joe Hicketts
54 Nick Betz
58 Mike McKee
59 Tyler Bertuzzi
62 Zach Nastasiuk
63 Adam Marsh
64 Kevin Lidstrom
67 Julius Vahatalo
68 Tomas Kral
70 Jerome Verrier
71 Vili Saarijarvi
72 Andreas Athanasiou
73 Tyson Spink
74 Marc McNulty
75 James DeHaas
76 Sheldon Dries
78 Dominic Turgeon
79 Patrick Holway
80 Conor McGlynn
81 Michael Babcock
82 Evan Polei
83 Hampus Melen
84 Jin-Hui Ahn
85 Adam Lidstrom
86 Grant Gabriele
87 Nick Azar
89 Travis Walsh
92 Christoffer Ehn
94 Kevin Lough
95 Jarett Meyer
96 Axel Holmstrom
97 Jalen Chatfield

Forward Richards Signs with Detroit

Just hours after making a splash with their signing of free agent defenseman Mike Green, the Red Wings landed another new player in forward Brad Richards.

Richards, coming off a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, signed another one year contract to come to Detroit. The deal is reportedly worth $3 million, with playoff bonuses that could push it to $4 million.

A veteran of 14 NHL seasons, Richards, 35, has played 1058 career games, scoring 288 goals and 616 assists for 904 total points.

Originally drafted in the third round, 64th overall, by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Richards has gone on to play for the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers before last season’s championship run in Chicago. It was his second Stanley Cup, having claimed the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP during Tampa Bay’s 2004 run.

Red Wings Re-Sign Miele, McCollum

Just before free agency opened across the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings locked up two pieces of their American Hockey League affiliate’s run to the Western Conference Finals.

Forward Andy Miele signed a one-year, one way deal with Detroit while goalie Tom McCollum also signed a one-year deal.

Miele, of Grosse Pointe Woods, led the Griffins in scoring during the 2014-15 season, his first with the team. His 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points in 71 games were second-best in the AHL.

In 280 career AHL games, mostly with the Portland Pirates, Miele has 88 goals and 161 assists for 249 points. He has two assists in 15 career NHL games, all with the Phoenix Coyotes.

McCollum, 25, went 19-11-7 for the Griffins and helped carry the team after previous starting goalie Petr Mrazek was called up to the Red Wings. Originally drafted by Detroit 30th overall in 2008, McCollum earned his first NHL win in relief of Mrazek against Buffalo on January 18.

In 196 career AHL games, McCollum is 88-78-17.

The Griffins did lose one veteran on Wednesday as Kevin Porter signed a two-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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