Injuries and Illness Showcase Organizational Depth
Langfeld, Ellis and Hussey get the call...
By Jason Kasiorek
A broken foot to Mikael Samuelsson and a round of the flu sweeping the locker room of the parent Detroit Red Wings has created a domino effect of player moves within the organization. The moves create opportunities for several players to show that they are capable of jobs at the next level.
Right wing Josh Langfeld was the first called up, yesterday afternoon when news of the Samuelsson injury was released. It was Langfeld's fourth recall of the season; so far he has gotten into 8 games with the Wings, tallying one assist. Griffins captain Matt Ellis and winger Matt Hussey, recalled for depth as the flu ravaged the Wings, joined him this morning. This is Ellis' second recall of the season, and he was impressive in his earlier four game stint despite limited ice time. Hussey has seen time with the Pittsburgh Penguins over the last few seasons, but this is his first opportunity with Detroit.
With Grand Rapids already short players with a lengthy injury list including starting goaltender Jimmy Howard, blueliner Kyle Quincey, and sparkplug Ryan Keller, the call went out for reinforcements. Rookie center Evan McGrath was recalled from the Toledo Storm (ECHL) where he had been assigned last week. McGrath posted four points in three games for the storm, and hopefully will return with some added confidence. Joining McGrath from Toledo is former camp tryout Jamie Tardif, signed to a PTO, fresh off his All-Star game appearance. Tardif was at both the Wings camp in Traverse City and Griffins camp in GR this fall, before signing with the Storm. The Welland, Ontario native is currently second in scoring for Toledo with 29 points in 33 games.
The Griffins also added netminder Ryan Cyr form the Muskegon Fury (UHL), to backup Stefan Liv for the weekend. Toledo goalie Dominic Vicari is still in Grand Rapids on a PTO, but is expected to be returned to the ECHL, necessitating Cyr's signing. Ryan was also recalled on November 17th and backed-up Howard in a 3-1 loss to Peoria.