GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Griffins announced Friday that the team is signing former Red Wing and Griffin Justin Abdelkader to a professional tryout contract.

Justin Abdelkader previously played 109 games for Grand Rapids from 2008 to 2010, before moving on to play for the Red Wings. Abdelkader, who turns 35 next month, was drafted by the Red Wings at 42nd overall in 2005 before playing three seasons with the Michigan State Spartans hockey team. Abdelkader etched his name into Spartan history when he scored the national-championship-winning goal against Boston College in 2007. Abdelkader would go on to play 13 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings.

During his time with the Griffins, the Muskegon native was the first West Michigander to play for the Griffins on his debut in 2008. During that season, he earned All-Rookie Team honors.

If Abdelkader plays in this Saturday’s Griffins game against Milwaukee, he would set the record for the longest time span between Griffins appearances at 11 years, nine months and 12 days (April 10, 2010 to Jan. 22, 2022).

Abdelkader spent his entire NHL career on the Red Wings, earning a full-time roster spot in the 2010-11 season, and ending his NHL career with 739 games, 252 points, and 608 penalty minutes. He also captained Team USA at World Championships — 2014 and 2021.

To buy tickets for a game, visit the Griffins’ website. For a full-season, select-season or group ticket package, call 616.774.4585 ext. 2 or visit the website.