SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WOOD) — It was a reward for a job well done.
What would have been an eight-hour bus ride for the Grand Rapids Griffins was instead a mere one-hour, 15 minute flight, thanks to the Detroit Red Wings.
“The guys really appreciate what management is doing for us,” Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch said.
“It’s obviously a nice gesture by the (Red Wings) organization,” Griffins rookie forward Kyle Criscuolo said. “They put a lot of effort into making sure we’re best prepared for the next two games here.”
With the Red Wings out of the playoffs and Tigers playing at home, Detroit management sent the teams’ private plane, Red Bird One, to Grand Rapids to take the Griffins to Syracuse as the Calder Cup Finals continue.
“It’s huge,” said Griffins forward Eric Tangradi. “For us, any time we can get an hour flight instead of a nine hour bus ride, it’s a big deal.”
After taking Games 1 and 2 versus the Syracuse Crunch in Grand Rapids, the Griffins will play Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, Game 5, in Syracuse on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.>>Calder Cup Finals schedule
“The stakes are higher,” Paetsch said of the series. “It’s the Calder Cup Final and management is showing their gratitude towards us and we appreciate it.”
“The bus (rides) wear and tear on your body a little it,” Tangradi said. “So for us to be able to fly privately to Syracuse is big.”
WOOD TV 8 will have live reports from Syracuse beginning Tuesday.
—–Online:Grand Rapids Griffins