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Sheahan is latest Grand Rapids import

Rookie center will replace Johan Franzen in Wings' lineup against the Ducks

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 2:26 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant |
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Sheahan is latest Grand Rapids import

Riley Sheahan has six goals and 14 points in 23 games for the Griffins this season. (Photo by Grand Rapids Griffins)

DETROIT – There was another fresh face in the Red Wings locker room this morning, as center Riley Sheahan was recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins to make his season debut when Detroit hosts the Anaheim Ducks.

The 22-year-old is the latest addition to the Red Wings roster from their minor league affiliate due to a host of injuries currently plaguing the team.

“You kind of get to know each of the guys a little bit during training camp and you never want to see anyone go down hurt, but for us in Grand Rapids, you’ve just got to be ready for the opportunity that’s there,” Sheahan said. “That’s all we’re going to try to do right now.”

Sheahan was called up on Monday to replace Johan Franzen, who left the game Sunday night against Tampa after being hit in the face by defenseman Radko Gudas early in the second period.

In just his second full AHL season, Sheahan has continued to do just that, recording six goals and eight assists through 23 games. The center also helped the Griffins to a Calder Cup championship last spring, producing 25 points in 72 games, and tied for the AHL rookie lead in the playoffs with 16 points in 24 games.

“We’ve talked to him, he’s played well in the American League, he’s been their best player there the last little bit and we expect him to come in and do what (Tomas) Jurco did and take over,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “When you look at the kids we’ve called up from the minors, where they didn’t start in the lineup, (Tomas) Tatar wasn’t in the lineup, Gus (Nyquist) we called up, Jurco played great the other night. Everyone we’ve called up has played great so why wouldn’t he.”

In just his third career game with the Red Wings, Sheahan joins a few of his teammates from Grand Rapids, including Jurco, Luke Glendening and Patrick Eaves, who have all been called up from the Griffins within the last four days. Sheahan also split ice time with Nyquist and Tatar during their time in the AHL, and feels a heightened level of comfort knowing he’s among many friends in the Red Wings locker room.

“There’s a lot of familiar faces and a lot of guys we shared the Calder Cup with last year,” Sheahan said. “That was a special group and some of them are close friends so that definitely helps.

“Last year I played some with Gus and then this year a little bit with Jurcs, even Tats a little bit, too. They’re awesome players and they’re all capable of making plays so being on the line with them was awesome. At the same time seeing them around in the locker room makes you feel a little more comfortable.”

Sheahan, Jurco, Glendening and Eaves were recalled from Grand Rapids to help an injury-ridden Red Wings team that is currently without Henrik Zetterberg (back), Darren Helm (shoulder), Nyquist (groin), Justin Abdelkader (concussion), Stephen Weiss (groin) and Franzen.

Although the addition of several players from Detroit’s minor-league affiliate may have its challenges, it gives every player the opportunity to contribute and leave a lasting impression.

“When you come from down there, you're playing a lot and now, all of a sudden you're here, and it's so different,” Tatar said “You're a little shaky, so maybe you're not playing as much minutes, like down there. You just have to lose it a little bit and try to play a little more confident. But it's pretty hard. The best players in the world just know how to calm down and in certain situations don't put any pressure on yourself and that's the best players in the league."

And Sheahan is more than ready to take advantage of every chance he’s given to play at this level.

“You know you wait for this time throughout the season and just try to play your best at the level you’re at,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be winning some games and playing with some players in Grand Rapids so yeah I’m really looking forward to starting the game tonight.

“I’m just going to go out there and try to play the same way I’ve been and hopefully it goes well.”




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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