The Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche were once the NHL’s hottest rivalry, so perhaps it’s appropriate that Detroit’s top farm club, the AHL Grand Rapids Grifiins, will open the 2023-24 AHL season playing host to the Colorado Eagles.
The Eagles are the No. 1 farm team for the Avalanche and it will be the first-ever meeting between the two clubs. It will also mark the debut of Dan Watson as coach of the Griffins. That game will take place on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.
HERE IT IS! The 2023-24 schedule! #GoGRG
— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) July 12, 2023
“We are very excited to see what this new season has to offer with head coach Dan Watson leading the charge,” Griffins president Tim Gortsema said. “We firmly believe that the winning ways he established in Toledo will continue here in Grand Rapids, and this should be a special season with plenty of high-level prospects eager to pave their way to Detroit.”
Plenty Of Weekend Action For Griffins
The Colorado contest is one of 23 Griffins home games that will be taking place on a Friday (eight) or Saturday (15) this season. There are also four Sunday home games, the most since the 2012-13 season.
The schedule includes a season-high six-game homestand from Feb. 21-March 2 and a season-high five-game road trip from Dec. 2-10. This year’s schedule features 19 back-to-backs and two three-in-threes. Grand Rapids plays host to the Cleveland Monsters on New Year’s Eve and the Toronto Marlies on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. For the first time since 2020-21 Grand Rapids will close out the season on home ice April 21 against the Milwaukee Admirals.
The slate is comprised of 52 contests against Central Division rivals, 16 games against the North Division, and four outings against the Pacific Division. The Rockford IceHogs are the most common opponent, facing the Griffins a dozen times.
A number of popular promotional dates are also returning to the Grand Rapids schedule. Grand Rapids’ 22nd annual School Day Game against the Chicago Wolves is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. The Great Skate Winterfest game is on Saturday, Jan. 27 versus the Belleville Senators. And the 23rd annual Teddy Bear Toss game against the Manitoba Moose on Friday, Nov. 24.