The Detroit Red Wings and the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins have been partners since 2002, and now they’ve signed an agreement that will see that partnership reach 20 years running.

They’ve officially extended their affiliation with each other for another five years through the 2021-22 Season.

“Our arrangement with the Griffins has been very beneficial for both organizations,” said Ken Holland, Red Wings executive vice president and general manager, in a statement. “The American Hockey League is the premier development league, and Grand Rapids has proven itself to be a model franchise both on and off the ice. We are thrilled that the Griffins have captured two championships in five seasons, both for the fan base in west Michigan and for the development of our young players, who benefit from long playoff runs and championship atmospheres.”

The Griffins won the Calder Cup this past season, their second AHL championship in the last five years. 13 players were recalled by the Red Wings this past season, including seven who made their NHL debuts.

Since their partnership began, the Griffins have seen 85 players “graduate” to the NHL, among them being current Red Wings players Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill guided the Griffins to the 2013 Calder Cup.

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