GREAT RAPIDS – Bummer of a week for Dennis Cholowski.
His father joined other fathers of the Detroit Red Wings on a trip to Nashville on Tuesday, and Cholowski did not play.
He returned home during his bobblehead party at the Little Caesars Arena on Thursday and was still at zero.
By that time, he had already learned that he was sent to the AHL.
So on Friday, he joined the Grand Rapids Griffins. On his birthday. His 21st.
If anyone could use a beer …
"Probably not," he said with a smile after Friday's game. "I have a match tomorrow."
Cholowski celebrated on the ice with a power play on the power play and teamed with Dylan McIlrath in the loss in a 5-1 win over Rampage. He had a plus-three rating and he was not on the ice for the sole purpose of Rampage.
MORE: Summary of the notation
The Griffins got a hat trick from Wade Megan while the Griffins defeated former Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau, who faced 47 shots. Martin Frk, dismissed by the Red Wings on Thursday, also returned and collected two assists for Grand Rapids.
The teams meet on Saturday.
Cholowski, the choice of the first round of 2016 that impressed the camp and won a place with the Red Wings, had fallen out of favor for some time.
He started as the best defenseman with seven goals and his 16 points are second after Mike Green's 20 goals in 52 games. But he had only four points in the last 30 games with a score of under-20 of the team.
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill wanted to see Cholowski's defense match his attack, and the second-year pro accepted.
"I just have to play better in zone D, get on the puck faster and stronger, and use my body a bit more," he said. "Keep moving on my gaps and finish the pieces earlier. Really, just zone D; to be stronger there. And this will create the offense. "
Cholowski said that he had been informed of the decision during the Thursday morning session. He was not at the arena for his Bobblehead night.
When asked when he saw the move coming, Cholowski replied, "Not really."
"I was not really warned that it was going to happen or something like that. You just have to be ready for the moment, and that is what happened.
The adjustments in the AHL do not seem to bother Cholowski, who played in a playoff game with the team last season and a game at the end of the regular season in 2017.
In his first shift, he was on the ice to score Colin Campbell's goal at 1:07 of the game. Fifteen minutes later, he helped the Griffins take a 2-0 lead when Wade Megan scored his shot from the power play point.
Mentally, Cholowski said that he felt "pretty good".
"Of course, it sucks to be sent; I want to be up and play, "said Cholowski. "But they have a plan and they sent me here to develop a little more and it does not really hurt. So, I'm just going to come here and play my best. "
Coach Ben Simon said he could say that Cholowski had not played for a long time.
"His biggest attributes are one of his biggest perceived flaws – he's very, very composed and very patient in his decisions," said Simon. "Sometimes he needs a little more urgency for his game.
"But that said, for his first game here, and with all that he's experienced recently: being sent for the first time and arriving in a new city, new coach, new locker room, different group of guys, I thought that he had it is perfect.
Here's what Blashill said about his shipment: