Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Pat Verbeek to run Grand Rapids Griffins’ front office

Detroit Free Press

The Little Ball of Hate goes west.

The Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman announced Thursday that one of his assistant’s, Pat Verbeek, will now also assume the duties of GM of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Verbeek, 57, has worked on Yzerman’s staff since 2010, first with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the last two seasons in Detroit. Verbeek played for the Wings from 1999-2001, near the end of his 20-year playing career in the NHL.

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He will remain an assistant GM with the Wings, but will now add the day-to-day operations of the Wings’ AHL affiliate to his responsibilities.

“The Griffins are a first-class organization, and Grand Rapids is a fantastic market for hockey,” Verbeek said in a statement released by the Wings. “Both of those factors are critical in the successful development of prospects in the American Hockey League and the ability to help them get to the next level. I look forward to continuing the winning culture in Grand Rapids and providing our prospects every necessary resource to develop as professionals and become impactful players in the NHL.”

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Verbeek scored over 500 goals and 1,000 points in his career, but had over 2,900 penalty minutes, which explains the “Little Ball of Hate” moniker.

Contact Kirkland Crawford: kcrawford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.

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