SBD/October 19, 2011/Franchises

Red Wings Players Work With Local Businesses As Part Of Community Relations Effort

Cleary distributes refreshments at Quicken Loans downtown HQs

Red Wings players over the past two days participated in an initiative called "Hockeytown Thanks," meant to "spread goodwill through the community and thank business partners in southeast Michigan," according to Ted Kulfan of the DETROIT NEWS. Red Wings D Nicklas Lidstrom, who made pizzas at a Little Caesars store in Plymouth, said, "It's a great way for us to get out there and give back to the community and tell fans hockey is back and we're off to a good start." Red Wings RW Danny Cleary, who distributed cider and doughnuts at the Quicken Loans HQs downtown along with LW Justin Abdelkader, said, "We want to say thank you to all of our sponsors. This is a great opportunity to connect and reconnect with them and our fans." Kulfan noted the 4-0 Red Wings have "sold out their first two home games, and the crowds at Joe Louis Arena have been noticeably loud and enthusiastic." Cleary is "confident the excitement generated from the Tigers and Lions seasons will translate to the Red Wings." He said, "Detroit is a great sports town. We have some great fans at The Joe. We just haven't had enough games yet." Red Wings G Jimmy Howard, who was slated to work at a local oil change shop, said, "The last couple of years haven't been good (economically), so it's a chance to lift spirits and entertain them." Other Red Wings participating in the initiative included Ds Jakub Kindl and Ian White and C Cory Emmerton, who were "bagging groceries at the Birmingham Kroger" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/18). In Michigan, Ansar Khan noted "nearly all of the players were scheduled to make surprise appearances" as part of the community relations effort (MLIVE.com, 10/18).

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