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McCollum has interesting take on settling all-time record with Griffins

By Peter Wallner, pwallner@mlive.com

No goalie has played more games now for the Grand Rapids Griffins than Tom McCollum, which is both a remarkable achievement and dubious honor.

The 26-year-old McCollum played in his 211th game on Feb. 12 to pass Joey MacDonald’s franchise record from 2002-07, 10-12. That put him atop just one of a number of records McCollum is within reach of in his seventh season with the Griffins.

That’s a lot of service at one AHL franchise, which speaks to a certain level frustration of not being able to stick in Detroit as well as his value as a veteran because the Red Wings keep re-signing him.

“Here’s what I know about Tom McCollum,” coach Todd Nelson said. “He’s a really good teammate and the ultimate character person, which is obvious with how he deals with people outside the hockey arena. He’s very well-liked. As an athlete, when he’s healthy and feeling confident, he’s as good as any goalie in the hockey league.”

McCollum, who is also second all-time in wins (93, 16 behind MacDonald), saves and minutes played, knew this season could hold some career records.

“It’s an extremely big honor, especially with an organization that’s had so many great goalies,” he said, adding with a chuckle: “Obviously, when I first started here I didn’t plan on playing that long. But, at the same time, it’s great that I’ve been able to stay with one organization and I’ve had so much fun.”

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