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Three AHL Veterans Join Organization including Criscuolo, 2017 Calder Cup Champion in Grand Rapids

The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with right wing Riley Barber on a two-year contract and center Kyle Criscuolo and goaltender Kevin Boyle on one-year contracts.

Barber, 26, is a veteran of 283 American Hockey League games, posting 217 points (106-111-217) and 204 penalty minutes over five seasons with the Hershey Bears, Laval Rocket and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Barber saw time with three teams in 2019-20 appearing in nine games with the Montreal Canadiens, logging 31 points (13-18-31) in 39 games with Laval and picking up six points (3-3-6) in seven games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after he was traded from Montreal to Pittsburgh on Feb. 20. Barber previously had a three-game NHL stint with the Washington Capitals in the 2016-17 season and has totaled 12 NHL games over his professional career. The 6-foot, 190-pound winger also has 15 points (5-10-15) in 38 career AHL postseason games.

Originally drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Barber signed with the Capitals after spending three seasons at Miami University, where he scored at over a point-per-game pace with 123 points (54-69-123), a plus-24 rating and 62 penalty minutes in 116 games. Barber earned several collegiate honors, including CCHA Rookie of the Year and First All-Star Team in 2012-13 and NCHC Second All-Star Team in 2013-14, and helped the RedHawks to a conference championship in 2014-15. He also won a 2011 Clark Cup championship in the United States Hockey League with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and spent the 2011-12 season with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native captained the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship after winning gold at the event in 2013, combining for 12 points (7-5-12) in 12 games between the two tournaments.

Criscuolo, 28, returns for his second stint in the organization after starting his professional career with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, making his pro debut at the end of the 2015-16 season and winning a Calder Cup championship in 2016-17 as a first-year pro, posting 41 points (17-24-41), a plus-17 rating and 14 penalty minutes in 80 total regular-season games and adding nine points (5-4-9), a plus-six rating and 14 penalty minutes in 19 postseason games during the championship run. The 5-foot-9, 178-pound forward earned his first NHL contract that summer and played in nine NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres in 2017-18. In four professional seasons, Criscuolo has appeared in 221 AHL games with the Griffins, Rochester Americans, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and San Diego Gulls, notching 119 points (46-73-119), a plus-29 rating and 76 penalty minutes.

A native of Southampton, N.J., Criscuolo spent four seasons at Harvard University from 2012-16 and logged 113 points (53-60-113), a plus-42 rating and 46 penalty minutes in 124 collegiate games, serving as captain of the Crimson as a junior and senior. Harvard won an ECAC conference championship in 2015, and Criscuolo was a back-to-back ECAC Student-Athlete of the Year, All-Ivy League Second Team and All-ECAC Second Team member. Prior to his time at Harvard, Criscuolo spent the 2011-12 season in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers, notching 44 points (21-23-44) in 59 games.

Boyle, 28, joins the Red Wings after spending four seasons in the Anaheim Ducks organization. He played 20 games for their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, in 2019-20, posting a 9-7-2 record, 2.82 goals-against average and 0.911 save percentage. In 117 career AHL games, all with San Diego, Boyle owns a 62-38-10 record, 2.71 goals-against average, 0.915 save percentage and two shutouts. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound netminder posted a shutout in his first NHL start with Anaheim on Feb. 13, 2019, stopping all 35 shots he faced against the Vancouver Canucks. In five career NHL appearances, Boyle is 1-3-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and 0.928 save percentage.

Originally signed by Anaheim as an undrafted free agent in March 2016, Boyle spent two collegiate seasons at the University of Massachusetts from 2011-13 before transferring to UMass-Lowell for his final two seasons (2014-16). Boyle capped off his senior season with Hockey East Goaltender of the Year and Player of the Year honors and was the most-valuable player of the conference tournament, going 24-10-5 with a 1.83 goals-against average and 0.934 save percentage in 39 games. The Manalapan, N.J. native was previously an All-Rookie Team selection in the British Columbia Hockey League after posting a 20-16-1 record with the Westside Warriors in 2010-11.


The Detroit Red Wings also agreed to terms with defenseman Jon Merrill on a one-year contract.

Merrill, 28, has totaled 61 points (12-49-61) and 195 penalty minutes in 356 games between the New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound defenseman skated in 49 games with the Golden Knights in 2019-20, contributing seven points (2-5-7) and 32 penalty minutes and also logged an assist in his lone postseason appearance. Merrill also ranked fifth on Vegas in blocked shots (71), while posting 51 hits and 14 takeaways in 18:09 average time on ice. The seven-year NHLer posted career-best numbers with Vegas in 2018-19, logging 15 points (3-12-15), a plus-16 rating and 53 penalty minutes in 57 games with the team. He was originally a second-round draft pick (38th overall) of New Jersey in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and played four seasons with the Devils (2013-17) before joining Vegas through the expansion draft.

Merrill played parts of two seasons in the American Hockey League prior to making the NHL full-time, logging 18 points (3-15-18) in 27 games with the Albany Devils from 2012-14. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., Merrill grew up in Grand Blanc and Brighton, Mich., and skated for the Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club until 2007-08. He continued to play in the state of Michigan for five more years, spending two seasons at the U.S. National Team Development Program, where he totaled 41 points (8-33-41) in 101 games from 2008-10, and then three years at the University of Michigan, picking up 47 points (11-36-47), a plus-25 rating and 45 penalty minutes in 82 games, making the CCHA All-Rookie Team and CCHA Second All-Star Team as a freshman. Merrill has represented the United States in international play on four occasions, winning back-to-back gold medals and totaling three points (0-3-3) in 14 games during the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championships and nine points (1-8-9) over 12 games during the 2011 (earning bronze) and 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships.


The Red Wings have also agreed to terms with goaltender Thomas Greiss on a two-year contract.

Greiss, 34, has logged 11 NHL seasons since 2007-08 with the San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, owning a career 137-90-28 record with a 2.63 goals-against average, 0.915 save percentage and 13 shutouts. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound netminder posted a winning record in all five of his seasons with the Islanders, where he played 193 of his 282 career NHL games. Greiss posted career-best numbers in 2018-19 with a 2.28 goals-against average, 0.927 save percentage and five shutouts alongside a 23-14-2 record in 43 games, earning him a share of the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals against alongside then-teammate Robin Lehner. In 2019-20, Greiss appeared in 31 games for New York, sporting a 16-9-4 record, 2.74 goals-against average and 0.913 save percentage. He also appeared in four games during the team’s run to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final, going 2-2 with a 2.02 goals-against average, 0.929 save percentage and one shutout, and he has a 7-8 career mark in 17 postseason games.

The Fussen, Germany, native was originally drafted by San Jose in the third round (94th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Greiss spent parts of four seasons with the Worcester Sharks in the American Hockey League between 2006-09 and in 2012-13, where he notched a 74-61-0 record with a 2.71 goals-against average, 0.904 save percentage and one shutout in 142 games. Greiss has also played parts of five seasons professionally in Europe, seeing time with the Cologne Sharks (2003-06) and Hannover Scorpions (2012-13) in Germany’s top professional league and appearing in 32 games with Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League in 2010-11. Additionally, he has made numerous appearances on the international stage for Germany as one of six German-born goaltenders in NHL history, notably helping his country earn two promotions to the top division at the 2004 and 2006 IIHF World Junior Championships and seeing time in four games during the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. He also backstopped the Germans in back-to-back IIHF World Championships in 2016 and 2017 and represented Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup, where they finished as runners-up.

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