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Hours after scoring first NHL goal, Pulkkinen returned to AHL

Teemu Pulkkinen

Teemu Pulkkinen


On Tuesday night, Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen scored his first-ever NHL goal:

On Wednesday morning, he was sent to the AHL.

The Wings made the move official just minutes ago, sending Pulkkinen back to Grand Rapids so he could play with the Griffins during the All-Star break.

The 23-year-old Finn finished his brief stint with just one point in six games after arriving with significant fanfare. Pulkkinen, renowned for his booming shot, was leading the AHL in goals (20) at the time of his recall and, per GM Ken Holland, “shoots like Brett Hull.”

It’s unclear if Pulkkinen will be right back up with the Wings following the break, or if he’ll stay with Grand Rapids. Detroit head coach Mike Babcock was impressed with what the Finn brought to the table, but also suggested more seasoning was in order.

“I’m going to send clips to Blash [Griffins coach Jeff Blashill] so Blash knows exactly what he needs to work at,” Babcock said, per the Free Press. "[Pulkkinen] has a dimension of being able to shoot the puck and he’s tenacious.

“He should be able to play in the National Hockey League, he’s just got to fix some things.”