DETROIT -- It took reporters a few minutes to figure out who the guy wearing No. 15 on his helmet was for the Detroit Red Wings during Thursday morning's optional skate at Joe Louis Arena.
Soon it was learned the mystery Red Wing was rookie center Riley Sheahan, who was Detroit's first pick (No. 21) at the 2010 NHL Draft. The team then announced that the 20-year old Sheahan, who played three seasons at Notre Dame, had signed to an entry-level contract after playing seven games with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout agreement.
"It was a tough one there today just getting my legs working," said Sheahan, who was put through the paces by Wings assistant coach Jeff Blashill. "It’s great to be on the ice and putting on the Wings gear."
Will he be putting on that gear for one of Detroit's remaining two regular-season games?
"I haven't really gotten details right now," said the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Sheahan, who scored one goal and added an assist for Grand Rapids. "It's the coaches' decision. I'm just looking forward to it."
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock seemed to shoot down the idea of Sheahan getting any playing time Thursday against the Devils or Saturday against the Blackhawks.
"I'm not going to take a look at him," Babcock said. "Our guys were there watching him last night [with Grand Rapids]. I'd love to put him in the lineup. I always like to put big people in the lineup. He's a big body and he looks like he's going to be able to play. He's going to decide with his play over time how soon that's going to be. If he's a regular every day Red Wing or just a guy who plays in exhibition and ends up in Grand Rapids ... I don't know the answer to those questions."