DETROIT -- When the Detroit Red Wings revealed Tuesday they had called up forward Luke Glendening one day before the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, few people were more excited for the 24-year-old than his former coach at the University of Michigan, Red Berenson.
"Luke is a tremendous kid. They've brought him up and down and he's played 16 games for the Wings," Berenson said. "He's a role player, he knows his role. He's excited to be there. I'm excited for him."
After playing Monday at Comerica Park for the Grand Rapids Griffins in an American Hockey League game against the Toronto Marlies, Glendening is now poised to play in his second outdoor game in three days. It's an interesting turn for a player who played in three outdoor games as a Michigan Wolverine.
It was at Michigan under Berenson that Glendening earned his reputation as a hard-working player before signing with Detroit as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Despite not being drafted or heavily recruited, Glendening enjoyed a strong career at Michigan highlighted by a national championship in 2010. While carving out a place for himself with the Wolverines, the Grand Rapids native earned a big fan in Berenson.
"Luke Glendening came to Michigan as a walk-on with no promise that he would ever play. He just wanted a chance with the team," Berenson said. "He came here and he made a mark every day in practice. He ended up being our captain his junior and senior years. Never led the team in scoring but he was our leader on and off the ice. Now he's showing that he can play pro hockey and he's in the NHL. You work hard like Luke Glendening and you'll get a chance."