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Downey is Grand Rapids-bound

by Michael Caples / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Aaron Downey cleared waivers Wednesday, which means he will be sent to the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids for the start of the 2008-09 season.

Downey, 34, played in career-high 56 NHL games with the Red Wings last season in route to a Stanley Cup championship. The rugged forward said that he’s going to respect his organization’s decision and try to work his way back to the Wings’ line-up.

“This is my family here, so I’m going to honor their decision,” Downey said. “I’m going to go down and play in Grand Rapids and have some fun and maybe teach some of the young kids some tricks and the good lord willing maybe in a couple weeks if the team needs me I’ll be back. You never know.”

When asked if it was confirmed that he cleared waivers, Downey kept his positive outlook, and laughed it off.

“I cleared,” he said. “Yeah, I cleared - nobody wanted me,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s nice to stay in the NHL, this is what you dream of as a kid, and it’s nice to know that if you go down to Grand Rapids and play well and do good things then you can come back with the Stanley Cup contender and a Stanley Cup defender.”

Downey said that he had come to a decision Tuesday night that this wouldn’t be the last time he laced up his skates in professional hockey.

“It’s all positive in the end of the day really, that’s the way I look at life - always have,” Downey said. “I made the decision last night by the hypotheticals that if I did clear it, I should keep playing hockey, I got nothing else to do right now. I feel good, I honestly feel that my body’s the best it’s ever been. So I’ll go down there and see if I can score a goal.”
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