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Darren McCarty signs contract with AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins

Darren McCarty has moved one step closer to returning to the NHL.

The veteran winger signed with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on Monday.

McCarty had been playing with the IHL’s Flint Generals, where he had six points (3-3) in 11 games. The 35-year-old spent the past two years with the Calgary Flames, although he was limited to 32 games last season because of a hernia.

Grand Rapids is the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL team that McCarty spent his first 11 seasons with. He won three Stanley Cups in Detroit.

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In 742 career NHL games for the Red Wings and Flames, the native of Burnaby, B.C., has 126 goals and 160 assists for 286 points.

He is expected to make his debut for Grand Rapids in Cleveland on Friday night. It will be McCarty’s first AHL game since 1993.