Billins signs contract with Griffins

FSU defenseman gets three-day trail with AHL team

BIG RAPIDS — Chad Billins agrees that the past couple of weeks has been nothing short of a blur to him.

The Ferris State defenseman just signed an amateur tryout contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins, capping a month in which Billins played in the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., just last week.

“A lot has happened in the last month, I don’t think it has set in,” Billins said. “Maybe when it is all over I will be able to look back and enjoy what has happened.”

The amateur contract with the Griffins gives Billins a three-day tryout with the Detroit Red Wings affiliate. Grand Rapids concludes its regular season with a home contest with Chicago tonight and a pair of road games against Hamilton on Saturday and Sunday.

Grand Rapids is in the hunt for a playoff spot, but would need help to reach the postseason said Billins.

The Griffins have no obligation to play Billins, but that means little to him.

“My goal is to get some experience and if I don’t get to play, I will at least get to experience the professional lifestyle,” he said.

Through the course of four years at Ferris State, Billins believes he has learned what it takes to play in the professional ranks. On top of that, he has learned life skills that will help him if he continues his career on the ice, or in the business world.

“Ferris does a great job of preparing you not only in hockey, but off the ice,” Billins said. “I think I have become a better person and a good education because I came here.”

Billins accumulated 29 points in 43 games this season for Ferris State as the Bulldogs captured their second Central Collegiate Hockey Association title. Billins also was named to the American Hockey Coaches Association all-American second team for his efforts.

Billins, who served as co-captain of the squad, also helped Ferris State reach the Frozen Four for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs knocked off Union in the national semifinal before falling to Boston College in the title game.

The senior becomes the second Bulldog player to sign with an American Hockey League team. Jordie Johnston signed with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers earlier this week.

Tickets for the Griffins’ regular season home finale on Friday are available at griffinshockey.com.

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