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The Daily: Grand Rapids Griffins Re-Sign Valuable Leader Lashoff

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Brian Lashoff, Griffins
Brian Lashoff will be playing his 14th season with the Grand Rapids Griffins (Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Griffins)

Brian Lashoff is a player, not a coach. But teammates, especially younger ones, view his advice like it is coaching gospel.

“I’ve talked to Lash a lot,” Detroit Red Wings prospect Jared McIsaac told Detroit Hockey Now’s Nate Brown last season. “He’s been around a long time and he’s seen it all. I definitely do not hesitate to ask questions to him and he’s been really good to me.

The Grand Rapids Griffins showed their respect for Lashoff’s playing ability and leadership by re-signing him for his 14th season with the Griffins. The Griffins also re-signed  Michigan native forward Tyler Spezia (13 goals and 45 points in 76 games last season) and forward Dominik Shine (17-13-30) to two-year deals. Shine is a Detroit native.

The 31-year-old defenseman Lashoff is 76 games shy of breaking Travis Richards’ Griffins’ record of 655 games in a Grand Rapids jersey. Richards played in Grand Rapids from 1996 to 2006.

Lashoff’s  580 regular-season games with Grand Rapids rank fourth in American Hockey League history among one-team players.

Even though Lashoff is on an AHL contract, the Red Wings appreciate Lashoff’s value in helping their young prospects learn to be professional players. Most prospects arrive in Detroit with a story or two about Lashoff’s leadership.

Lashoff could be particularly valuable in the upcoming season because four or five Red Wings defensive prospects and two or three forward prospects could be on the Grand Rapids roster this season.

“Starting with our captain Brian Lashoff, he epitomizes what it means to be part of this organization.,” Griffins coach Ben Simon said. “I think he’s been a huge part of building that culture that has been here for so long.”

Lashoff has played 75 Grand Rapids playoff games, ranking second on the team’s all-time list behind Nathan Paetsch’s 78. Lashoff helped Grand Rapids win Calder Cup championships in 2013 and 2017.

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