When top young prospect Simon Edvinsson arrived in the NHL, he made a point to say how much talking to veteran Griffins defenseman Brian Lashoff helped him navigate his first season in North American hockey.
Edvinsson was one of several players helped by Lashoff’s guidance during his 14 seasons with the Griffins. Rosters should have listed Lashoff as a defenseman/mentor. Now he will use that skill in a different way as he begins his job as one of the Griffins’ new assistant coaches under Dan Watson.
“I look forward to helping Dan Watson and the rest of our staff in the continued development of our players while competing at the highest level,” Lashoff said. “Staying in hockey was always a priority of mine. I am motivated by the opportunity to be able to work with these players, to help them make the most of their careers.”
The Griffins also hired Stephane Julien as an assistant coach. He was coach and general manager of the year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League after leading the Sherbrooke Phoenix to a Central Division title and QMJHL semifinals.
“We’re excited to bring back Brian and we welcome Stephane to the Griffins organization. Both men bring a wealth of knowledge that we believe will translate to success in their new roles,” Griffins general manager Shawn Horcoff said. “In 14 seasons as a player in Grand Rapids, Brian established himself as a leader on and off the ice. (He) was a respected voice in the locker room and across the league. Stephane infused a winning culture to Sherbrooke of the QMJHL in more than a decade behind the bench. (He) has a proven track record of developing young players, which will be a major asset to the Griffins’ coaching staff.”
Lashoff just retired as a player two months ago. He did play 136 games for the Red Wings in his career. He ranks second on the Griffins’ all-time games played list (628). Lashoff totaled 132 points (32-100—132) and 329 penalty minutes.
Watson was previously the Toledo Walleyes coach. The Griffins hired Dan Watson as head coach on June 14.