DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned left wing Tyler Bertuzzi and defenseman Brian Lashoff to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Bertuzzi, 21, has appeared in seven games with the Red Wings this season but has not seen game action since suffering an ankle injury on Nov. 29. During his time in Detroit, he has recorded three shots in goal, 12 hits and four blocked shots in 9:06 average time on ice. The second-year pro has also appeared in 10 games with the Griffins this season, recording six points (3-3-6), a plus-four rating, six penalty minutes and 32 shots on goal. In 83 total AHL games, he has produced 37 points (16-21-37) and 139 penalty minutes, adding 20 points (14-6-20) and 18 penalty minutes in 23 career Calder Cup Playoff games.
Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (58th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Bertuzzi spent four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm prior to joining the Griffins. In 201 OHL games from 2011-15, he registered 172 points (72-100-172) and 325 penalty minutes. The Sudbury, Ontario, native was a 2014 OHL champion with the Storm and totaled 27 points (16-11-27) in 38 playoff games. Bertuzzi was also named to the 2015 OHL Second All-Star Team following a career-high 98 points (43-55-98) in 68 games in his final season of junior hockey.
Lashoff appeared in five games with the Red Wings and recorded eight hits and four blocked shots while averaging 12:30 time on ice. The 26-year-old has totaled 13 points (2-11-13) and 57 penalty minutes in 122 games for Detroit since 2012-13. He has also skated in 18 games with the Griffins this season, tallying one goal, two assists and eight penalty minutes. Lashoff has totaled 286 games with the Griffins since 2008-09 and has registered 61 pints (14-47-61) and 141 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 221-lb., defenseman helped lead the Griffins to the 2013 Calder Cup championship, finishing the regular season with six points (2-4-6) and a plus-six rating in 37 games. His 51 career playoff games rank fourth all-time in Griffins history.
The Albany, N.Y., native was originally signed by Detroit as a free agent on Sept. 30, 2008. Prior to his professional career, Lashoff spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and Kingston Frontenacs, recording 91 points (20-71-91) in 215 games from 2006-10 with an appearance in the league’s 2010 All-Star Game. He represented the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan, where he won a gold medal and had two assists in seven games.
With Smith back, Lashoff became healthy defenseman number eight for the Wings and likely wasn’t going to see another game with Jensen up and looking good, so better to return him to Grand Rapids before hitting the 30-day mark where he’d have had to re-clear waivers to be assigned back to Grand Rapids.
Bertuzzi being healthy enough to send back to Grand Rapids to get back on track with his development is great news for the kid. He could have stayed up, but would have made forward #14 for the road trip without much likelihood that Blashill would use him.
The Wings start their seven-game road trip Thursday in Ottawa.