DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Brian Lashoff to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Lashoff, 29, made his Red Wings season debut on Dec. 21 at Toronto and has appeared in nine games for Detroit this season, picking up one assist, a plus-one rating, six penalty minutes, six shots on goal, 16 hits and seven blocked shots in 14:33 average time on ice. In his NHL stints over seven seasons since 2012-13, he has tallied 15 points (2-13-15) and 65 penalty minutes in 136 games. Lashoff has also skated in 25 games with the Griffins this season, logging six points (2-4-6), a plus-two rating and 20 penalty minutes. A 10th-year pro, Lashoff ranks second in Grand Rapids franchise history in games played, skating in 478 contests since 2008-09 and logging 104 points (24-80-104), a plus-23 rating and 247 penalty minutes. Additionally, the 6-foot-3, 219-pound defenseman has appeared in eight NHL playoff games and has 19 points (5-14-19) and 34 penalty minutes in 73 career AHL postseason contests.
A native of Albany, N.Y., Lashoff is a former undrafted free agent signing by Detroit in Sept. 2008. He is one of three two-time Calder Cup champions in Griffins history, winning AHL championships in 2013 and 2017. Prior to his professional career, Lashoff logged four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and recorded 91 points (20-71-91) and 186 penalty minutes in 215 games with the Barrie Colts and Kingston Frontenacs from 2006-10. Lashoff also won a gold medal for the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan, picking up two assists in seven games.
With Lashoff having hit the number of games played just below the threshold for waiver eligibility, the team sent him back to Grand Rapids without having to expose a player that Ted Kulfan recently says fills a “key organizational role.”
In all honesty there is some truth to the consideration. Lashoff is a sub-NHL defender at this point in his career but he’s got a nice niche at the AHL level as kind of a stabilizing veteran. While I don’t think other teams are looking at the waiver wire for Detroit defensemen and going “Ooh! Gimme!” there’s not really much point in exposing Lashoff to waivers and potentially hurting the Griffins’ depth.
The move leaves Detroit with seven defensemen who are currently not on IR (Danny DeKeyser being the lone exception). Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson have technically be “healthy scratches” as recently as Tuesday’s game against the Islanders, but their fitness to play has yet to be fully confirmed by the team. The Wings have four games left before the All-Star break in St. Louis, including a back-to-back this Friday and Saturday. Either one or both of them will come back into the lineup or we’ll see a different player called up from Grand Rapids to fill that sixth slot.
As a quick note, Dylan McIlrath last cleared waivers on November 27th and played six games before he was reassigned.