Wallner: Griffins’ defense will look a little green after Wings’ recalls (and the Griffins just signed Matt Finn to a PTO)

The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner notes that the Grand Rapids Griffins are without four potential defenders in Dennis Cholowski, Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek and Libor Sulak, giving the Griffins some challenges as they open their season on the road this weekend:

“We knew there were going to opportunities for young defenseman on the back end, for sure, but for four guys to make the team out of camp, we weren’t expecting that by any means,” Griffins coach Ben Simon said. “But that means there’s more opportunities down here and probably even more teaching down here to begin the year.”

The Griffins don’t have to submit their roster for the opener until Thursday, but they left for Texas Wednesday with just two holdovers from last season in Dylan McIlrath and Vili Saarijarvi. Veteran Brian Lashoff skated at practice Tuesday but he’s out another two or three weeks with an injury.

Jake Chelios, a non-veteran who was with Charlotte the past three seasons, should be a nice addition defensively for the Griffins, but three others who could be in the lineup are unproven. Trevor Hamilton, Marcus Crawford and Mackenzie Stewart have six career AHL games combined, all by Stewart.

“Right now, we’re are a little thin there but, again, it’s an opportunity for guys to play a little bit and see what they can do,” Simon said.

Continued, and as such:

Finn, a 6’1,” 205-pound defenseman, split last season between the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. He’s 24 and was drafted by Toronto in 2011.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.