Rough news for the Grand Rapids Griffins, from the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner:
The Grand Rapids Griffins didn’t get back Tyler Bertuzzi and will have to go the rest of the way without Matt Lorito as well.
Lorito, tied for fourth on the team in scoring (23-26-49), will not return from a knee injury and is out for the rest of the season, coach Todd Nelson said.
Nelson said Lorito will undergo surgery. He has not played the past six games since injured in a March 24 game against Iowa. The left winger is in the last season of a two-year, two-way contract.
“It’s unfortunate because, obviously, he’s a big part of our hockey team,” Nelson said. “We just have to get it done without him.”
Wallner reports that the Griffins are OK with Tyler Bertuzzi working on his off-season training…
“Tyler was asked about that option and he wanted to play. But that was a while ago,” Nelson said. “Since that time, he’s played important minutes and he really hasn’t had a summer the past two years to really develop his body. So, I think that’s why the decision was made to start training and get ready for next season. And I totally respect that. Once again, we’re here to facilitate the Detroit Red Wings.
“Are we going to miss him? Absolutely. But it will give other players an opportunity to step up.”
And yes, the Griffins are eying Michael Rasmussen as he plays tremendous hockey for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. If the Americans are eliminated from the WHL playoffs, Rasmussen can join the Griffins:
“He’s a player we can certainly use,” Nelson said. “He’s a big body and he’s having a monster playoff. But we’ll have to see how that plays out.”