GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday named defenseman Brian Lashoff as the 17th captain in franchise history.
Lashoff, 30, begins his 12th season in a Griffins uniform, having made his debut as 18-year-old on March 29, 2009 at Philadelphia. One of three players to be a part of Grand Rapids’ 2017 and 2013 Calder Cup championship teams, he played his 500th regular season game with the Griffins on March 11, 2020 against Iowa, joining Travis Richards (655) as the only players to hit that milestone out of the 526 who suited up for Grand Rapids over its first 24 seasons.
Lashoff’s 500 games rank first among active AHL players who have spent their entire AHL career with the same club and rank ninth in league history among one-team players. Of the eight players ahead of him on that list, the most recent – and, coincidentally, the record-holder – last played during the 1970-71 season (Bill Needham of the Cleveland Barons, 981 games played).
Over those 500 games, Lashoff has contributed 106 points (25-81—106) and 263 penalty minutes, to go with 20 points (5-15—20) and 34 PIM in 75 Calder Cup Playoff games, the second-most in Griffins history behind former captain Nathan Paetsch’s 78.
Lashoff’s resume also includes 136 games and 15 points scored (2-13—15) over parts of seven seasons (2012-15; 2016-20) with the Detroit Red Wings, along with a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship earned by helping the United States defeat host Canada for just its second tournament championship ever.
The Albany, N.Y., native had previously served the Griffins as an alternate captain for six seasons (2012-13; 2015-20), and now he’ll wear the “C” for the first time since his final junior season with Kingston in the Ontario Hockey League in 2009-10. Click here to view the list of Griffins captains through the years.
“Brian has played 500 games for the Griffins and 136 games for the Red Wings, and he has had the great fortune to be a part of several successful and championship teams,” said Griffins head coach Ben Simon. “To play for the same organization for 12 years speaks to his overall qualities as both a hockey player and a person. His character, work ethic and perseverance epitomize what we look for in a player. He is a consummate professional who does things the right way both on and off the ice.
“Brian has been an integral part of the success and culture that has been established in Grand Rapids, and we are excited and look forward to his continued positive impact on our organization and community as captain of the Griffins,” Simon added.
“Throughout his professional career Brian Lashoff has been an integral part of building our championship culture in Grand Rapids,” said Ryan Martin, general manager of the Griffins and assistant general manager of the Red Wings. “He is a great player and an outstanding leader who sets the standards on and off the ice every day through his work ethic, dedication, dependability and consistency. Brian is a really good person who is extremely proud to be part of the Griffins and Red Wings organizations and represents both with the utmost professionalism.”
Alternate captains for the Griffins’ 2020-21 squad will be forwards Kyle Criscuolo, Turner Elson and Dominic Turgeon, along with defenseman Dylan McIlrath.
The Griffins will conclude their training camp today and travel to Chicago tomorrow to open their 2020-21 season against the Wolves at 8 p.m. EST. Grand Rapids will play its first four games in hostile territory before returning to Van Andel Arena on Saturday, Feb. 20 for Opening Night presented by Huntington, when the Cleveland Monsters will provide the opposition at 4 p.m.
While the Griffins remain hopeful for the potential to host fans at Van Andel Arena at some point, it is anticipated that the season will begin without fans in attendance. Fans are encouraged to watch the games via a subscription to AHLTV ($34.99 for all 30 Griffins games), tune in on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM, and follow the team’s social media channels. Important information for Griffins season ticket members is available at griffinshockey.com.
Update: The Griffins posted a pair of videos regarding Lashoff’s captaincy: