BRIAN LASHOFF TO RETIRE AFTER 14 SEASONS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Longtime Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman and current captain Brian Lashoff will retire from professional hockey at the conclusion of the American Hockey League’s 2022-23 regular season this weekend, bringing a close to a remarkable career that has seen him play more seasons in Grand Rapids than any pro athlete in the city’s history.
Lashoff has spent all or part of 14 seasons (2008-13; 2014-23) on the Griffins’ blue line, including the last three as the team’s captain, and seven campaigns (2012-15; 2016-20) with the Detroit Red Wings.
He will be honored during a ceremony prior to the Griffins’ regular-season home finale this Friday, April 14 against the Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel Arena. Game time is 7 p.m. Fans can secure their tickets through griffinshockey.com/tickets, or watch the game locally on WXSP-TV or online at AHLTV.com.
Lashoff’s career will conclude on Saturday when the Griffins visit the Chicago Wolves at 8 p.m. EDT. In addition to AHLTV.com, the game will be televised on NHL Network.
An Albany, N.Y., native, Lashoff ranks second on the Griffins’ all-time games played list with 628, behind only Travis Richards’ 655. His games played are the most among active players who have spent their entire AHL career with the same club and rank third in league history among one-team players, trailing only Bill Needham (981, Cleveland Barons 1956-71) and Arnie Kullman (753, Hershey Bears 1948-60).
Lashoff, 32, was a key component of Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup championship teams in both 2013 and 2017, joining Nathan Paetsch and Mitch Callahan as the franchise’s only two-time cup champions. He served as a playing captain at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic, marking his first career all-star nod, and he won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship.
With seven points (1-6—7) and 30 penalty minutes in 48 games this season, Lashoff has compiled 132 points (32-100—132) and 329 PIM in his 628 regular-season games in a Griffins uniform. He’s one of only four defensemen and 12 skaters to record 100 career assists for Grand Rapids, and only two Griffins blueliners have tallied more than his 132 points (Richards 238, Paetsch 142).
Lashoff has also contributed 20 points (5-15—20) and 34 PIM in 75 playoff games for Grand Rapids, marking the second-most postseason appearances in Griffins history (Paetsch 78). He also ranks among the franchise’s all-time playoff leaders with two unassisted goals (T1st) and one shorthanded goal (T1st).
Including a three-game stint with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye during his first full pro season in 2010-11, Lashoff played his entire career within the Red Wings organization after making his pro debut with the Griffins in 2008-09 at the age of 18.
“You don’t stay with the same organization for this long by accident; that doesn’t happen by chance,” said Griffins head coach Ben Simon. “As an undrafted player, he endeared himself to numerous coaches, teammates, and the fans through his hard-nosed style of play, his infectious work ethic, and impeccable character both on and off the ice.
“Brian epitomizes what an organization wants from its players. He does things the right way, every day. He gave his best effort every practice, every shift, and every game, leaving it all out there on the ice. Off the ice, he set an example in the locker room every day as to what it meant to be a pro. The character and professionalism he brought to the rink every day were unmatched. The appreciation, pride, respect, and passion he has for the game and this organization is evident through his work ethic, the same – if not more today – since he first walked through the Griffins’ doors,” Simon continued.
“Over my eight seasons as an assistant coach and head coach, it has been a pleasure watching Brian grow as a person, a player, a teammate, and a father. He was able to accomplish his boyhood dream of playing in the NHL while also winning two Calder Cup championships, so as this chapter of his career comes to an end, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be successful in whatever he does.”
Lashoff became the 126th Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL when he made his debut with Detroit on Jan. 21, 2013 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring a goal in the process. Later that season, Lashoff took to the ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time on May 4, 2013 versus the Anaheim Ducks. Throughout parts of seven NHL seasons from 2012-20, Lashoff accumulated 15 points (2-13—15) and 65 penalty minutes in 136 regular-season games and logged another eight games during the postseason.
After playing junior hockey with Kingston and Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League, the undrafted Lashoff signed with Detroit as a free agent on Sept. 29, 2008 and has since suited up for 767 professional regular-season games and registered 148 points (34-114—148) and 394 PIM. He also added 20 points (5-15—20) and 34 PIM in 83 postseason appearances.
Photo at top by Nicolas Carrillo/Griffins