Veteran defenseman Nathan Paetsch has been named the new captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins. Ben Street, Matthew Ford, and Brian Lashoff were also named assistant captains.
Paetsch was an assistant captain since 2013 before being named the team captain following practice on Wednesday. Last season, Paetsch had 4 goals and 24 points.
This is the first time in his professional career that he has been named team captain. Paetsch has been looked at as a leader on defense and has been an important piece to the development of other young defenseman such as Ryan Sproul and Xavier Ouellet.
Paetsch made his AHL debut in 2003 with the Rochester Americans. He has played in 167 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played in Germany during the 2011-2012 season before signing with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Brian Lashoff has been a member of the Red Wings organization since 2008 when he signed an entry-level contract with the club. The defenseman made his debut with Grand Rapids during the 2008-2009 season. Lashoff has played in 117 total NHL games all with the Detroit Red Wings. Lashoff was assigned to the Griffins on October 9 after clearing waivers.
Ben Street comes to the Griffins after being signed in the offseason by the Red Wings. The forward was placed on waivers by the Wings on October 10 and was assigned to Grand Rapids on October 11 after no one chose to claim him. Street played in only 15 games during the 2015-2016 season, but still contributed by having 7 goals and 21 points where he was also the team captain for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. He also skated in 7 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. Street has played 29 games in the NHL with the Avalanche and the Calgary Flames. Over 293 career AHL games, Street has 237 points (98-139-237).
Matthew Ford was signed by the Griffins during the offseason. Ford comes to Grand Rapids after leading the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors in goals (27) and points (51) during the 2015-2016 season. He appeared in 64 games. Griffins head coach Todd Nelson is plenty familiar with Ford. Ford was a member of the Oklahoma City Barons for two seasons while Nelson was the head coach. Ford had 100 points (44-56-100) during the two seasons he played for Nelson. Ford was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the eighth-round of the 2004 NHL Draft. Ford has been an AHL journeyman playing in 480 career games with the Hartford Wolfpack (2008-2009), Lake Erie Monsters (2009-2011), Hershey Bears (2011-2012), Adirondack Phantoms and Springfield Falcons (2012-2013), Oklahoma City Barons (2013-2015) and the Bakersfield Condors (2015-2016). Ford has played in 21 career Calder Cup Playoff games and has 13 points (5-8-13).