The Detroit Red Wings have announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Red Wings have hired Brian Lashoff and Stephane Julien to join the coaching staff of head coach Dan Watson.
Julien had a busy 2022-23 as he led the Sherbrooke Phoenix to a Central Division title with a record of 50-13-3-2 and earned Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Coach of the Year as well as the General Manager of the Year. He was also an assistant coach for Team Canada’s gold medal effort at the 2023 World Junior Championship. To top it all off Julien was the head coach of Canada’s U18 squad at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Not a bad 12 months.
Lashoff on the other hand was a defenseman for the Griffins for parts of 14 seasons including two Calder Championships in 2013 and 2017. The native of Albany, New York played 628 career games for the Griffins and accumulated 132 points. The 32-year-old announced his retirement from playing in April of this year and will begin his professional coaching career just a few months after officially hanging up his skates.
In other evening notes:
- The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that Vukie Mpofu is the new director of hockey operations and legal affairs. Newly hired Kyle Dubas made the announcement today on behalf of the franchise. Mpofu’s role will have a wide scope, but his main responsibilities will be to advise and assist the hockey operations department with salary cap compliance, contract negotiations, as well as compliance with the collective bargaining agreement and he will have an active role in the leadership of the Penguins hockey research and development department. The Saskatoon native has spent the past two years with the Los Angeles Kings as the manager of hockey operations and legal affairs and now joins the Penguins as one of Dubas’ first big hires as he builds out a new hockey operations department in Pittsburgh.
- Sadly, the Anaheim Ducks announced that goaltending coach Sudarshan Maharaj was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy in Toronto. Maharaj is planning to continue his treatments and hopes to have a planned surgery. His goal is to then re-join the club after that. In the interim Maharaj and Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek are planning to hire an assistant goaltending coach and will be making an announcement in the not-too-distant future.