Detroit – The Red Wings kept some much-needed defensive depth in their organization Thursday with a pair of signings.
Defensemen Brian Lashoff and Dylan McIlrath, key players for the Grand Rapids Griffins this past season, will remain in the organization.
Both signed two-year, two-way contracts that will pay them $650,000 if they play in the NHL and $275,000 in Grand Rapids.
McIlrath, 25, was acquired from Florida in the trade deadline deal for Thomas Vanek.
McIlrath (6-foot-5, 236 pounds) had four assists in 21 regular-season games with the Griffins, then had five assists in 19 games during the Griffins’ playoff run to a Calder Cup championship.
McIlrath has size, is a good defensive defenseman, and has a veteran’s perspective that could be beneficial for the many young defensemen entering the organization.
The same holds true for Lashoff, who’ll be 27 in July, and played five games with the Red Wings last season, with no points.
Lashoff had three goals and eight assists in 62 games with the Griffins, (one goal, three assists in 17 playoff games).
In the last two weeks the Red Wings have maintained the core of their championship team in Grand Rapids, re-signing forwards Martin Frk and Ben Street, along with defensemen McIlrath and Lashoff.
But the team might lose coach Todd Nelson, who is under consideration for an NHL job with the Arizona Coyotes.