The Toledo Walleye have brought back a key agitator who has character and provides plenty of energy.
Veteran forward Todd Griffith re-signed with the team today. Griffith played in 24 games with the Walleye last season after being acquired in a trade on Jan. 29.
The 27-year-old feisty forward told The Blade in March that he likes to get under the skin of opposing players.
“I'll get into people's faces,” he said. “I'm known for keeping people on their toes.”
In 24 games with Toledo late last season, Griffith posted 21 points with 12 goals and nine assists. He also had 56 penalty minutes.
Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said he really liked what we saw from Griffith during the final two months.
“Todd brings energy, toughness, and offense,” Vitucci said. “He has produced at every level he has played at.”
Griffith was born in Welland, Ont., the same town where Vitucci grew up.
Before turning professional in 2006-07, Griffith played his junior career in the Ontario Hockey League. He scored 79 goals with 66 assists in four years.
Prior to joining the Walleye, he had collected 100 points (60 goals and 40 assists) in 140 ECHL games. He also had 317 penalty minutes.
Griffith played in 10 games with the Reading Royals in the ECHL last season. He collected 8 points (5 G, 3 A) in 10 games before being traded to Toledo.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound center has played for five ECHL teams over his six-year minor league career. He also has played in England and in the Central Hockey League.
“It always helps to score goals and I like to do that as much as I can,” Griffith said. “But if I'm not scoring goals I have to play a different role and bring that energy. I'll try to block shots and I will fight when I can.”
Toledo has now officially signed seven players and more are expected leading up to the start of training camp on Oct. 2.
The Walleye season opener is on Saturday, Oct. 13 against Kalamazoo.