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Red Wings Idol

by Andrea Nelson / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT - If they weren’t scoring goals, blocking shots, finishing checks or competing against the best players in the world, center Riley Sheahan and defenseman Brian Lashoff could take the music business by storm.

No, it’s not a joke.

During their time with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Sheahan and Lashoff used to kill time by strumming on their guitars. When Sheahan joined the Wings’ roster this season, the idea of starting a band resurfaced.

“I knew he played in Grand Rapids when we played together down there,” Lashoff said of Sheahan. “He’s a good guitar player so I mean we were on stage together a couple weeks ago, I don’t know what it was called, but we were on stage and somebody asked what we do outside of the rink and we were like, ‘We both play guitar, maybe we’ll just start a band or something.’”

The defenseman prefers the blues and rock music, idolizing Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and credits his dad for influencing his classic rock taste in music.

“I started playing when I was probably 11,” Lashoff said. “My dad was in a band when I was growing up so I used to go watch him play at places around town and stuff. He taught me and my brother, and my brother’s taught me, too.”

Sheahan has a passion for singer-songwriters such as his hometown favorite City and Colour, and first picked up a guitar when he was in seventh grade.

“I had an older cousin that always played and I just thought it was pretty cool,” Sheahan said. “We’d have family campfires and stuff and he’d always bring his guitar so I always thought it was cool since I was young. I just picked it up and sort of carried it ever since.”

Unfortunately, the Wings teammates haven’t been able to play together for some time, as Sheahan’s guitar was forgotten in Grand Rapids when he was recalled by Detroit in January.

“Back in Grand Rapids last year we fooled around a bit and we’ve been wanting to – we call it jamming – so we’ve been wanting to jam,” Sheahan said. “But we can’t because I don’t have my guitar here. Maybe I’ll go out and buy one.”

That would be just fine with Lashoff, who will never turn down a good jam session.

“We haven’t really done anything yet,” Lashoff said. “We should start, though. That’s something that would be fun. It’s nice to have another guy on the team that plays and now that he’s been here for so long, he’s doing a great job so hopefully he can stick around and we can start something.”

Sheahan, who has made an impact in Detroit’s young lineup since being recalled from the Griffins, definitely wouldn’t mind staying with the Wings. It would give the center an excuse to bring his guitar, and a few other instruments, to Hockeytown.

“I kind of know bits and pieces on the piano, I’m trying to sort of focus in on that and learn,” Sheahan said. “But yeah I bought a harmonica, a bunch of harmonicas, and then a ukulele. Ukulele’s similar to the guitar so it’s not too difficult and harmonica seems to be ok but the piano is hard.”

While Sheahan and Lashoff are still contemplating a name for the band, the next important question is that of the vocals. But as the two guitarists surveyed the dressing room, they didn’t have to look too far for their No. 1 candidate: Luke Glendening.

“I’m not much of a singer,” Lashoff said. “I’ve heard rumors that Glendening is a good singer. So that was our plan, to bring him in on it and have him sing.”

The rumors are true.

“Back in the day I was in choir,” Glendening said. “I haven’t done anything too serious since but I do enjoy singing, just to myself though. I’m always singing in the car, in the shower and whenever I can so I’m probably one of the only people they’ve heard sing. I’m sure that’s why they said that.”

He’d be more than happy to join their musical ensemble if asked, though.

“Oh heck I’d do it,” Glendening said, laughing. “If they wanted to do it I’d do it.”

But Sheahan couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if any one of his European teammates grabbed hold of a microphone.

“It’s kind of tough to say,” Sheahan said. “So many Europeans, it’d be a different sound.”

Just the thought of it made the rookie center laugh.

“Maybe we’ll have Wings Idol or something,” Sheahan said with a smile.

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