Update (2:20 PM) – Both the Golden Knights and Chicago Wolves have sent out press releases confirming this hire.
According to a report from TSN’s Elliotte Friedman, the Chicago Wolves, the Golden Knights AHL affiliate, have found a new head coach.
Hearing Vegas taking OHL Windsor's Rocky Thompson as AHL coach in Chicago. Won Memorial Cup with the Spitfires.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 7, 2017
Because the Golden Knights control all hockey operations with the Wolves, the decision was made by George McPhee.
Thompson was hired to take over the head coach position in Windsor in 2015 and went on to an 81-40-11 record in two seasons which includes the Spitfires Memorial Cup win this year. Prior to Windsor, Thompson was an assistant with the Edmonton Oilers for one season. He was also an assistant with the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) and Oklahoma City Barons (AHL).
Thompson was an absolute menace on the ice as a player. He spent most of his career in the AHL, but did have short stints with the Calgary Flames (15 games) and Florida Panthers (10 games). He racked up 117 PIM in those 25 games and consistently averaged at least 175 PIM in each AHL season. One year, Thompson spent 275 minutes in the box in a 79 game season. His total was 1,382 penalty minutes in 630 career games.
From time to time, the players YouTube me and come in and say, ‘holy smokes, you were an animal.’ –Thompson to Calgary Herald
But, that’s not how he coaches.
You’ve got to understand, I don’t coach this way. That way of playing is gone. My team had the fewest fights in the OHL, and believe it or not, if you ask anybody who knows me, I’ve never been in a fight off the ice. -Thompson
Neither the Golden Knights nor the Chicago Wolves have confirmed the signing at this time.
While we wait for it to become official, here’s a couple of those YouTube videos.
This will be strange. I was the penalty timekeeper in Chicago for a dozen seasons. Rocky and I were on a first name basis…
Sometimes I miss old-time hockey. Ha!
Looks like another good hire. And welcome to Chicago our first draft pick, Gabe Vilardi. Viva Spitfires!