The Chicago Blackhawks have hired Ben Simon as Assistant Coach with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs, joining Head Coach Ted Dent and assistant Steve Poapst. In addition, Andrew Allen has been hired as the organization’s Developmental Goaltending Coach.
Simon, 33, spent the 2010-11 season as both a player and Head Coach with the Sheffield Steelers of the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League, steering the club to the EIHL title and finishing fifth on the team with 66 points (27G, 39A) in 62 games. Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the fifth round (110th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Simon notched four points (3G, A) and 47 penalty minutes in 81 career regular-season tilts over parts of four seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers (2001-04) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2004-05). Over the course of an 11-year professional career, the Shaker Heights, Ohio, native and Notre Dame alum appeared in 654 AHL, IHL and ECHL contests and won the 2001 Turner Cup with Orlando and the 2002 Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves.
Allen, 35, has served as the goaltending coach for St. Lawrence University (ECAC) since 2008, and as the National Team Goaltending Coach and Development Consultant for the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation since 2006. The Vankleek Hill, Ontario, native spent five seasons as a goaltender in professional hockey in both the ECHL and AHL, winning the 2005 ECHL Kelly Cup with Trenton under the direction of current Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland and current Rockford Head Coach Ted Dent. Prior to his professional career Allen spent four seasons at the University of Vermont where, during his senior campaign, he was a teammate of Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp.