The Detroit Red Wings have announced that Ben Simon will be the new Grand Rapids Griffins head coach. Simon’s announcement was made Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin on Tuesday. He replaces Todd Nelson, who took an assistant coach position with the Dallas Stars.
— Pete Wallner (@petewallner) June 5, 2018
Ben Simon is New Griffins Coach
Simon has been an assistant coach the last three season and the 39-year-old was a key part of the Griffin’s Calder Cup-winning team in 2017. Grand Rapids has made the American Hockey League playoffs each of the last three seasons. He was also an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies and Rockford IceHogs.
He does have previous head coaching experience as he led the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones to the 2013-14 Kelly Cup finals. The Cyclones lost the final to the Alaska Aces in six games. He also coached the Sheffield Steelers in England for a season.
Simon is the third former Griffins player to coach the team as Nelson and Danton Cole. He played 21 games in the 2006-07 season, where he scored four goals and five assists for nine points.
He played 81 NHL games across four seasons for three goals and one assist from 2001-2006 for the Atlanta Thrashers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Simon was drafted in the fifth round, 110th overall of the 1997 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He also played 11 seasons in the AHL.
What it Means for the Future
The Wings will keep continuity by having Simon lead the team. There’s a lot of young talent coming through the ranks and Simon has a chance to mold them.
“He’s proven to be an invaluable (on the) coaching staff and one of the best young coaches in hockey,” said Ryan Martin, Red Wings’ assistant general manager. “As he transitions from assistant to head coach, I’m sure success will follow Ben.”
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