The Chicago Blackhawks have re-signed General Manager of Minor League Affiliations Mark Bernard, Head Coach Bill Peters, Assistant Coach Ted Dent and Assistant Coach Steve Poapst for the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2011-12 season.
Mark Bernard recently completed his third season as Blackhawks General Manager of Minor League Affiliations, where he oversees all day-to-day operations of Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. He was named to the position on July 3, 2008 after two seasons with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, during which he was honored with the James C. Hendy Memorial Award as the League’s most outstanding executive.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Bernard spent parts of 14 seasons as a professional goaltender, which included stops in the AHL, ECHL, CHL and CoHL. He helped the ECHL’s Hampton Roads Admirals capture consecutive Kelly Cups in 1991 and 1992, earning playoff MVP honors in ‘92. After his playing career, he coached Rockford in the United Hockey League in 2003-04 and the EIHL’s (United Kingdom) Basingstoke Bison from 2004-06.
Bill Peters has led the Rockford IceHogs to three consecutive winning seasons in the American Hockey League since taking over behind the bench on August 1, 2008. Peters has guided Rockford to a 122-97-7-14 (.552) mark while at the helm, and helped graduate 19 players to the National Hockey League.
The Three Hills, Alberta, native joined the Blackhawks organization after a decorated coaching career with the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs, which he led to the 2008 Memorial Cup Championship, and the University of Lethbridge. In 2008 Peters guided the U-18 Canadian National Team to the Gold Medal at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka competition in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Ted Dent is entering his sixth season as the assistant coach for Chicago’s American Hockey League affiliate and fifth campaign in Rockford with the IceHogs, serving behind the bench alongside Head Coaches Bill Peters and Mike Haviland. During that time, the Toronto native has been instrumental in helping develop 28 players that have been promoted to the Blackhawks. Prior to joining the organization Dent served as the Head Coach of the ECHL’s Columbia Inferno (2005-06) and an Assistant Coach with the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Champion Trenton Titans (2004-05) after a professional career that spanned 194 tilts.
Steve Poapst made his professional coaching debut with Rockford during the 2010-11 American Hockey League campaign. The Cornwall, Ontario, native joined the IceHogs after four seasons with the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel, where he served as Head Coach and General Manager, and was honored as the 2008 USHL Coach Of The Year. Poapst played 220 of his 307 regular-season NHL games as a defenseman with the Blackhawks between 2000 and 2004. He registered eight goals, 23 assists, and 118 penalty minutes with Chicago and 36 points (8G, 28A) overall in seven NHL seasons with Washington, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and the Blackhawks. He added 205 points (45G, 160A) and 340 penalty minutes in 498 career AHL tilts during a career that spanned 13 years.