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Rocky Thompson: 8 Fun Facts

The Chicago Wolves are the Golden Knights' top minor league affiliate. Get to know their new head coach better.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Who is Rocky Thompson?

Well, on Wednesday afternoon, he became the head coach of the Golden Knights' AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

Here are seven other facts to get to know Thompson better.

1. Rocky isn't a nickname

His full name is Rocky Lee Thompson.

2. Spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires.

Last month, his team won the Memorial Cup, which is the top championship trophy in all of Canadian junior hockey.

Watch: Youtube Video

3. In his two seasons with Windsor, Thompson dramatically improved the team each year.

In his first season, he took a team that finished last in its conference in 2014-15 and moved it into second in its division. His final season, this season, he took a team that lost in the first round of the playoffs the year before and won a championship.

Among the players that he coached in Windsor were Gabriel Vilardi, the No. 4 ranked skater entering this June's NHL Entry Draft.

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4. Had always been an assistant coach before joining Windsor in 2015.

All of Thompson's prior coaching experience had some connection to the Edmonton Oilers, too.

From 2007-10, he served as assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Although the Oil Kings are a junior team in the Western Hockey League and not technically affiliated with the Oilers, they do share both an arena and the same ownership.

Thompson's next position was with the Oilers' AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons.

As an assistant coach with the Barons from 2010-14, his teams twice reached the Western Conference Finals.

Players Thompson coached during his stay in Oklahoma City included, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz, among others.

5. As a player, was known for dropping the gloves.

Whether in the NHL, AHL or as a junior player, Thompson was considered a stereotypical tough guy.

In 25 career NHL games, spread between the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers, he had zero goals, zero assists, zero points and 117 penalty minutes.

In 11 seasons of pro hockey, even at the AHL level, he never scored more than three goals in a season, but had penalty minute totals of:

*90 in 22 games.
*187 in 51 games.
*108 in 27 games.
*125 in 53 games.
*193 in 55 games.
*143 in 42 games.
*275 in 79 games.
*196 in 69 games.
*231 in 69 games.
*247 in 59 games.
*127 in 55 games.
 

That comes out to 1,922 in 581 games. Or 3.30 PIM per game.

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6. As a coach, he's been known for having a bit of a softer touch.

His teams have had winning seasons six of the past seven years, and have advanced into his league's final four teams in three of these seasons.

7. As a player, he was also known for his hair.

Seriously, look at that flow!

 

 

8. Grew up in Whitecourt, Alberta.

This is despite citing Calgary as his hometown.

Whitecourt, Alberta, population 10,204, is located about 100 miles northwest of Edmonton in rural Alberta, about 500 miles north of the Montana border.

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