GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday announced the hiring of Bruce Ramsay and Ben Simon as assistant coaches for the Grand Rapids Griffins. In addition, assistant coach Mike Knuble, goaltending coach Jeff Salajko and video coach Bill LeRoy will reprise their coaching roles with Grand Rapids.
Ramsay, 46, has been the head coach of the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL and Central Hockey League for the past six seasons, compiling a 185-180-35 record in 400 regular season games from 2009-15. Most recently, Ramsay’s Oilers earned a 37-29-3-3 record in their first ECHL season and qualified for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, where they fell to the eventual champion Allen Americans in five games during the first round.
A native of Dryden, Ontario, Ramsay previously served as an assistant under Griffins head coach Todd Nelson from 2004-06, when the duo led the UHL’s Muskegon Fury to the Colonial Cup during their first season together and a 51-18-7 regular season record in their subsequent campaign. After Nelson departed for an assistant coaching position with the Chicago Wolves, Ramsay succeeded his colleague as the head coach of the Fury and produced an 84-56-12 regular season record in two seasons (2006-08) behind the bench. In all, Ramsay’s head coaching career spans 12 seasons between stints with the ACHL’s St. Pete/Winstom-Salem Parrots (2002-03), the UHL’s Port Huron Beacons (2002-04), the Fury, the IHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks (2008-09) and the Oilers.
Ramsay and Nelson were both members of the Griffins during the team’s inaugural season in 1996-97, and Ramsay collected nine goals and 14 assists in 175 games over three seasons (1996-99) with the team. Ramsay’s 781 penalty minutes as a Griffin rank second all-time in franchise history, and he’s one of just three Grand Rapids players to ever twice eclipse 300 PIM, producing 306 PIM in 1996-97 and leading the team with 310 PIM in 1997-98. In 12 seasons as a professional player (1991-02, 2004-05), Ramsay amassed 245 points (74-171—245) and 3,432 PIM in 677 games.
Simon, 37, recently concluded the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies and helped lead the team to a 40-27-9-0 regular season record. During the quarterfinals of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs, the Griffins defeated the Marlies to become the 11th team in AHL history to win a best-of-five series after trailing 0-2.
Simon’s coaching career began in 2010-11 as the head coach of the EIHL’s Sheffield Steelers. He earned a 43-10-0-1 record (0.806) and led the team to the EIHL regular season championship, before spending the following two seasons as an assistant coach with the Rockford IceHogs. The Shaker Heights, Ohio, native then posted a 41-23-4-4 record as the head coach of the Cincinnati Cyclones during 2013-14, leading his team to the Kelly Cup Finals and falling to the Alaska Aces in six games.
Including Knuble, Nelson and Ramsay, all four of Grand Rapids’ coaches are former Griffins, as Simon notched nine points (4-5—9) in 21 games with the team in 2006-07. Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round (110th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Simon logged 81 NHL games with Atlanta and Columbus during his 11-year playing career.