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Cyclones Ben Simon accepts coaching position with Toronto Marlies
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- The Cincinnati Cyclones, proud affiliate of the NHL's Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators, announced today that Ben Simon has accepted the position of Assistant Coach with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Simon, a 1997 fifth-round pick (110th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks, led the Cyclones to a 41-23-4-4 regular season record and a 14-10 playoff mark en route to the club's third Eastern Conference Championship - becoming just the second Head Coach in ECHL history to reach the Kelly Cup Finals in his first season at the helm.
Prior to coming to the Queen City, he spent two seasons as the Assistant Coach of the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League (AHL). Simon also served as both a player and Head Coach for the Sheffield Steelers of the United Kingdom's Elite Ice Hockey League, guiding the club to the 2010-11 EIHL title and finishing that season with 66 points (27 goals, 39 assists) in 62 games. During his 11-year playing career, Simon logged a total of 770 professional contests in the International Hockey League (IHL), ECHL, AHL, NHL, and overseas. Simon notched four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and 47 penalty minutes in 81 career NHL regular-season tilts over parts of four seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers (2001-04) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2004-05). Upon his retirement after the 2010-11 campaign, he had accumulated 306 career points (125 goals, 181 assists) during regular season play and another 28 tallies (14 goals, 14 assists) in postseason action.
"I would like to thank the Cincinnati Cyclones organization for the opportunity to coach this wonderful franchise," said Simon. "Last year was a very successful season both on and off the ice. I cannot express how special this team was and how special this organization is. The players that we had in Cincinnati this year were both tremendous people and hockey players. Our affiliates were integral in our success last season as well and it was a pleasure working with Florida, San Antonio, Nashville, and Milwaukee. Lastly, I am forever grateful to Ray Harris and Kristin Ropp for taking a chance on me to join the Cyclones and allowing me to become a head coach. They provided us with all of the necessary resources to have success, including the best staff and the best team behind the team in the front office. The special relationships I have built over this year will continue and I was very fortunate to be a part of the Cyclone family. I am proud to have represented this organization and know that they will continue to have success."
A Notre Dame Fighting Irish alumnus, Simon was a part of three league championship teams during his professional career; in addition to his EIHL accolades from 2010-11, he, along with former Cyclones Head Coaches Jarrod Skalde and Chuck Weber, helped lead the Orlando Solar Bears to the 2001 Turner Cup title. A year later, in 2002, he was a member of the Chicago Wolves when they captured the Calder Cup championship.
"Ben did an outstanding job for us this past year," said Cyclones President Ray Harris. "We're extremely thankful for his professionalism and excellent work ethic, both on and off the ice, which translated into a tremendous season. We wish him and his family all the best as he moves on to the American Hockey League."
"Ben exudes professionalism and drive and this was evident from our first meeting," said Cyclones General Manager Kristin Ropp. "While his time with the Cyclones was short, he will certainly be remembered as continuing the team's winning tradition. I wish him continued success in Toronto."
The countdown to the 2014-15 First Face-Off is underway! The Cyclones will return for another season of hockey at U.S. Bank Arena on Saturday, October 25 when they play host to the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:30pm.
Information courtesy Cincinnati Cyclones