CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators, announced today that they have named 35-year-old Ben Simon the seventh head coach in club history.
Simon, a 1997 fifth-round pick (110th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks, comes to the Queen City after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League. Prior to joining the IceHogs, Simon 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 (27g-39a) in 62 games.
During his 11-year playing career, Simon logged a total of 770 professional contests in the International Hockey League, ECHL, AHL, NHL and overseas. Simon notched four points (3g-1a) 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 (125g-181a) during regular season play and another 28 points (14g-14a) in postseason action.
A Notre Dame Fighting Irish alumnus, Simon was a part of three 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.