Cyclones’ Simon accepts AHL coaching position

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL 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.

Former ECHL head coach Gord Dineen was named head coach of the Marlies last month.

Simon, a 1997 fifth-round pick (110th overall) of the Chicago Blackhawks, led the Cyclones to a 41-23-8 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. 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 (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 games 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 tallies (14g-14a) in postseason action.

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.