The Chicago Blackhawks have named former ECHL player and coach Ted Dent as head coach of their American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
Dent played three seasons in the ECHL with Johnstown, Charlotte and Toledo, scoring 129 points (44g-85a) in 134 games. During the 1993-94 season, he led Johnstown in scoring with 84 points while finishing third on the club with 30 goals.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Trenton Titans in 2004-05 under current Blackhawks’ assistant coach Mike Haviland, and helped lead the Titans to the 2005 Kelly Cup championship. He served as head coach for the Columbia Inferno during the 2005-06 season.
A native of Toronto, Dent is entering his sixth season in the Blackhawks organization and his fifth with Rockford. He spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach under Bill Peters and Haviland with the IceHogs (2007-11) and Chicago’s previous AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals (2006-07). His teams have compiled a regular season record of 216-145-17-22 and qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs in four of the five campaigns. Dent has been instrumental in the development of 31 players that have been promoted to the Blackhawks from Rockford over the last four years.
Dent becomes the 15th head coach in the American Hockey League with ECHL ties, including 14 who coached in the league.
Seven times in the last 11 years the winner of the AHL Coach of the Year award has been a former ECHL coach including Scott Gordon, Mike Haviland and Kevin Dineen in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Former ECHL coaches won the award four consecutive years from 2001-04 with Don Granato, Bruce Cassidy, Geoff Ward and Claude Noel. The first former ECHL coach to win the award was Peter Laviolette in 1999.
In the last eight seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,000 call-ups involving more than 1,500 players and in 2010-11 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
Former ECHL broadcasters working in the AHL include Brendan Burke of the Peoria Rivermen, Josh Fisher of the Texas Stars, Josh Heller of the Albany Devils, Mike Kelly of the Springfield Falcons, Eric Lindquist of the Worcester Sharks, Jason Lockhart of the Syracuse Crunch, Pete Michaud of the Norfolk Admirals, Joe O’Donnell of the Houston Aeros, Bob Rotruck of the Adirondack Phantoms, Jason Shaver of the Chicago Wolves, Jason Shaya of the Charlotte Checkers, Dan Weiss of the San Antonio Rampage and Grady Whittenburg of the Binghamton Senators.