Is there room in the Chicago hockey world for two guys named Rocky to run teams?
After changing American Hockey League affiliations last month, the Chicago Wolves will also be changing head coaches.
The Wolves, with approval from the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, have hired Rocky Thompson as their head coach for the 2017-18 season.
"I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve as head coach of the Chicago Wolves," Thompson said in a statement released by team officials Wednesday. "Chicago is a tremendous hockey community and I look forward to helping the Golden Knights develop top players on and off the ice."
The 39-year-old Thompson becomes the 10th head coach in Wolves history, replacing Craig Berube, who guided the Wolves to a first-place finish in the Central Division (44-19-8-5 -- 101 points). The club, then affiliated with the St. Louis Blues, was knocked out of the AHL playoffs in the second round by Grand Rapids.
Thompson joins the organization just 10 days after guiding the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires to the 2017 Memorial Cup championship.
"He knows how to win," said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. "He is meticulous in every area. Everybody I've talked to in the hockey world has given him rave reviews. He's going to be a tremendous asset when it comes to developing players and continuing the Wolves' winning ways."
Thompson also spent eight seasons in the Edmonton Oilers organization as an assistant coach. He played professionally for 11 seasons, and appeared in 25 NHL games for the Flames and the Florida Panthers.