Remember Rocky Thompson? If you don’t, here’s a refresher:
Anyway, he’s now an assistant coach in Edmonton. From the Oilers:
Thompson, 36, joins the Oilers after spending the past four seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons.
Thompson began his coaching career in the Western Hockey League with the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he served as an Assistant Coach from 2007-10. In 2010, he joined the Oklahoma City Barons where he has enjoyed success, helping the team advance to the playoffs for the fourth straight season in 2013-14.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, the Calgary, Alberta native played 10 full seasons of professional hockey. Throughout his career he appeared in 591 games recording 69 points (17G, 52A) and amassed 2,036 penalty minutes.
The Calgary Flames selected Thompson with their third choice, 72nd overall in the 1995 NHL Draft. He appeared in 25 NHL games during his tenure as a player, including 15 with Calgary and 10 with the Florida Panthers.
It’s worth noting that in those 25 NHL games, Thompson fought 14 times and took on basically every heavyweight imaginable: Grimson, Donald Brashear, Krystof Oliwa, Matt Johnson and Jim McKenzie. All this despite the fact he wasn’t overly large (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and had a fighting style that was, um, how to put this… less than technical.
Thompson’s enthusiasm and relative youth — at 36, he’s only a year older than captain Andrew Ference — were two of the big reasons head coach Dallas Eakins wanted him behind the Oilers bench. (Though technically, Thompson will be Edmonton’s “eye in the sky” from the press box.)
Dallas Eakins said #Oilers would look into adding a coach who is “a little younger who is more in touch with the players.” Rocky is 36.
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) July 16, 2014
It also brings another ex-NHLer onto the Edmonton staff, as Thompson will join former Stanley Cup winner Keith Acton, who currently serves as an associate coach.