His real name is Rocky: Golden Knights hire Thompson to coach AHL team

1 Comment

The best part of virtually every “Rocky” movie was the training montage, so clearly you’d expect Rocky Thompson to be great at developing young players.

OK, so that probably wasn’t the elevator pitch that sold the Vegas Golden Knights on Rocky Thompson, but either way, they named him head coach of the Chicago Wolves (their AHL affiliate) on Wednesday.

” … As a player, he was competitive, tough, team-oriented and hard working,” Golden Knights GM George McPhee said. “As a coach, he is now coming off a Memorial Cup Championship season with the Windsor Spitfires and has enjoyed success at multiple levels. Player development is a significant priority for our organization and he has proven to be very capable in that area as well. Rocky is the right coach to help us win championships in Chicago.”

AHL head coaches are typically expected to work well with young players. Still, that could be especially crucial in this case, as the Golden Knights are expected to be a work in progress. Thompson may need to deal with a rotating cast even by the standards of sending key pieces to the NHL.

Getting the most out of fringe talent could help accelerate the build, so Thompson is an important hire.

His name also really is Rocky Lee Thompson, too, apparently.

More on the construction of the Golden Knights

Key dates to know

Tough break at NHL Draft Lottery

Vegas hires Gerard Gallant as head coach at NHL level