Thompson ready for the pressure of continuing Wolves winning ways

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"As a coach, he is now coming off a Memorial Cup Championship season with the Windsor Spitfires".

Rocky Thompson, who led the Windsor Spitfires to the Memorial Cup title May 28, will coach the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He replaces Craig Berube, who guided the Wolves to the Midwest Division title this year and the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

"We are extremely pleased to introduce Rocky as the head coach of our American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves", Golden Knights general manager George McPhee said Wednesday in a statement.

Prior to joining the Spitfires, Thompson was an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers in 2014-15 after spending four seasons (2010-14) as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Barons, Edmonton's AHL affiliate.

"As a player, he was competitive, tough, team-oriented and hard working", McPhee said in a news release.

"Player development is a significant priority for our organization, and he has proven to be very capable in that area as well".

"I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve as head coach of the Chicago Wolves", said Thompson.

Coach Thompson, General Manager Warren Rychel and team president Bob Boughner will be attending.

As a player, Thompson spent the majority of his career in the minors. As a player, he played parts of 12 seasons of professional hockey, including 25 NHL games for the Flames (1997-99) and Florida Panthers (2000-02) where he recorded 117 penalty minutes.

The Edmonton Oilers failed to see the postseason in his one year as an assistant coach at the National Hockey League level, but the team's overall struggle to earn playoff berths over more than a decade suggests that may not have been his fault. Reports had suggested that the Wolves were waiting to hear about Berube's plans before they moved forward with the hiring process for their staff; whether negotiations between himself and the Golden Knights (who will operate the Wolves franchise) fell through or never took place to begin with, this clears up the fact that he won't be returning in his current capacity.

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