Former AHL champ Poapst joins ‘Hogs staff

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the hiring of former Calder Cup champion defenseman Steve Poapst as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs. The ex-Blackhawks blueliner joins head coach Bill Peters and assistant coach Ted Dent on the coaching staff of the organization’s top affiliate.

Poapst, 41, has served as general manager and head coach of the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel since December of 2006. He was honored as the 2008 USHL Coach of the Year after guiding the Steel to a 20-win improvement and a postseason berth in his first full season behind the bench.

“Steve’s deep experience and knowledge will help assist our strong commitment to the development of our young talent in the organization,” said Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. “Under the direction of Bill Peters we are confident that Steve and Ted Dent will have a direct hand in developing the future of the Chicago Blackhawks.”

The Cornwall, Ont., native played 220 of his 307 regular-season NHL games as a defenseman with the Blackhawks between 2000 and 2004. Poapst registered eight goals, 23 assists, and 118 penalty minutes with Chicago and 36 points (8G, 28A) overall in seven NHL seasons with Washington, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and the Blackhawks.

A 1994 Calder Cup champion with the Portland Pirates and a 1995 AHL All-Star, Poapst added 205 points (45G, 160A) and 340 penalty minutes in 498 career AHL tilts, suiting up for Portland and Norfolk.