Simon promoted to Griffins’ head coach

Photo: Mark Newman

The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday named Ben Simon the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Simon becomes the 11th head coach in franchise history after serving the last three seasons as an assistant in Grand Rapids under Todd Nelson. The Dallas Stars hired Nelson as an assistant coach last week.

The 39-year-old Simon played an integral role in helping the Griffins win the club’s second Calder Cup in 2017 and post the third-most regular season wins in the AHL since 2015-16 with a 133-78-4-13 (.621) record. Grand Rapids reached the Calder Cup Playoffs during each of those three seasons.

Simon also served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Marlies (2014-15) and Rockford IceHogs (2011-13), and spent one season as head coach of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones in 2013-14, reaching the league finals.

A fifth-round draft choice by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1997, Simon played 481 games in the American Hockey League over his 11-year pro career, collecting 188 points with Chicago, Milwaukee, Syracuse, Grand Rapids, Springfield and Toronto. He also skated in 81 NHL games with Atlanta and Columbus.

Simon won a Turner Cup title with Orlando (IHL) in 2001 and a Calder Cup with Chicago in 2002.