Rocky Thompson Named Spits Coach

Windsor Spitfires announce Rocky Thompson as the team's new head coach, July 3, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

The Windsor Spitfires new head coach is coming from the NHL and is promising some exciting hockey.

This past season Rocky Thompson was the assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers with a distinct coaching style. “I play a very, very aggressive system. It’s going to be aggressive in all areas of the ice. It applies a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of fun to watch,” says Thompson. “You get the puck back a lot, creates a lot of turnovers. It’s something we used in the American Hockey League with great success and we started to apply it in the national league.”

Thompson says everyone has a clean slate with him as he gets to know each player’s limits.

“We’ve had teams that weren’t very good on paper, that went to conference finals and overachieved because they bought into a value system that was greater than the individual and more about the team,” he says. “When you can create a culture like that, you can overachieve and do special things.”

The 37-year-old from Calgary played more than 10 years in the AHL, making a few brief appearances in the NHL with the Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers.

In 2007 Thompson became a coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, and would later coach the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons before being promoted to the Edmonton Oilers bench as an assistant last summer.

Thompson is replacing outgoing head coach Bob Boughner, who just yesterday announced he’ll be an assistant coach for the San Jose Sharks.

— with files from Mike Vlasveld.