The Blackhawks made a lot of changes over the summer, so the firing of Rockford coach Ted Dent got overshadowed a bit. On Wednesday, Elliotte Friedman opened his 31 Thoughts column with an update on Dent, who is now coaching with the Niagara IceDogs in the OHL. (IceHogs to IceDogs. Huh.)
The Hawks reportedly fired Dent after a tumultuous end to his 11-year stint in Rockford that included tweeting and deleting his frustration with a pair of trades and telling AHL players to call Chicago GM Stan Bowman if they had any issues with the team’s lineup.
Apparently word of that story got around the hockey world and made it more difficult for Dent to move on with his career. Friedman says, “There were a couple of interviews ... but no jobs.”
Now Dent is an assistant coach for OHL Niagara, which is a pretty solid step down from being an AHL head coach for one of hockey’s premier franchises. “It was a rude awakening,” Dent said of trying to find a new job.
The IceHogs were largely pretty good under Dent’s watch. In six full seasons as coach, they posted a 223-179-54 record and made the AHL playoffs twice. He helped develop players like Andrew Shaw, Ryan Hartman, Teuvo Teravainen, and Stephen Johns.
He told Friedman he looks back fondly on his time with the Hawks.
“I know I should have kept that internal. Of course, I regret it. I wish it hadn’t happened. But when I think about [Chicago], there are only good memories. I’m proud of what we did there.”
Friedman talked to a Hawks source who says the team’s first-round exit partially played into his exit from the organization, presumably because it heightened the need for the team to make changes. That would make sense, and it was also a sensible time to inject a new voice in Rockford with an overhauled roster. Jeremy Colliton has the IceHogs off to a 2-1-0 start with 14 goals in three games, so it may have been the right move in the end.