Brookbank, 36, will be entering the coaching ranks after finishing his playing career with 6 games last season with the Cleveland Monsters of the AHL. A rugged defenseman, his playing career started with the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL in the 1999-2000 season. After two seasons there, he joined the Mississippi Sea Dogs of the ECHL for one season. After stops in Grand Rapids, Cincinnati and Milwaukee in the AHL, he finally made it to the NHL with Nashville for 3 games in the 2006-07 season.
He then moved on to the New Jersey Devils for parts of 2 seasons, before joining Anaheim, where he played for 4 seasons, enjoying his best stretch of action. Brookbank played 215 games during that time, scoring 4 goals with 23 assists for the Ducks. He also logged 300 penalty minutes.
From there, he joined the Chicago Blackhawks, in time for their 2012-13 Stanley Cup season. He stayed two seasons with Chicago, playing 74 games, scoring 3 goals and assisting on 5 others, while collecting 73 minutes in penalties. Brookbank played a season with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL and one with Lukko of the Liiga, before joining Cleveland for the last few games of his career.
In his NHL career, he played 351 games, scoring 7 goals with 37 assists and 473 penalty minutes. He also played in 25 playoff games, with 2 assists and 32 penalty minutes. In addition to his Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, he won the AHL’s Eddie Shore Award as the league’s best defenseman in 2006-07 with Milwaukee.
Brookbank brings plenty of playing experience to Rockford, along with toughness. It will be interesting to see how he develops as a coach.
With Colliton, King and Brookbank, the IceHogs have totally changed their coaching staff. Obviously, Chicago’s management felt a major change was needed and they acted quickly to get a new staff in place. It’s interesting that two of the three coaches are so young (32 and 36). King , at 50, is the “old” man. It’ll be even more interesting watching it all play out beginning next season.