The Chicago Blackhawks announced the hiring of Sheldon Brookbank as an Assistant Coach for the Rockford IceHogs.  Brookbank joins the recently hired Derek King on new Coach Jeremy Colliton‘s staff.

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.


John Wroblewski

John Wroblewski is a freelance writer, who covers the Rockford IceHogs and writes general interest pieces for Puck Planet. His writing career really started over twenty years ago, as a guest columnist for a Chicagoland community newspaper group. John has written several articles for Global Traveler magazine, along with being a regular online contributor. In 2008, he started Johngy’s Beat, a site focused on meeting celebrities, athletes and pop culture icons. His Johngy’s Beat YouTube channel has over 800 interviews. Currently, John regularly covers the IceHogs, the Chicago Bandits (National Pro Fastpitch), the Chicago Bliss (Legends Football League), Resistance Pro Wrestling and many comic cons around the country.

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