During the last offseason, Ted Dent was relieved of his coaching duties with the Rockford IceHogs. Everyone said the right thing. Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman even stressed that Dent and his staff did a great job with developing players.
Coaching the top minor league affiliate of a team that has won the Stanley Cup three times in the last eight seasons can be challenging. To his credit, Dent did compile a record of 221-179-33-21 in his six seasons as head coach of the IceHogs, but the team failed to make the playoffs in four of those seasons.
Whatever the reason, Dent’s 11 year stint in the Chicago organization came to an end. Dent had been an Assistant Coach for the Norfolk Admirals for one season and with the IceHogs for four seasons prior to being promoted t Head Coach. Prior to his time in the Chicago organization, he spent a season as Assistant Coach of the ECHL Trenton Titans and one season as Head Coach of the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL.
A center in his playing days, Dent’s career started in 1986 with the COJHL’s Vaughn Raiders. He played two seasons there and followed that with four seasons at St. Lawrence University. He followed that with a season each with the CHL Wichita Thunder and the ECHL Johnstown Chiefs. He split the ’94-95 season between the Chiefs and the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL. He pended with four games for the ECHL Toledo Storm in the ’96-97 season.
While Dent was disappointed about the end in Rockford, he is positive about his experience. “Nothing but a good experience with Rockford and Chicago,” Dent said. “It’s always going to be a second home to our family, for sure. I think change is good for everyone at times of life. I think this time I needed some change.”
Dent did admit to worrying that he would not be doing what he loved in the 2017-18 season. The teacher in him would miss mentoring the young players. It’s what he knows and does best.
From IceHog to IceDog!
Dent did not have to fret for long. The Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) quickly hired him to be their Associate Coach. Dent stated that the position would play to his strengths, but also allow him to evolve as a coach.
“On the Beat” with the IceHogs, I have heard nothing but positive things about Dent. My interactions with Dent, professional or even casual, were always pleasant. Dent is a class act and everyone wishes him well with the IceDogs.
Unfortunately, I never got the chance to talk to Dent after his departure. I’ll be following the IceDogs and wishing good luck to Dent and the team.