Kulfan’s notebook: Griffins coach Ben Simon reflects upon his time behind the Red Wings’ bench

Grand Rapids Griffins coach Ben Simon spoke with the media today, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan posted an article noting Simon’s remarks regarding his NHL debut on Saturday as the Red Wings’ interim coach:

“There’s a lot going on, a lot of moving pieces,” Simon said Monday during a Zoom call with media. “A little anxiety, panic, excitement. I knew going up it wouldn’t be a very long, and knowing how prepared the people in Detroit are, they’re great people, it was going to be a great experience, regardless.”

Saturday proved to be a memorable experience for Simon, as he coached the Wings to a 5-2 victory.

The Wings were minus six players to protocol, and Blashill and Tanguay were unavailable, but with Dylan Larkin scoring three goals, Tyler Bertuzzi two goals, and goaltender Thomas Greiss making 32 saves, the Wings found a way to win.

And for Simon, it was an evening he will not soon forget.

“It’s a little different because you’re not expecting it,” Simon said of the call up to the NHL, under whatever circumstances, for a coach. “That’s not your goal here. Your goal is to make it to the highest level, but as a coach, you’re really worried about your group and how you’re improving your group on a daily basis.

“When you get the call it’s not expected. But again, it was what it was, you get a little excited and it’s kind of cool. Not a lot of guys can say they’ve sat behind an NHL bench and whether it’s one game for me, or it turns into thousands of games over the course of my life, it was a great experience and to do it for Detroit was pretty cool.”


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.