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Duffer’s Dabbles: Griffins Coach Simon Expecting Seamless Transition With Horcoff

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Ben Simon, Detroit Red Wings
Grand Rapids head coach Ben Simon is anticipating a seamless transition as Shawn Horcoff steps in to take over as GM of the AHL Griffins.

Ben Simon and Shawn Horcoff certainly aren’t unfamiliar with each other’s work. That should help significantly as Horcoff steps up from director of player development into his new role as assistant GM of the Detroit Red Wings.

Among the tasks Horcoff is adding to his list is that of GM of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. That’s Detroit’s top farm club and the team coached by Simon.

The two men have worked together during Detroit’s NHL Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, when Simon is the coach of the team. However, their on-ice relationship extends back much further.

Simon, Horcoff Were College Opponents

The two men played NCAA hockey against each other.

“I’ve known Shawn for a long time,” Simon said. “I was at Notre Dame when he was at Michigan State. We chased each other around the ice for a few years in college.”

With the Red Wings organization, they’ve already been working closely together.

“He’s been here in Detroit in development the last 6-7 years,” Simon said. “He’s always been involved with player development, building relationships with the group we have here, so it’s going to be a seamless transition for him.

“He knows a lot of these players. He’s already cultivated and grown great relationships with them. He knows the coaching staff. He knows our positives, he knows our deficiencies, not only as a team but as individuals.

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“At the end of the day, his job is to help us continue to get better. Obviously there will be a little bit of an acclimation period. There’s some things we need to talk about that he may not be aware of but our job is to work together and put the best product we can on the ice and make sure we’re developing these players as best we can.”

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