Lacombe’s Rob Cookson joins Chicago Blackhawks as assistant coach

Lacombe's Rob Cookson, who had most recently coached in Switzerland, will join the Chicago Blackhawks as an assistant coach on their upcoming road trip. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks)

Rob Cookson will be back behind an NHL bench in the coming weeks.

The 60-year-old from Lacombe was named an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday, after most recently coaching HC Lugano of the National League in Switzerland from December 2019 to April 2021.

Cookson spent 11 seasons as a National Hockey League assistant coach, three with the Ottawa Senators (2016-19) and eight with the Calgary Flames (2001-11). He also spent three seasons as a video coach with the Philadelphia Flyers (1998-00).

“Rob’s extensive NHL experience will complement our staff immediately,” said Kyle Davidson, Blackhawks Interim General Manager in a press release.

“It’s his fresh perspective, however, that will really benefit the team as we work on this transition. We look forward to Rob meeting us on this road trip and I know he is eager to get going with this group.”

Cookson has coached in 902 career regular-season games and 71 postseason contests as an NHL assistant coach.

He got his start as the manager of video production with Hockey Canada, serving as a video technician and helping Team Canada win silver at the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer. As an assistant coach with the Canada, Cookson has won two World Championship gold medals (1997 and 2003), as well as four World Junior Championship gold medals (1995, 1996, 1997 and 2005).

Cookson also served as an assistant coach for the University of Calgary (2011-12) and for the ZSC Lions of the National League A, where he served under current Blackhawks’ associate coach Marc Crawford, from 2012-16. With the Lions, Cookson helped the team win the 2014 NLA Championship and the 2016 Swiss Cup.

The Blackhawks fired head coach Jeremey Colliton on Nov. 6 and named Derek King the interim head coach.