GENEVA, Ill. – The Chicago Steel announced Tuesday that Ryan Hardy has been named the team’s General Manager. Hardy comes to the Steel from the Boston Bruins (NHL) where he has spent the past two seasons scouting amateur prospects across North America.
“The Chicago Steel are committed to the development of hockey’s next wave of elite players to prepare them to represent their colleges, their countries and their professional teams with elite skill, a deep understanding of the game and strong character and leadership skills,” said Steel owner Larry Robbins. “Ryan’s experience with the US National program, NCAA and the NHL, along with his passion, insights and integrity, will further our commitment to player development and the relentless pursuit of championships, and we welcome Ryan to the Steel family.”
Hardy will oversee the team’s hockey operations department including scouting and player development, coaching and the team’s exclusive partnership with Belfry Hockey.
“Thank you to Larry Robbins and (Steel President) Dan Lehv for this opportunity to lead the Steel into its next chapter,” said Hardy. “Their commitment to make Chicago the pre-eminent destination for players who are looking to maximize their development on the road to the NCAA and the NHL is something that I am incredibly excited about. The opportunity to work with Darryl Belfry and his staff is something that really drew me to this position. We all share a common goal of finding new frontiers in player development and are committed to building something unique and special for young hockey players not only in the United States, but across North America and the World.”
Continuing in his current role with the Bruins through the NHL Draft, Hardy will officially begin his duties with the Steel on July 1.
“I want to thank Don Sweeney, Cam Neely, Scott Bradley, & Ryan Nadeau for the opportunity they gave me with the Boston Bruins. The experience that I gained under their tutelage & mentorship will serve me well in this position. I am forever indebted to them for the honor of representing the black and gold.”
Prior to joining the Bruins, Hardy spent parts of four seasons (2013-2017) with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, serving as Director of Player Personnel, Assistant Director of Player Personnel and Regional Scouting Manager during that time. Hardy and his colleagues were responsible for building the 2017-2018 NTDP teams that recently completed the most successful USHL season in the history of the program, finishing in first place in the Eastern Conference and winning a program-record 41 games in League play. During his time with USA Hockey, Hardy’s teams won the Gold Medal at the IIHF U18 Men’s World Championship in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and over 60 program alumni were selected in the NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to his work in scouting and player personnel, Hardy has coaching experience at the NCAA level with Sacred Heart University and Williams College, and at the junior hockey level with the Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL). A Sacred Heart University graduate, Hardy is originally from Madison, Conn., and currently resides in Chicago.
In addition to naming a new General Manager, the Steel announced several additional changes to their hockey staff. By mutual understanding, Ryan Cruthers, who was brought on as Interim Head Coach and Assistant General Manager in January, along with Associate Head Coach Ben Gordon and Director of Hockey Operations Dave Rogowski, who each spent one season with the Steel, will not be returning for the coming season. The Steel thank them for their efforts to support last year’s team, which qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive year and advanced to the Conference Semifinals, and wish them well in their hockey futures.
As the new General Manager, Ryan Hardy is currently leading a comprehensive search to recruit the next head coach of the Chicago Steel, whose announcement is expected to precede Hardy’s official July 1 start date.
The Steel will hold their annual Tryout Camp June 8-11 at Fox Valley Ice Arena, which will be open to the public to view with a featured all-star game on Monday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m.
Chicago Steel 2018-2019 season ticket plans are now on sale and the 2018-2019 schedule is expected to be released by July. For Steel tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.