August 24, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kevin Slusarski, Ontario Reign PR Intern
Phone: (909) 941-7825
Mark Hardy to Assist Behind Bench
Kings Defensive Specialist Brings Coaching Expertise to Ontario
ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign, proud affiliate of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, announced that retired Los Angeles Kings defenseman and long-time assistant coach Mark Hardy has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Reign.
“I’m very proud to be a part of the Reign,” said Hardy. “I’ve always felt a loyalty to the Kings as a player and a coach and I can’t wait to get back to hockey and do what I love to do…to work with the kids and teach them what I know. It’s awesome to work with the Kemps and alongside Jason Christie. We’re really going to give the fans something to cheer for this season.”
The Los Angeles Kings drafted Hardy in the second round (#30 overall) in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Hardy played most of his 15 NHL seasons with the Kings (1979 through 1988 and 1992 through 1994).
Hardy, 52, got his first taste of coaching as a player / assistant coach with the 1995-96 Los Angeles Ice Dogs of the IHL. He continued on as an assistant coach with the Ice Dogs for another three years before he was hired as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings in 1999. He served six seasons as a defensive specialist with the organization. His penalty killing unit ranked third in the NHL for the 2001-02 season with an 86.6 percent success rate (the second best in Kings history).
Hardy accepted an assistant coaching position with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2006 and helped Chicago strengthen its defensive play. Under his tenure, the team lowered its goals-against-average from 3.40 during the 2005-06 season to 2.82 during the 2007-08 season. He returned to the Kings as an assistant coach from 2008 to 2010.
As a player, Hardy ranks 17th on the Kings all-time scoring list (and third on the Kings all-time defensemen scoring list) with 303 points in his 11 seasons with the Kings. The Semaden, Switzerland, native also played in 41 career postseason games with the Kings, and he was a member of the Kings club that advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993. He was twice named Kings Outstanding Defenseman (1984-85 and 1986-87). In addition, he ranks second in assists (250), third in games played (616), fifth in penalty minutes (858) and fifth in goals (53) amongst Kings defensemen all-time.
Hardy recorded 368 points (62g, 306a) and 1,293 penalty minutes in 915 career regular season NHL games with the Kings, Minnesota North Stars and New York Rangers.
Mark and his wife Kristina reside in Manhattan Beach. They have two children, daughter Jessica and son Kevin.
“I have known Mark since my first job in hockey over 16 years ago and am thrilled to have him join us in Ontario." Said Reign President, Justin Kemp. "I believe Jason’s hard working, offensive style of coaching mixed with Mark’s defensive prowess give this team the leadership that will make us a very tough team to play against night in and night out.”
Remember that the Reign’s regular season opener is Friday, October 14, 2011. Season tickets are on sale now, with mini-plans starting as low as $85. Call us today to secure the best seats in the arena, as you won’t want to miss a minute of the action! Call (909) 941-PUCK (7825) or visit us on the web at www.ontarioreign.com.
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