Mark Hardy was running out of superlatives Wednesday to describe what it meant to become a professional hockey coach again.
“Awesome.” “A dream come true.” “A step in the right direction.” “A great feeling.”
You get the picture.
The 52-year-old former Kings defenseman and assistant coach turned down an offer to become a salesperson for a local electrician, choosing instead to return to the game as a minor-league assistant with the Reign. The one-year contract was formally announced today, one day after Jason Christie was named the new head coach.
Hardy’s exile from the Kings, and subsequent recovery, has been well-documented here and elsewhere. Will that come with a negative reaction, or is all forgiven from Kings fans?
I’ll have his thoughts about that, as well as those from Reign President Justin Kemp, in tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin.
I caught up with new Kings assistant coach Mark Hardy for a phone interview. Hardy had been in line to be coach of the AHL team in Rockford, Ill., but chose to join Terry Murray’s staff with the Kings. Hardy spent parts of 11 seasons as a Kings defenseman and spent six seasons as a Kings assistant under Andy Murray. Here’s the interview…
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Here are the press releases from the Kings, regarding the hiring of Hardy, Kompon and Emerson and the dismissal of Johnston and Lewis…
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Mark Hardy will rejoin the Kings as an assistant coach, the team announced today. He will join Jamie Kompon, who has been promoted to assistant coach, and Nelson Emerson, who has been promoted to assistant coach/development coordinator under new coach Terry Murray. Hardy, formerly an assistant coach under Andy Murray, spent the past two years as an assistant coach in Chicago. I heard that he had been in discussions to be an AHL coach, but Hardy’s affinity for Southern California is well known. These new coaches will replace Mike Johnston and Dave Lewis, who have been let go. Johnston has been offered a job within the organization. Bill Ranford will remain as goaltending coach.