Enthusiasm, excitement surround Sioux Falls Stampede heading into 2022-23 season
"We're on a bus heading here (Pittsburgh) with a team full of promise and potential,” said head coach Eric Rud about the team he has heading into the first week of the new season.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — It has been an off-season full of change and adjustments for the Sioux Falls Stampede. Rob Rassey was named the organization's head coach in June, but come mid August he accepted a job as an assistant coach at Michigan. With just about a month to go until the season got underway, Eric Rud, who was an assistant coach at Miami at the time, was called to take over the bench.
"It's been great, it's been chaotic, it's been a crazy month," said Rud, while on a bus to Pittsburgh for the USHL Fall Classic where he and the Stampede will kick-off the season. "I'm just trying to get everything figured out and I think in about 10 days my wife got a job, I got a new job, we picked up and moved across the country, we found a place to live and kind of got everything settled and then practice started right in the middle while all that was going on. It's been crazy but really good."
Not only has all the excitement surrounded his personal and professional life, but Rud says excitement also surrounds the entire team.
"The enthusiasm and excitement has been contagious," said Rud. "We want to keep that going. We want to make sure that these guys love coming to the rink every day. It's a long year so we can manage their energy level and manage what we do as a staff in terms of not doing too much and not doing not enough. We're on a bus heading here (Pittsburgh) with a team full of promise and potential."
The Sioux Falls Stampede finished the 2021-22 season with a 19-37-0-6 record under former head coach Marty Murray. Daniel Russell led the team in goals with 21 and also in points with 44 through 61 games played. The Stampede did not clinch a spot in the 2022 Clark Cup playoffs.
- Former head coach Marty Murray and the organization parted ways following the 2021-22 season
- Tony Gasparini was named vice president of hockey operations and general manager
- On June 24, Rob Rassey was named the next head coach of the Stampede
- Ryan Healey and Adam Zlnka were selected in the 2022 NHL Draft
- Rob Rassey accepted a job at Michigan, and Eric Rud took over as head coach of the Stampede as announced on Aug. 18
Maddox Fleming is returning to the Stampede for his second season. Last year he split his time with the USNTDP and the Stampede, where he put up two goals and six assists. With the Stampede, he had 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points in 47 games.
Adam Zlnka returns to the Stampede after being drafted 204th overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft. Last year he had a one goal and four assists in 10 games for the Stampede, and represented Slovakia at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he had four goals and two assists in seven games played.
Sam Harris returns to the Stampede for his second straight season. Last year he ranked second on the team for goals and points, finishing the year with 16 goals and 19 assists through 60 games.
The Stampede play at the Denny Sanford Premiere Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. The arena has a capacity of just over 10,500 for hockey games.
The Sioux Falls Stampede will open their season on Sept. 22 as they take on the Muskegon Lumberjacks at the Dicks Sporting Goods Fall Classic in Pittsburgh.