The United States Hockey League today announced that the USHL Board of Directors has formally approved the transfer of majority ownership for the Chicago Steel to Larry Robbins.
The previous ownership group of Bruce Liimatainen and Mike Greenberg will retain a minority stake in the organization. They formed the Steel in 2000 and have been owners of the team since their inaugural USHL season (2000-01).
“This is an exciting day for the Chicago Steel, the USHL, and the entire Chicagoland,” said USHL President and Commissioner Bob Fallen. “Larry Robbins is an ambitious and successful individual. He shares our vision that Chicago is one of the top hockey markets in North America and that it has tremendous upside potential for junior hockey. He is assembling an organization for hockey and business operations that will provide an immediate boost to the Chicago Steel hockey team on and off the ice. We’re also delighted that long-time Steel owner Bruce Liimatainen will retain a minority interest in the organization and contribute to the future of the team.”
Robbins, a Chicagoland native, is the Founder and CEO of Glenview Capital Management which was ranked as the #1 performing hedge fund by Barron’s in both 2013 and 2014 and by Bloomberg Magazine in 2013. He also serves as the Chairman of KIPP NYC and Relay Graduate School of Education, Vice Chairman of the Robinhood Foundation, and as a board member of Zearn and TFA NY. Robbins played youth hockey for the Glenview All-Stars before becoming the captain of teams at Buffalo Grove High School and at the University of Pennsylvania.
“On behalf of our group of committed hockey professionals who will join the leadership of the Steel, we are honored to become members of the strong community of owners and professionals in the USHL who provide the premier development experience in junior hockey for those continuing on to college and professional hockey careers," said Robbins. "I am thrilled to invest in two of my first loves – hockey and the Chicagoland area – and I hope to build upon the great foundation established by Bruce and Mike to develop the skills and character strengths of these phenomenal young hockey players.”
In addition to the change in ownership, the Steel have announced that Dan Muse is the team’s new head coach. Muse has spent the last six seasons on the staff at Yale University, including serving as associate head coach for the past two years. He was part of the school’s first-ever NCAA Championship in 2013. He also twice served on the staff for the United States National Junior Team that competed at the IIHF World Junior Championship (2013, 2014) and helped them win a gold medal in 2013.
Other additions to the hockey staff for the Steel include Ryan Bennett (General Manager), Mark Lotito (President of Hockey Operations), Vinny Smith (VP of Hockey Operations), and Jamie Cahill (VP of Hockey Operations).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 350 players on team rosters this past season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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