Sioux Falls, SD — The Sioux Falls Stampede are bringing a familiar name back home. The club announced Wednesday they have named Tony Gasparini Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. Gasparini will oversee the entire hockey operations department and will be responsible for player development.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Tony, Krista and the entire Gasparini family back to Stampede Country,” said Stampede managing partner Brian Schoenborn. “Tony has been with us since our start and never really left. Over the years he had incredible achievements in the sport, including winning two Stanley Cups, but his heart has always been in Sioux Falls.”
“Tony is widely regarded as a top hockey mind and his ability to build teams and evaluate, recruit and develop elite hockey players from all over the globe is second to none. With our incredible fans, corporate partners, facilities and community, our goal of being the top athlete development franchise in the world is in within our grasp. Tony will be instrumental in getting us there.”
Gasparini, the son of legendary University of North Dakota head hockey coach and former USHL commissioner Gino Gasparini, was an assistant coach under Bob Motzko for the Herd’s first two seasons (1999-2001) before taking over as General Manager and Head Coach in 2001. At just 25-years-old, Gasparini was one of the youngest to ever hold those positions.
Following his time with the Herd, Gasparini went to Division I Union College where he helped head coach Nate Leaman and his staff build the Dutchmen into an eventual NCAA Tournament team.
In 2005, Gasparini was hired as an amateur scout with the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, a position he has held for nearly 18 years. His role with the Kings began with evaluating potential draft prospects in the United States and quickly grew and was elevated to watching and evaluating potential draft-eligible players all over the world. He was also responsible for evaluating and signing NCAA college free agents.
Gasparini played a key role in forming the 2012 and 2014 L.A. Kings Stanley Cup champion teams through the draft and free agency. In 2014, he became the first-ever North Dakota native to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. Most recently, Gasparini has played a vital role within the Kings organization in a team rebuild that has resulted in one of the deepest talent pool of prospects in the NHL. This past season, the Kings posted 44 wins and a third-place finish in the competitive Pacific Division before falling in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In addition to his time with the Kings, Gasparini has been very active with USA Hockey on numerous fronts, including part of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup staff for the USA U-18 squad that will compete in Alberta in August. He has also been involved with the USA World Junior A Team Staff for 12 years which included 8 Gold, 1 Silver, and 3 Bronze medals.
Gasparini will assist in preparations for the upcoming season, including tryout camp while still working with the Kings through the NHL Draft which is set to take place July 7th and 8th in Montreal.
“I’m thrilled to return to Sioux Falls,” stated Gasparini. “The Stampede have always had a special spot in my heart and the opportunity to return to the organization was one that I couldn’t pass up. I can’t wait to get started and help bring the Stampede back to the top of the USHL.”
Gasparini and his wife, Krista, have three children: Mario (19), Gianna (17), and Sergio (15), and are in the process of relocating to Sioux Falls.
The Stampede host their annual tryout camp next weekend, June 2nd -5th at the Scheels IcePlex. The camp is free and open to the public. Fans can find the tentative schedule here.
Season ticket memberships for the 2022-23 season are on sale now by contacting the Stampede office at 605-275-4625. The 2022-23 season schedule is expected to be released in late June, for the latest Stampede information follow us on social media @sfstampede.