Steel announce personnel and coaching changes
The Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced that head coach and general manager Mike Janda has been relieved of his duties with the North American Hockey League club.
The dismissal of Janda comes as a result of the recent news of a two-year suspension by USA Hockey. Janda has received the suspension dating back to when he coached the Jr. Sharks 18U AAA team prior to joining the Steel.
“Due to the unfortunate decision, Mike Janda has been relieved of his duties. We wish him and his family nothing but the best,” team owner Kelly Kasik said.
The Steel’s search for a new coach is ongoing and information will be released later in the process. The team is scheduled to report for training camp this week, and assistant coaches Logan Murphy and Mike Fazio will lead until a new coach is hired.
Janda was hired by the Steel in April to replace Carter Foguth at the same time the team announced its sale to the Kasik family. Chippewa went 14-29-2-3 in a COVID-19 shortened 48-game season, its third in Chippewa Falls.
Brad Stepan has been named as the new Director of Hockey Operations for the Chippewa Steel.
“We could not be more excited for Brad to join our organization. He brings a vast knowledge and commitment to our organization, but more importantly the game of hockey. Having Brad on our team will be great for all levels of our organization and we could not think of a better fit,” said Kasik.
Stepan has been involved in hockey as a player and talent evaluator. The Minnesota native was drafted in the fifth round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft and played for the organization for three seasons. Off the ice he has scouted and coached numerous levels of hockey, including as head coach of Rosemount High School in Minnesota for seven seasons. He has spent three seasons as a NAHL scout and three as a scout for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. In addition, Brad’s son Derek is currently member of the Carolina Hurricanes, entering his 12th season in the NHL.