One of the most accomplished players in Chicago Wolves history, Bob Nardella was promoted to assistant coach on July 12, 2017, after serving for two seasons as skills development coach and three seasons as a part-time assistant for the franchise.
During his five seasons as a full-time assistant, Nardella has helped to lead the Wolves to the 2022 Calder Cup championship, the 2022 Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (that goes to the AHL team with the best points percentage), the 2019 Calder Cup Finals and four Central Division crowns — 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022.
Nardella ranks second on the team’s all-time regular-season list for games (476), fifth in assists (239) and sixth in points (298) after spending six full and three partial seasons with the Wolves. He was a key player when Chicago captured the 1998 and 2000 Turner Cups as well as the 2002 Calder Cup.
The 54-year-old Melrose Park native made his Wolves debut during the team’s inaugural season in 1994-95. After spending one season in Italy and another in Germany – punctuated by his first of two appearances in the Winter Olympics with Italy’s national team – Nardella returned to the Wolves from 1997 to 2002.
The defenseman posted 48 points in 65 regular-season games and 18 points in 22 playoff games during the run to the 1998 Turner Cup. Nardella provided 46 points in 77 regular-season games and 13 points in 16 postseason games in 2000 while earning Second All-Star Team recognition in the International Hockey League. He added 26 points in 52 regular-season games and 14 points in 24 games during the 2002 Calder Cup playoffs.
Nardella ranks second on the Wolves’ all-time postseason list in games (101), fourth in points (61), fourth in assists (44), and seventh in goals (17).
Nardella, who was inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame on Dec. 11, 2021, lives in Rosemont with his wife, Alicia, and their sons, Bobby and Nicholas. Bobby spent four years attending Notre Dame before turning pro in April 2019. He spent the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Nicholas has completed two seasons at Michigan Tech.