RYAN BENNETT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT, JOINS RAYS STAFF

Former Corpus Christi IceRays forward Ryan Bennett has officially retired from professional hockey, and will join the IceRays as the club’s new Director of Scouting, General Manager, Pat Dunn announced on Tuesday.  Bennett becomes the second former IceRays player to retire and join the team’s front office this off-season, joining Assistant Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Justin Quenneville.  For more information, please call the IceRays office at 361.814.PUCK, or visit their new website at www.goicerays.com.   

Bennett, 28, closes the books on a terrific pro career that spanned six seasons, and saw stints in the CHL, UHL, ECHL, and the AHL.  The close to his career came in Corpus Christi, where he helped the IceRays reach the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.  The Glens Falls, NY native played in all but one game over the last two years for the IceRays, amassing 110 points (35g, 75a) in 127 games.  While his stay in South Texas was only two years, Corpus Christi was always in Bennett’s long term plans once he arrived.  The city has been his year-round home since the summer of 2008 when he signed as a free agent, and started his own real estate business.  He has remained working in the industry while playing hockey, and is currently a realtor for Keller Williams.  Bennett said that even though staying in Corpus Christi was never in question, the chance to remain a part of the IceRays was a tremendous opportunity, and something he is very excited about.

“I am excited about the opportunity to stay involved in hockey and to help build a Championship Team in Corpus Christi in the years to come” said Bennett.

Bennett’s role with the team will consist of scouting and recruiting new players for Corpus Christi.  He will travel throughout North America, attending player showcase camps and visiting with coaches and players in an effort to help build the IceRays roster.  His background makes him an ideal fit, having played both junior and collegiate hockey, including time in the NAHL.  Dunn said that Bennett’s experience and knowledge of the game will pay huge dividends for the IceRays. 

“We are very excited about Ryan joining our team,” said Dunn.  “He is the perfect fit for us because of his background and his ties to the levels and players we’re looking at.  On top of that, he wants Corpus Christi to be his permanent home, and his other jobs give him the flexibility to travel and attend several hockey showcases across the country."

Quenneville, who made a similar transition earlier this summer, knew the type of asset Bennett was on the ice, and is confident that will carry over to his new role.

“Having Benny join our team shows a commitment level from the ownership group and proves that we will do what it takes to build a winning team,” said Quenneville.

On Tuesday, the IceRays also announced two other front office additions, welcoming Rudy Rosas and Franky Mendez as sales executives.  The IceRays additionally announced that they are still looking for billet families to house players for the 2010-2011 season.