|Born:||September 24, 1978||Draft:||1998 Senators, 58th Overall|
|Hometown:||Alexandria, Virginia||Position:||Left Wing|
|Known For:||AHL All-Star Game (2002)||Shoots:||Left|
|National Team:||United States||Current Status:||Retired|
Chris Bala (born September 24, 1978) is a former American ice hockey player, having played his final year in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators during the 2001-2002 season. Drafted 58th overall by the Senators in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Bala returned to Harvard University for three more seasons to finish his commitment, and was name an alternate captain in his final year. He joined the Senators for the 2001-02 season and appeared in six games, recording one assist and a plus-1 rating before his demotion sent him down to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL).
In 70 games with the Griffins, Bala recorded 21 goals and 37 points, and he was named to the AHL All-Star Game. A steady decline in AHL production led to the Senators trading him over to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Peter Smrek. He was then quickly flipped to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Curtis Murphy, and was used for the remainder of the year in an AHL role. In March of 2004, Bala was traded for a third time in two years, this time to the Colorado Avalanche, for centre Jordan Krestanovich.
Bala’s struggles continued at the AHL level and he was demoted down to the ECHL in 2005. Early success with the Reading Royals led to some brief loans to AHL clubs, but never long enough to earn a permanent role. His final two seasons in the ECHL were cut short due to lack of consistency and injury concerns, amounting to a total of six games in two years. Bala retired at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season and took on a head coaching position with The Hills School of USHS-Prep for seven seasons.
Chris Bala Statistics
- The Hill School, USHS-Prep (Head Coach) 2013-2020
- NCAA (ECAC) All-Rookie Team (1998)
- AHL All-Star Game (2002)