Three former Gophers are returning to the U to coach under new men’s hockey head man Bob Motzko. Ben Gordon will be an assistant coach, and Ryan Potulny and Stu Bickel will be undergraduate assistants.
Gordon, a four-year player (2004-08) who had 98 points (39 goals, 59 assists), returns after serving as the associate head coach for the Chicago Steel in the USHL last season. He previously served on the Gophers staff in 2016-17 as director of hockey operations, and he helped the Tri-City Storm capture the 2016 USHL Clark Cup as an assistant coach in 2015-16.
Potulny recently retired from a 12-year pro career that included NHL stints with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Chicago and Ottawa. In 126 career NHL games, Potulny recorded 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). With the Gophers, Potulny recorded 118 points (68 goals, 50 assists), was an All-America and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award when he led the nation in points (63) and goals (38) as Minnesota won the 2006 WCHA title his senior year.
Bickel had a 10-year pro career that included 94 NHL games with the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild. The defenseman skated one season with the Gophers, appearing in 45 games with seven points (one goal, six assists).
“The experience of our alumni is one of our program’s greatest strengths,” Motzko said in a statement. “All three of these guys know what it means to be part of this program and what it takes in order to be successful here.”