Much still remains unknown about Hill's departure at U
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- June 27, 2011 - 1:12 AM
So Hill is gone. He looks very much like a scapegoat for the the Gopher program's recent struggles.
Was he fired? Resigned? Release doesn't say.
Does he have another job? Again, who knows. If he doesn't late June isn't the best time for a hockey coach to be searching for a job. The first practice for the Gophers and most college teams, I suspect, is Oct. 1. How many unfilled openings are there?
According to a source close to one of the parties involved, university officials are talking to ex-Gophers coach Mike Guentzel about returning.
He left in April 2008, resigned supposedly, because he wanted to be a head coach. Actually, he was fired to create a spot for Omaha Lancers coach Mike Hastings who stayed one season. Hastings was replaced by Grant Potulny, an ex-Gophers player with limited coaching experience.
Guentzel has wandered far and wide in the three years he has been gone. There was one season as a Colorado College assistant, his son Gabe is a Tigers defenseman, one season as head coach and general manager of the Des Moines Bucs of the USHL and one season as a Nebraska Omaha assistant.
But his wife and youngest son never left the Twin Cities. Jake was a sophomore forward this past season for Hill-Murray. He had 19 goals and 30 assists for 49 points in 28 games.
Guentzel probably welcomes the chance to return to the Gophers. Most likely with a better contract than he has before and maybe a title, associate head coach. And the chance to be the clear No. 2 man on the staff.
He has some leverage in the negotiations because he already has a WCHA job, with a program at UNO that seems to be on the rise.
Still, the guess here is he will back on the Gophers' bench this season. And the Gophers defensemen will be better because of his return.
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