Don Lucia has not signed a contract extension as Gophers men's hockey coach, but he indicated he met with new athletic director Mark Coyle and they "had good talks and dialogues and hopefully something can be signed soon."

Lucia's contract, which expires at the end of this season, pays him $400,000 annually, plus bonuses that could be worth as much as $100,000.

The new deal for Lucia, 58, is expected to be a two-year extension running through the 2018-19 season.

"Hopefully I can continue to do this for a number of years," Lucia said Thursday on a Big Ten conference call. "I'm not going to be here in 10 years, probably [76-year-old Michigan coach Red Berenson] is the only one who can say that.

"You look at it and say, 'Do I have the energy, do I have the passion?' It's like that in any profession … as long as you have the energy and the passion, you love to do it. I don't have a lot of hobbies, I don't golf, I like to salmon fish every once in a while … but I love what I do, every day when I head in on [Interstate] 394 and come into work."

Lucia enters his 18th season at Minnesota with a 415-219-68 record. His teams won two national titles, in 2002 and 2003.

In 29 seasons as a coach, he is 694-374-97 and has the eighth-most wins in NCAA history. Only three active coaches have more.

This year the Gophers were the preseason pick to win their fourth consecutive league title in a coaches poll, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State.

The Gophers missed the NCAA playoffs last season, losing to Michigan in the title game of the conference tournament. The Gophers were 14-6 in the Big Ten regular season but 6-11 in nonleague games.

Sophomore Eric Schierhorn played goal in all 37 games last season, finishing with a 2.69 goals-against average and .906 saves percentage. Senior Justin Kloos is the team captain for the second season and led the Gophers with 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) last season.

"We have a large senior class, and you always hope your seniors have good years," Lucia said. "I've always been a big believer that they have big years or struggle thinking about what is going to happen the next year."

Minnesota opens the season Oct. 7 at Alaska Anchorage and the Big Ten season Dec. 2 against Ohio State.

The Gophers play national champion North Dakota on Nov. 4-5 at Mariucci Arena in a nonconference series.