MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bob Motzko first came to play hockey at Minnesota in 1981, when he was cut from the team and then denied a spot on the roster again before the next season.
In the late 1980s, as the coach of a junior team in Iowa, Motzko would travel to the Twin Cities to scout high school games and take advantage of the proximity to stop by Gophers practices and take notes with ideas for drills.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — As a former assistant at Minnesota who helped build nearby St. Cloud State into a national power, Bob Motzko was an obvious front-runner for the next head coach of the Gophers when Don Lucia stepped down.
That was, of course, if Motzko wanted to leave his alma mater, where he'd been for the last 13 seasons while enjoying just as much or more success on the ice as his former team did some 70 miles away.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Sabres' top prospect, center Casey Mittelstadt, is leaving Minnesota following his freshman season after agreeing to a three-year, entry-level contract with Buffalo on Monday.
Mittelstadt is scheduled to join the Sabres on Tuesday, and general manger Jason Botterill said he expects the player to make his NHL debut Thursday, when Buffalo hosts the Detroit Red Wings.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — For only the second time in 33 years, Minnesota has begun a search for a new men's hockey coach.
All-time Gophers wins leader Don Lucia announced Tuesday he's stepping down from the program he guided for 19 seasons, after missing the NCAA Tournament for a fifth time in the last 10 years.
"Somebody else should have an opportunity, too," Lucia said at a news conference on campus with athletic director Mark Coyle.