Minnesota announced Monday the addition of three former Gopher players to the men’s hockey coaching staff.
Ben Gordon will serve as an assistant coach, while Ryan Potulny and Stu Bickel join the program as undergraduate assistants.
“The experience of our alumni is one of our program’s greatest strengths, and we are certainly excited to add three former Gopher hockey players to our staff as we get ready to start the season,” Minnesota coach Bob 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.”
Gordon returns to Minnesota after serving as the associate head coach for the USHL’s Chicago Steel during the 2017-18 season. He previously served on the Gophers staff in 2016-17 as director of hockey operations. Gordon’s first foray into coaching came during the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach and later as interim head coach at St. Scholastica.
A four-year letter-winner with the Gophers from 2004 to 2008 who recorded 98 points (39 goals, 59 assists) in 148 career games, Gordon played in 362 professional games with 380 points over six seasons before transitioning to coaching.
Potulny is back Minnesota after concluding a 12-year pro career last season that included NHL stints with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Chicago and Ottawa. In 126 career NHL games, Potulny recorded 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). On the ice with the Gophers, Potulny skated in 100 collegiate games and recorded 118 career points (68 goals, 50 assists).
Bickel joins the staff following a 10-year pro career that came to a close in 2017-18. The former defenseman skated in 76 regular-season NHL games with 10 assists between the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild along with 18 Stanley Cup playoff games with the Rangers. Bickel skated for the Gophers during the 2007-08 season, playing in 45 games with seven points (one goal, six assists) on the blue line.