Minnesota hockey legend Glen Sonmor passed away on Monday at the age of 86. Sonmor, a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, had a pro career in the AHL and played 28 games with the NY Rangers before his career was cut short when he was hit in the eye by a snapshot from teammate Steve Kraftcheck.
After Sonmor lost his left eye, John Mariucci hired Sonmor to coach the freshman hockey team at the University of Minnesota, eventually becoming the Golden Gophers’ varsity head coach in 1966 after Mariucci left the program. Sonmor led Minnesota to the WCHA title in 1970, becoming the conference coach of the year that season. In 1971, despite a 14-17-2 record, Coach Sonmor led Minnesota to a runner up finish in the NCAA Tournament.
In 1972, Herb Brooks took over the Minnesota program, when Sonmor left the Golden Gophers to become the coach & GM of the new Minnesota Fighting Saints.
In 1978 Sonmor took over as coach of the Minnesota North Stars, leading the team to their first Stanley Cup finals in 1981 against the NY Islanders.
In the late 1990’s, Glen Sonmor returned to the Golden Gophers, when he teamed up with Wally Shaver for radio broadcasts of Gopher hockey. Sonmor was 81 when he retired from the airwaves in 2011 after 15 seasons of broadcasting.