Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hastings to Minnesota?

The Gopher Hockey Blog is reporting that the Minnesota Golden Gophers search for a new assistant coach is about to come to a close. It is being reported that Omaha's Mike Hastings will be accepting that role, and most likely giving Bliss Littler the GM role. I'm not sure what his role would be with the Lancers, if he'd have one at all, but it's definitely interesting.

After about a month of speculation on who would replace Mike Guentzel, the Gopher hockey program is apparently about to announce the answer. Word along the grapevine earlier today is that the Gophers are expected to announce in the next few days that former Omaha Lancers head coach Mike Hastings will be stepping into the position.

Hastings is a Crookston, MN native that had been coaching in Omaha for the last 14 seasons and has been (arguably) the best coach in the league for some time.. He coached the Lancers to USHL regular season titles three times (2001-2002, 2004-2004, and this past season) and has also led them to the USHL playoff title three times (1997-1998, 2000-2001, and this past season). In addition to the team success, Hastings had been chosen as USHL coach of the year twice and general manager of the year five times over his tenure (source: Wikipedia). In other words, the man knows how to coach and he knows how to put together a strong team.

EDIT: Star Tribune is reporting it's a done deal.

Mike Hastings, the team president, general manager and owner of the USHL's Omaha Lancers, will be officially named a Gophers' assistant hockey coach later today.

Hastings, named the Lancers' president earlier this month, had coached the Omaha team for 14 seasons and never had a losing year. He gave up his coaching position after the Lancers won their third Clark Cup this spring. His career record with the Lancers was 529-210-36.

"I wanted someone who has experience as a coach and a recruiter," Gophers head coach Don Lucia said, "and Mike has a proven record of success in both."

Hastings is a native of Crookston, Minn. He graduated from St. Cloud State. He replaces Mike Guentzel who coached the Minnesota defensmen before resigning in April.

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