Potulny inks deal with Ottawa

Grant Potulny’s contract is for one year, and he begins his NHL quest in N.Y.

Aaron Blake

Former Minnesota men’s hockey captain Grant Potulny has signed a one-year contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League.

The forward, who in his freshman year became the first non-Minnesotan on the team since 1987, said he was scheduled to fly to Binghamton, N.Y., on Tuesday night and play the rest of the season with the American Hockey League team there on an amateur tryout.

“(The Senators) were really good and really fair,” Potulny said. “They came up with a good offer, and they took care of me.”

Potulny might be best known for his game-winning goal in the 2002 NCAA Championship game against Maine and being named the Frozen Four most valuable player that year.

After captaining the team to a second-straight national title in 2003, he hurt his shoulder in late January of this year, making his future somewhat uncertain.

He credited the Gophers training staff with getting him back on the ice in a hurry.

He returned Feb. 20 against Alaska-Anchorage and led the team to the WCHA Final Five title with another game-winning goal against North Dakota in the championship game.

His 68 career goals rank him 24th on the Minnesota all-time goal-scoring list.

With his Gophers heroics behind him, he now begins a quest to earn a chance in the NHL.

“You always hope you can make it as soon as you can,” he said. “But, realistically, you never know. You just want to go into camp and do what you can.”

Pitcher Marten honored

Minnesota softball pitcher Piper Marten earned her second Big Ten pitcher of the week award in three weeks on Tuesday.

Last weekend, the senior hurler threw three complete-game victories versus Ohio State and Penn State and became the 19th player in NCAA Division I history to reach 1,000 strikeouts.