Briefs: Hockey team loses two, Decker signs four-year deal

Also, hockey recruit Marshall won’t need surgery, two golfers finish top-5 in state amateur, Royston will play with a broken leg and more.

Derek Wetmore

The Gophers menâÄôs hockey team lost two sophomores Tuesday. Several news outlets reported that defenseman Nick Leddy agreed to terms with the Chicago Blackhawks and will soon finalize a contract. The Gophers also announced that forward Josh Birkholz decided to leave the team in the face of a suspension for violating unnamed team rules. Leddy was drafted 16th overall in 2009 by the Minnesota Wild, and was traded to Chicago in February. He appeared in 30 games as a freshman last year, finishing with three goals and eight assists. Birkholz appeared in 36 games, scoring five goals. Decker signs four-year deal with Broncos Former Gophers receiver Eric Decker agreed to a four-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Monday night. The Broncos took Decker in the third round (87th overall) in AprilâÄôs draft, and The Denver Post reported that, given his draft slot, DeckerâÄôs contract will be worth around $5.525 million with a $732,000 signing bonus. Decker tore a ligament in his foot playing against Ohio State in October and just began publicly running full-strength routes earlier this month at Larry FitzgeraldâÄôs receivers camp held at the Bierman athletic facility. Hockey recruit wonâÄôt need surgery Gophers recruit Ben Marshall wonâÄôt need surgery on his left arm after all, the Detroit Red Wings confirmed this week. The seventh-round pick was involved in a scary collision at a Red Wings development camp earlier this month , hitting the boards and getting tangled with his stick. In a statement released shortly after, Marshall guessed he had âÄúligaments that are torn off some bones, and I might have fractured my growth plate.âÄù However, doctors informed him this week that instead of surgery, he will spend three weeks in an immobilizing cast and three weeks in another type of cast, the Star Tribune reported. Marshall is skipping his senior year to play juniors in the United States Hockey League for the Omaha Lancers prior to joining Minnesota for the 2011-12 season. Golfers Constable, White finish top-5 A pair of Gophers golfers finished in the top five at the Minnesota State Amateur tournament in Morton, Minn., this weekend. Donald Constable finished in second with a combined score of 206, good for 10 under par (67, 68, 71). Cameron White finished in a three-way draw for fifth at one under (75, 72, 68). It was ConstableâÄôs second runner-up performance of the summer as he also placed second in the MGA Players Championship. In early July, he also won the North and South Amateur Championship. White posted the final dayâÄôs second-lowest score and rode it to his fifth place finish after averaging 76 strokes on the spring season last year with Minnesota. Both golfers will enter their senior seasons with the club this year. Constable transferred from University of Texas to Minnesota prior to competing last spring for the Gophers. Royston will play after broken leg After suffering a compound fracture in his lower left leg during an April 13 workout, Gophers football defensive co-captain Kim Royston is expected to be back for the 2010 season. It was initially thought that Royston might have to miss significant time after he broke his fibula and tibia in his left leg. Royston has had two surgeries since the incident and had a titanium rod inserted to stabilize the breaks. The Minneapolis native and Cretin-Derham Hall graduate is in his final season of eligibility after transferring from Wisconsin. He will lead a defense with many new faces as he and cornerback Ryan Collado will be the only members of the defense with significant starting experience. Traye Simmons signs with San Diego Chargers Traye Simmons didnâÄôt get drafted in the NFL draft following the conclusion of his career at Minnesota, but he has now signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent. SimmonsâÄô status as a UFA allowed him to essentially select a team with which to sign, assuming they had interest. The teams that were reported to have had interest in signing Simmons were the Atlanta Falcons, the Houston Texans, the San Fransisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans. Simmons played two seasons for the Gophers after transferring from College of the Sequoias. Former Gophers assistant Guentzel hired at UNO Mike Guentzel, a Gophers menâÄôs hockey assistant coach from 1994 until 2008, will begin his third new coaching opportunity in the past three years as an assistant at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. After his time as an assistant coach with Minnesota, Guentzel became an assistant with Colorado College in 2008-09. The very next season he was the head coach of the Des Moines Bucs in the USHL . The move brings Guentzel back to the place he began his coaching year, as he served as the LancersâÄô head coach in 1992-94, where he won consecutive championships in the USHL.