Glen Sonmor, voice of Minnesota men’s hockey to retire

by John Hageman

After more than a decade on the airwaves, former Gophers men’s hockey coach Glen Sonmor is retiring at the end of the season.

Sonmor, 81, currently serves as a radio analyst for the Minnesota men’s hockey team on WCCO with booth partner Wally Shaver. In 2006, he received the Lester Patrick trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, and was inducted into the “M” Hall of Fame in 2007.

Preceded by legendary Gophers coach John Mariucci, Sonmor compiled a 77-80-6 record while leading the Gophers from 1966 to 1971. He was named the WCHA coach of the year in 1970, leading the Gophers to a regular season conference title. A year later, the Gophers fell to Boston in the National Championship game.

After playing just 28 games in two seasons with the NHL’s New York Rangers, Sonmor’s career was cut short by an eye injury in 1955.

After coaching the Gophers, Sonmor went on to coach in the World Hockey Association before moving to the NHL as head coach of the Minnesota North Stars from 1979-1983. He led the North Stars to the playoffs in each of his four seasons there, including a Stanley Cup appearance in 1981. He later became a scout for the Minnesota Wild upon their inception in 2000.

There’s no word yet on who will replace Sonmor in the booth next season.